For the next couple of weeks I thought I would pass on some gems I have found on the internet. So I may as well kick off with a topic close to my heart (well, my liver at least).
Although position is important when storing wine, temperature is the most important storing factor overall. Even though you may not have the ideal conditions for storage, you should always have the optimal level of temperature. The temperature when storing your wine is very important, as it affects the overall quality, flavour, and longevity of the wine. Most wines need to be stored for long periods of time, which is why the temperature is so very important.
The temperature for storing wine should always be between 10°C and 18°C (50 and 65°F). When stored in this range, the wine will develop quite nicely. In the days before refrigeration, wine was stored in underground cellars and caves. When refrigeration came along, it quickly became the easiest and most preferred way to store wine, as it allowed you to maintain the same desired temperature.
In this day and age, science plays a major role with wine making. Science has proved over the years that aging is actually a chain of chemical reactions that occur over time. Depending on the temperature, the chemical reactions can either be good or bad. Chemical reactions all have unique energy factors that need to be met for each individual reaction to happen. If the temperature isn’t right, the chemical reactions in the wine won’t occur.
If wine is stored in direct sunlight or in a hot area, the increase in temperature can result in a chemical reaction that can damage both the flavour and the quality of the wine. Wine that has been damaged from heat will normally turn brown due to the oxidation. When this happens, the flavour and quality of the wine won’t be any good. Wine that is damaged from heat loses all of it’s flavour and color, making it virtually impossible to drink – or sell.
Colder temperatures on the other hand may slow the aging process, although it can also prevent the wine from getting the chemical reactions it needs as well. Lower temperatures may not affect the quality or taste of the wine, although it isn’t recommended. All bottles of wine, until they have been opened, should be stored in a location with a temperature above 10°C. This way, the wine will be in the proper temperature for storage and able to get the chemical reactions it needs.
You should keep any open bottles in your refrigerator, as the average temperature is normally 5°C (41°F). You shouldn’t keep bottles that you haven’t opened in the fridge, as the temperature is much too cold. If you follow the above tips when storing your wine, you’ll find the taste to be spectacular. Storing wine will always raise the value and add to the taste – providing you store it the right way.
And of course, the best way to monitor the temperature is with a temperature logger. I would recommend LogTag if you want a display or LED indicator, or Thermocron if you want a unit that will last up to 10 years.