Having invested possibly hundreds of dollars in your latest bottle of vintage wine (ah well, we can but dream), the next important decision is where to store this prized possession?
The main issue when it comes to storing wine is that it needs to be maintained at a cool temperature of between 12 and 16 degrees Celsius. Shoved under the bed won't do.
Many modern wines do not need to be aged over a great period of time; therefore extensive cellars are often unnecessary. Having said this, if you have the time, space and resource to excavate a cellar, your wine will surely benefit. A purpose built cellar is not normally an option for most households and so suitable alternatives must be explored.
Ideal areas for storage include a corner of a garage, garden shed, an unused fireplace or a cupboard that is against an outside wall.
Wherever you choose to store your wine, a few basic criteria are worth keeping in mind.
Choose an area that is less likely to be subjected to fluctuating temperatures caused by household heating systems.
Wines benefit from being kept in dark conditions. Although this is not always practical, wine should certainly be stored in an area that is not exposed it to direct sunlight.
As a final point, always store your wine bottles on their side. Corks are designed to be kept moist, so that they remain airtight and do not crumble when a corkscrew is inserted.
Bear in mind that some wines do not benefit from being stored at all. If you have poor or no storage facilities available, consider purchasing wine that matures quickly such as most white wines or new technology reds or, possibly, a new Beaujolais.
Move wine as little as possible once it has been placed in storage, unless of course it is being moved into a glass!
If you have a particularly special wine collection, it may be worth engaging a specialist company to store your wine for you (Oops, I'm dreaming again). Good storage has been recognized as vital for many wines and as such, many companies now provide storage facilities. Of course, this does not come cheap and is best reserved for those very special bottles or for those experts who are considering selling their wine on, at a future date.
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