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HOW TO STORE / CELLAR WINE PROPERLY

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OPTIMAL STORAGE CONDITIONS

If you decide not to drink your wine the day you purchased it, it is imperative that you store your wine in an appropriate environment. Wine stored badly becomes intrinsically damaged and loses its freshness. The first step is to ensure you store all bottles horizontally to keep the cork moist to seal the bottle tightly. The following five factors also need to be considered when you decide where to store your wine; in order of importance:

+ CRUCIAL

TEMPERATURE

Wine should be stored in a cool - not cold - environment, ideally between 12°C and 18°C. The temperature also must be fairly constant, as temperature fluctuations will damage wine. In making this decision, remember that cold storage is far better than hot. Storing wine at over 18°C can seriously damage your wine.

LIGHT

Wine should never be kept in direct sunlight and ideally the storage should be fairly dark.

+ IMPORTANT IF STORED LONGER THAN A WEEK

HUMIDITY

The storage should be sufficiently humid (over 50%) so that the corks of the wines do not dry out. A dry cork allows excessive amounts of oxygen into the wine. However, it should not be so humid that mould can grow or the labels become damaged and resale value decreases, though you can place a film over the bottle to prevent this from occurring. If only stored for a few days, humidity is less important than temperature.

 

+ IMPORTANT IF STORED LONGER THAN A MONTH

VIBRATIONS

Vibrations from traffic or motors will pass through the wine and unsettle it so should be avoided.

+ OTHER ODOURS

Obviously, wine shouldn’t be stored near anything that could taint it over time.

If like most of us you don’t have a dedicated storage place, one easy way to organise your storage is to put the wine in a box (a Fancy Cellar gift box works perfectly for example) and place the box in a relatively cooler and darker space like a cabinet in your living room.

+ TRANSPORTATION

The best advice is to try and avoid transportation where possible and definitely avoid it during the summer months. If a wine has been transported any significant distance, it is wise to give it a few days to settle and recover before drinking it, otherwise it may seem strange and disjointed. The conditions for transport should try and replicate a dark, constantly cool, slightly humid cellar as described above if exceeding a couple of hours. However, the wine should also be safely packed to avoid breakages and minimize the effects of vibrations. Use common sense and good packaging to avoid any problems.