wine storage

Every wine has a different bottle maturity, and one must thus never stop trying different wines and enjoying them at special occasions.

 

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wine in cellars

Temperature

While 11°C is the ideal storage temperature for wine, temperatures between 5°C and 18°C are suitable as well, given that the temperature in the cellar or room is relatively stable.


Naturally, higher temperatures increase the oxidation of wine so bottles stored at 18°C mature much faster than the same wine stored at 11°C. The constant temperature of 18°C is more suitable for wine than unstable temperatures that reach 11°C but then fall, for example, by 3°C and the following day go up by another 3°C.

Light

Ultraviolet light is very harmful to wine, so it should always be protected from sunlight and artificial light. Darkness is as important as the right temperature for storing wine.

Storage

Bottles and cartons should be stored horizontally so that the corks stay moist and also hermetically sealed, preventing oxidation. Humidity is not harmful to wine and should be maintained in cellars with low temperatures.

Low and high temperatures

Under low temperatures, tartaric might condense (which is not detrimental). High temperatures accelerate the processes of aging, wine matures faster and the colour of white wines turns yellow-amber. Wines with residual sugar might start fermenting.


When wine reaches its barrel maturity, it means that oxidation processes have been completed and the wine can be bottled for storage. This is preceded by the adjustment of analytical values and stabilization. Wines now contain enough alcohol, acids, some residual sugar and sulphur dioxide, all of which guarantee slow aging. Bottles are sterilized before filling and are corked when filled. They are stored in a horizontal position so that the wine keeps the cork moist and pushes the air bubble inside the bottle. This prevents the circulation of air that might cause various infections. With bottles stored vertically the cork might get dry and wine might be oxidized due to the access of air. It should be pointed out that wine in bottles keeps changing its properties. Its quality improves until reaching optimum bottle maturity. Changes in the composition of bottled wine occur more slowly than in barrels. Flavour substances are first released in larger amounts and esters are produced, which improves the wine quality. When bottle maturity is reached, the development of the wine stops and it gets stabilized as there is nothing to improve. Longer storage in bottles tends to produce unwanted substances that are released from the wine more and more and affect its flavour and bouquet.


This turning point occurs with quality wines, as well as with wines with predicate. It is recommended that quality wines should be consumed within five years from bottling; this period might be longer with wines with predicate. There are also wines that are several decades old and their taste aspect keeps improving. This shows that wine is a living thing and every bottle has its own fate.