Wine Storing And Aging
Tips on storing and aging younger and cheaper wines.
Fine wines are expensive so the smart alternative is to buy good wines at a young age and cheaper price. Store and age the wines yourself. It is absolutely necessary to use proper chillers to preserve the life of your wines.
Wine chillers maintain a constant temperature and humidity that is required for storing wines. The motor does not cause vibrations to affect the wine as a chiller's motor is shielded form the storage compartment. These factors are very important as temperature fluctuations accelerate the aging of the wine and interfere with its quality.
A chiller with a glass door looks beautiful but causes problems of condensation, which hinders your vision of your wine bottles. Opaque doors are cheaper, easier to maintain and more practical.
Store your wine bottles horizontally. This moistens the corks which makes it swollen and safeguards the bottle by making it airtight. If any air seeps into the bottle, it will spoil the wine and turn it into vinegar.
Light is also harmful to wine. Ultraviolet rays damage the wine by causing chemical changes in it. Play it safe by using an opaque door on your chiller. When you open the door, be quick to remove what you want and close the door as quickly as possible to prevent light from shining on the bottles. Other fluctuations like temperature and vibration when you open the door will also affect the wine.
Wines are stored at temperatures between 5 to 18 degrees Celsius. Red wines are usually stored at a temperature between 12 to 18 degrees Celsius. White wines need lower temperatures of about 8 degrees Celsius. Some chillers have compartments for setting different temperatures for storing, chilling and serving wines.
When you decide to chill and serve a wine, don't change your mind about your choice and selected bottle. Once you removed it from the chiller, there's a temperature fluctuation. Aging of the wine starts now. The temperature change causes the wine to expand or contract which ages the wine.
Movement and vibration cause the formation of air pockets which accelerates the aging of wine.
Most white wines are made to be drunk within 6 months of manufacture. Red wines can last for 2 years in a chiller. The expensive wines that need aging are labeled with instructions on the temperature suitable for its storage.
Humidity is very important. This prevents the cork form drying up and cracking. If any air enters the bottle, it oxidizes the wine and ages it. It may even spoil and become vinegar.
A refrigerator circulates dry air which is damaging for storing wines. You can use the fridge to chill a bottle of wine for a short period of a few hours.
Read the label of the wine bottle for instructions for storage. Different wines have specific temperatures that are ideal for aging the wine or prolonging its shelf life. Most commercial wines are made for ready consumption and do not require aging. The expensive wines that are made to be cellared for years to mature have labels with storage instructions. These bottles are usually made of dark glass to prevent ultraviolet light from reaching the wine.
Transport your wine bottles carefully. Needless to say, keep children out of reach of your stock of wines. They love to shake the bottles out of curiosity.