Properly storing a bottle of wine is essential to preserve aromas, flavors, organoleptic qualities and accompany it in evolution. That’s right, accompany it in its evolution, because wine is a living element and therefore its journey continues inside the bottle.
Proper preservation is such for all wines, but aging is indicated only for some, such as reds with tannins and strong alcohol and Traditional Method sparkling wines. Other wines, defined as ready to drink, must be stored correctly and consumed within a year of bottling, because if left in the bottle for a long time they lose their freshness.
Let’s see together 7 rules to preserve a bottle of wine and then taste it to its full potential.
1. Steady temperature.
Temperature changes compromise the organoleptic qualities of the wine irreversibly, so you will have to store the wine at a temperature as constant as possible. The range must be between 10 ° and 15 °, so you will allow the evolutionary process (not possible at too low temperatures) and prevent oxidation (possible at too high temperatures).
Avoid storing your bottles in an environment strongly illuminated by direct sunlight or artificial light sources, because ultraviolet rays trigger a chemical reaction in the wine that modifies its structure altering it to such an extent as to cause the degradation of odors and flavors (oxidation). So, remember that darkness is your ally.
Place the bottles in an environment away from strong vibrations because the loud noises facilitate the contact between wine and oxygen that causes the dreaded oxidation in the long run. In addition, they can move sediments, which are generally found at the bottom of the bottle, which thus affect the wine.
Store your wines at a humidity between 60% and 80%, so you will avoid the formation of mushrooms and molds that can affect the cork (excessive humidity) and oxidation caused by the shrinkage of the cap that lets air pass (low humidity).
5. Wine with wine.
The wine must be with the wine, so avoid storing the bottles in a poorly ventilated environment and with the presence of strong smells. For example, you should not place it in the cellar where are meats and cheeses aging or worse in a room where you store paints or shoes, because cork acts like a sponge: it absorbs smells and then releases them into the wine. The contamination of the cork is one of the main reasons that causes the oxidation of the wine and its deterioration.
6. Horizontal position.
Place the bottle of wine horizontally or rather slightly inclined by 5 ° with the part of the cork slightly raised, to favor the contact between the cork and the wine and facilitate the deposit of sediments on the bottom. The contact keeps the cork moist, making it elastic and thus reducing the risk of oxidation and proliferation of bacteria present in the cork.
7. Placement from white to red.
Order the bottles of white and sparkling wines on the lower shelves, then the rosés, then slightly tannic red wines and finally structured red wines. By doing so, you can get a good temperature for your entire collection, because the hot air rises so the white wines will have a lower temperature than the red wines that you have placed on the top shelf.
Now you know the general rules to store a bottle of wine optimally, but you do not have a cellar, now let’s see 4 practical tips to create a suitable environment.
1. Choose to dedicate a small room in your house and adapt it to the storage of your wines.
2. Install a small air conditioner to keep temperature and humidity in the appropriate range.
3. Eliminates sources of direct light (dark curtain in the presence of windows).
4. Install wooden shelves to dampen vibrations or if the environment at your disposal is not suitable for shelving, leave your bottles in cardboard packaging (it helps to keep them in the dark and attenuates vibrations).
If you do not have the opportunity to dedicate an environment to your wines, the solution remains the purchase of a refrigerator. On the market there are several, personally I suggest you buy one with two zones where you can program different temperatures for whites, reds, and rosés, whether they are still or sparkling Traditional Method wines.
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“ How to store wine at home “.