By Marie Morrell
part 2 or 2
If you buy wine by the case, you need to store your wine. If you do it right you’ll have fine tasting wines to enjoy for years to come. Many white wines can be stored for two to five years. Red wines will last and generally improve for five to 20 years, sometimes longer.
- Use untreated redwood as storage bins or racks. It won’t deteriorate in cool, humid wine-cellar conditions.
- Don’t store wines in a cabinet above the stove; the heat will deteriorate them in no time.
- Maintain a relative humidity in your cellar or storage area of about 70 percent for cork health. For red wines, keep the temperature of your wine closet, refrigerator or cellar between 50 and 65 degrees F (10 and 18 C). For white wine, 45 to 60 degrees F (7 to 15 C) or as directed by a vintner or wine merchant.
- Store your white wines closer to the floor and reds higher up. Cooler temperatures generally won’t harm wines, but can delay their development.
- Store bottles on their sides to ensure the corks stay in contact with the wine.
- Keep the more frequently used wines by the door, and the long-term investments in the cooler and darker corners.
- Keep the area dark, if possible, but definitely out of direct sunlight. Use incandescent lights; fluorescent bulbs give off more ultraviolet light, which can penetrate bottles.
- As much as possible, keep bottles of the same vintage together. Use many small bins rather than a few large ones. Racks that hold individual bottles are ideal.
- Hang identifying tags on the necks so the bottles don’t need to be disturbed when you want to know what bottle is what.
- Keep an inventory of what you own to find quickly what you are looking for.
- Keep it outside the cellar so you don’t have to disturb the bottles to check.
- Give each wine a location number and listing, e.g., 3rd row- 2nd bottle (R2- B2), wine’s name, vintage, producer, appellation, vineyard name, region, county, type (red, white, rosé, sparkling), quantity owned, price paid per bottle, value (at latest estimate), and size of bottle (half-bottle, magnum).
- Record tasting and comparing notes. Record foods it accompanies best; ask the recipe if you can.
- When you buy wine (especially reds), ask the wine shop or winery how long it should age before consuming it.
- Make a note in your inventory to drink wines before they start to go downhill. If you have a large or valuable collection and don’t require daily access to it, inquire with a wine collection storage service, which will store your wine off site in perfect conditions.
- If you do not have a wine cellar and live in an area where it does not get to hot in the summer, store wine in the garage. Garages tend to be cool, dark and free of ultraviolet light which is ideal for wine. If your house doesn’t have an appropriate cellar, basement, or garage, get a freestanding wine refrigerator. There are all sizes of wine refrigerator which will hold between 24 and 200 bottles under ideal conditions.
- If you don’t have an area with ideal conditions for wine storage, choose a location that isn’t subject to dramatic changes in temperature.
- For a complete listing of wines and how long to store each type, consult Internet sites such as CellarNotes.net or Wine.com.
If you have any questions, please call Marie Morrell at 613-936-6873 or email:
[email protected] or visit: www.workeasysolutions.com