“It is the season for wine, roses and drunken friends.
Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
—— Omar Khayyam
It doesn’t have the colour of passion, red; nor does it have black from the night sky. It is somewhere in between what we call Wine. Curating a fine collection of wine is the most ethereal thing that a wine lover can long for. It takes perseverance and a knack for detail to fill wine glasses with different textures, colours, and aromas of the heavenly drink.
Steps to store a wine
You might have seen in the movies that wines are always stored in cellars and not in fridges or bars like any other alcohol. Storing wine takes a lot. Lack of awareness about the storage destroys the essence of the purplish nectar. So, we have curated this article for you to understand why storing wine is even more important than choosing and buying.
Temperature plays the most significant role in storing wine. This is why wines made in the warmer region are different in every aspect that wines brewed in colder regions. To keep it as you purchased it, its temperature must be maintained at around 13 degrees Celsius. Some wines come with their storage temperature.
Generally, the lower limit for maintaining the temperature is -4 degrees. Wine may start to break down or ferment more if it is stored at or above 20 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, the wine will start to age. It is mandatory to maintain a stable temperature. Fluctuations and inconsistency in temperature may make the cork expand or contract to allow leakage or air to get in.
Horizontal or Vertical
Wine bottles with wooden corks must be kept horizontally in a rack made exclusively for wine. It allows the cork to be in contact with the wine and maintain moisture in it. Dried-up cork can cause leakage or oxidation of wine leading to pre-mature ageing. Sometimes, uncontrolled over fermenting may make your wine unfit for consumption. The growth of bacteria can alter the taste and consistency.
Wine doesn’t like adventure
You might have noticed that wine comes in dark bottles because light can alter its composition. UV rays in sunlight can start a reaction inside the bottle by altering the temperature. Keep your wine in dark places away from light.
Decanters are used for aeration, but their main purpose is for allowing the sediments in the wine to settle and let you have your glass without any residue. Therefore, wines must be stored away for the source of any kind of vibration. Unnecessary disturbance alters the ageing process of wine.
Humidity is a major player
As temperature, humidity is also integral in manufacturing wine. When humidity is lower than required, it can make cork dry. Too much humidity can make the labels of wine bottles come out making it hard for selling if you want. the humidity levels in wine cellars must be maintained between 60-68%.
Buy that wine fridge
Instead of worrying about dark space, temperature fluctuations and humidity levels, but a wine cooler. A wine cooler is a refrigerator specially designed for storing wine. A regular fridge keeps the humidity low and temperature high. A wine cooler’s temperature range lies between 10-15 degrees Celsius.
Keeping wines in a separate cooler saves them from getting overpowered with a strong scent of other food items like oregano or garlic. If you have invested in curating a wonderful collection of wines, a wine cooler is more important than those. There is no ideal temperature to store wine as it depends entirely on its age. Perfectly aged wine should be kept at15-19 degrees Celsius. Wines not properly aged need colder storage.
Red wine with heavy sediments must be stored like younger wines and lighter wines can be stored at 12 degrees Celsius. White wines are served more chilled than red wines and can be stored between the temperature range as low as 8-12 degrees Celsius. Champagne is also a wine but can share the regular fridge as it is served chilled at a temperature as low as 5 degrees Celsius.
How to store an opened wine bottle?
An opened bottle of wine is fit to consume within 3-5 days if it is stored accordingly. If you do not want to finish it that fast, replace its cork tightly and soon after it is opened. You may not need to uncork the bottle every time. Just pour some of it in a decanter and cherish its every sip.
For recorking, you do not want it to get loosen up and expose the wine to air. To corking it airtight, place wax paper around the cork. Wax will also ensure that any stray cork splinter doesn’t mix with the wine. If the cork has been broken in decorking, a rubber wine stopper or wine vacuum pump may do the trick.