Wine Storage & Care Guidelines:
Proper care and storage of wine is an important aspect of your home bar. Entertaining is usually the primary goal for having a bar in your
home and keeping a variety of wines on hand to suit individual palettes, pair with particular foods and match different occasions is desired
for convenience and allows accommodating the tastes of many guests.
Several factors need consideration to minimize or avoid adverse affects while storing wine. The best way will be determined largely by
intended storage time and overall goals. Light, temperature, humidity and bottle orientation play a prominent role. While wine consumed
within days or weeks after purchase will benefit slightly from attention to these details, hobbyists and collectors who store wine for months or
years will want to try to achieve storage conditions closer to ideal for optimal results. Large storage quantities or those caring for rare or
expensive vintages may find a dedicated wine cellar the best solution.
|Inclined wire wine rack for home bars.
ullage air bubbles
- Light - direct sources of light, particularly sunlight, should be avoided. Many wineries use dark tinted bottles which
reduce the risk of damage from ultra violet rays but this doesn't offer total protection. Also, the sun light shining through windows can cause temperature fluctuations
throughout the day.
- Humidity - moisture levels in the surrounding air should be maintained at 50 to 70% humidity to keep the exposed side of the
cork from drying out. Your home's basement may be a good location for wine stored for long time periods. Some experts recommend humidity levels as high as 75%
being ideal. Humid conditions promote mold growth and the potential for damage to bottle labels and any wooden racks or structures increases as levels rise. Rot
resistant woods such as redwood and cedar are often used in these environments. NOTE: excessive humidity can cause severe damage to other areas of your home if not
properly ventilated or contained in specifically designed rooms, cellars or enclosures. Cold weather climates also introduce the risk of freezing any escaped water
vapor that accumulates within exposed outer walls. Consult with an expert on how to best accomplish beforehand.
- Temperature - maintaining constant temperatures between 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 15 °C) is generally considered
ideal. Chemical reaction rates may double with each additional 18 °F which affects the potential to develop an aromatic bouquet along with complexity. Slowly
aging at a stable temperature promotes the desired characteristics. Try to locate any wine stored for the short term away from any heat sources such as appliances,
heating / air conditioning ducts and direct sunlight.
- Bottle Orientation - this factor along with all the other guidelines becomes more important as the storage time increases.
Many rack designs position the bottles oriented horizontally to assure the inside of the cork is kept constantly wet. This keeps both sides of the cork swollen,
along with moist air on the outside, to prevent drying out and shrinking. Some wineries will even store facing upside down. Recent research suggests storing
tilted at a slight upward angle as optimum with the trapped air pocket resulting from ullage moving to the top of the bottle. This will allow the cork to still remain
damp and partially in contact with the wine. Thought to reduce the effects of expelling liquid during expansion / pulling air inside the container while contracting
thereby reducing fluid loss, evaporation and oxidation. The sloped incline also encourages any sediment to fall towards the punt at the bottom. Barina Craft's home bars include wine racks as an option which incorporate this feature. Of course, we will build your bar to suit if you prefer another style.
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|Guide to wine storage & care for home bar enthusiasts..