Search This Blog

Monday, 6 June 2011

Lets talk about Wine storage.

I was slightly horrified to piece together a puzzle in my head. We are renovating our upstairs and so I had to clear out all my wine to safely store it downstairs while the reno's started. I did leave a few bottles tucked away safely in a cabinet upstairs and thought they would be ok. They were safe from sunlight and temperature change, but one more factor i forgot to think about was vibration. Maybe even vibration caused by floor sanders for refinishing hard wood floors.  This can be just as damaging to wine as changes in temperature can. So now i have a rack of wine that has its integrity compromised. I guess i will have to open them all one at a time and try them out to see if they are still ok. Wink Wink.
 This brings me to some of the wine storage i have seen in my travels. I will try not to name any names as i describe scary storage solutions.

#1. Cupboard above the oven.- This cupboard was so warm that the wine in there was cooking. I mean literally cooking. Wine needs to be stored at a very constant temperature. The ideal would be 13-17 degrees but more important would be a constant temperature even if it is slightly above that.
#2. Wine rack on wall in living room in direct sunlight. Wine should not see the light of day until you bring it out to enjoy. The harmful UV rays that hurt your skin can also hurt your wine. Also the change in temperature that direct sunlight can have can also harm just like the case above.
#3. Furnace room. This would almost seem like a great place if it was far enough away from the furnace or hot water heater. These things vibrate and generate heat. Especially if the wine rack is resting against the furnace and empty bottles are constantly shaking on the rack.
#4. Behind the bar, top shelf, above the dishwasher or panini grill.  I hesitate to mention this one as i have seen it in a few restaurants in town. I have even ordered a bottle of wine and to my surprise, it was the highest bottle on the shelf. When the server finally climbed down and opened the wine it was HOT. I don't mean warm. I mean HOT. Not good.

I could go on but here are some basic rules as far as storing wine. Think about a cave. Cool, dark, and humid. Also it should be still. It does not need to be fancy.  A good place is a closet or a cold pantry. Be aware of cheap wine fridges. Most of them use cheaper refrigeration units and vibrate too much. They are great for short term storage but not for long term bottles. Also most of the entry level wine fridges keep the wine too cold and dry the air. You then risk corks drying out and spoiling the wine as well.
Well now you should go and drink any of the wine you have stored in places you shouldn't.
Carpe Vinum.