Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Long Term Home Wine Storage

Once in a Blue MoonMy son is becoming quite the collector of wine. Personally, if I part with cash to purchase a bottle of wine I like to enjoy that wine sometime in the not too distant future. Nick (my son), on the other hand likes to have some wine that he imbibes and other wine that goes onto the shelf to enjoy (hopefully) in the distant future. This brings us to our topic for today . . . storing wine.

Wine storage does not have to be expensive but it does need to be done properly.

Three elements can affect the future well being of your wine collection. These three things are air, heat and light. Wine will rust (I mean oxidize) if exposed to air.

Minimizing air contact is accomplish by purchasing wine which has been corked with high quality cork and then by laying the wine on its side to keep the cork moist. Corks which dry out (caused by the wine bottle being stored vertically) will allow air to pass through.

Red wines are typically bottled in dark green bottles and many whites are bottled in cobalt blue or dark amber bottles. These bottles reduce the amount of ultraviolet light that the wine is exposed to. Ultraviolet light can break down the structure of the wine. Heat can also potentially damage wines.

So, to reduce the chance of environmental damage to your wine, follow these suggestions:

1. Purchase wine with quality closures and store corked bottles on their sides.

2. Purchase wines which are bottled in darker colored glass and store your wines where it is generally dark.

3. Store your wines in a cool place (not too warm, not too cold).

This cool location for wine storage is best if the temperature remains fairly constant and there is a reasonable amount of humidity (too dry and corks will suffer). A good temperature range for basement storage is from a minimum of about 40 degrees (F) to as high as 65-70 degrees. Most homes will not maintain a constant temperature but if the changes in temperature are gradual this type of storage will suffice.

A more expensive way to approach wine storage is creating an area which is both temperature and humidity controlled but in some locations this could be the only alternative for long term wine storage.

BlueStem Winery operates as a licensed and bonded Iowa winery and also operates a retail store selling beer brewing supplies, homebrew ingredients, homebrewing equipment, winemaking supplies, wine making ingredients, equipment for home winemaking, WinExpert wine kits and and also ingredient kits for making wine from Cellar Craft.

Have the perfect place to store your wine but have no wine? Let us show you the how to's of home wine making. If you want an easy way to get started in this hobby, let us help you decide on either a WinExpert ingredient kit or a Cellar Craft wine kit and with a little bit of patience you can have your wine storage full and still have wine to enjoy. Prefer a cold one? Bluestem also can help you with home brewing supplies and home brew ingredients and can help set you up with brewing equipment to get started on another fulfilling hobby. Cheers!

1 comment:

Leon said...

Wow. I never knew so much went into preserving wine.