Are you looking to buy some wine, but not drink it right away? Now what do you do with it?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that not many of the fine wines on the market improve with long-term ageing, the work has already been done in the various wine cellars around the world. Most of these wines are at their best within a few years of purchase (if you can wait that long!). If, however, you are intending to purchase wines to mature, it may be worth investing in some professional storage. This is not a cheap hobby and should only be considered by serious wine collectors.
Here are a few simple guidelines to help keep your wines in tip-top condition until you’re ready to enjoy them.
Stay Away From The Heat
Heat is the number one enemy for wine. Temperatures higher than 21° C will lead to a wine ageing much quicker than is usually desirable and can lead to your wine getting “cooked” which results in flat aromas and flavours.
The ideal temperature range is between 7° C and 18° C (18° C is thought to be close to perfect), though this isn’t an exact science. Slight variations, above or below, will not do any harm as long as you plan to open in a few years, by no means do you need to be constantly monitoring the temperature.
And The Cold
As many of us now have bottle coolers or small beer fridges, keeping wines in your household refrigerator is very common – This practice is fine for up to a couple months, but not something we would advise for longer periods. The average fridge temp falls well below 7° C to safely store perishable foods, and the lack of moisture could eventually dry out corks, something to be avoided – a dried cork can no longer keep the air from the contents resulting in damage to the wine. Under no circumstances keep your wine somewhere it could freeze! Unheated garages or sheds, or more often than not forgotten in the freezer before your dinner party. Believe me, I’ve been there and it wasn’t pretty! If the liquid starts turning to ice, it could expand enough to push the cork out – quite an explosive experience.