It’s sad to see how a lot of websites perpetuate myths about wine storage just to convince buyers that only the most pricey wine coolers/cellars/fridges can protect against fine wines from turning to vinegar overnight. Sadly, the truth is far significantly less motivating. Below we talk about the basics of typical wine storage – i.e., wine held for personal consumption rather than speculation – and to assistance clear up some of the rampant confusion so new enthusiasts can make sensible, expense-productive obtaining decisions.
Terminology – Wine Coolers, Fridges, Cellars, And so forth.
Wine Cooler vs. Wine Cellar – What’s the Difference? We see lots of blogs and other web sites that try to define and separately categorize wine coolers, wine cellars, and wine refrigerators – as if they can be systematically differentiated. In most situations, having said that, you will notice that in spite of saying and assuming that they are distinct, the author cannot essentially articulate any meaningful way to distinguish them. And when the do, most internet websites attempt to categorize wine “cellars” based on vague notions of cost class, by calling them “high-end” wine coolers. That defines absolutely nothing, considering that prices vary along a continuum.
In other instances, the attempted distinction is more concrete but just as arbitrary – e.g., some say wine cellars need to have humidity handle. But this is also not helpful, considering that even the most simple wine fridges can come with, or be fitted with, some kind of humidity control system, such as a easy tray of water. Ultimately, macallan edition series- complete 1-6 -called definition that we commonly see is that wine cellars are supposedly designed for more “extended term” storage. But this too is impossibly vague and unhelpful, because most wine coolers/fridges are made to maintain suitable lengthy term storage temperatures. So as long as the fridge or cooler holds up over the lengthy term, then it can function for lengthy term storage. There’s no fundamental distinction as to how they go about preserving temperatures, since more affordable wine fridges and expensive “cellars” alike all use the identical sorts of cooling machinery (compressors or thermoelectric systems).
Simply put, wine coolers, wine fridges, wine cellars or any other temperature-controlled boxes/cabinets are all made to do the same issue: maintain wine at optimal storage temperatures, usually around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Some can also chill whites to their appropriate service temperature (but that has nothing to do with storage). Of course, these units may possibly differ significantly in their reliability and good quality, but this normally has practically nothing to do with no matter if they are marketed as wine cellars versus wine coolers.
Please note that when we talk about lengthy term storage, for most customers, this ordinarily signifies up to five years, normally a lot much less. So if your fridge/cooler/cellar can function correctly and reliably for the duration of this period, it can by this definition retailer wine “lengthy term.” If you strategy on storing wine longer than this, and your cooler/cellar has been running properly so far, go for it. Nonetheless, if you are storing fine wine as an investment, or are keeping ultra-highly-priced wine that you are passionate about, forget about storing your personal wine altogether – put your best wine in a expert storage facility and only maintain in your cooler the wine you intend to consume!
Maintain Proper Wine Storage Temperature
There is no query that temperature is the most crucial storage consideration of them all. But the decision as to which temperature is most effective couldn’t be easier, and we are stunned by all of the misinformation that exists.
Retailer All of Your Wine at Around 55 Degrees Fahrenheit
The consensus amongst the most respected wine organizations is that the finest storage temperature – for each red and white wines – is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. That is it! And no you do not have to retain this temperature exactly, a couple of degrees above or below this is fine. Do not make the rookie error of confusing storage temperature with service temperature, which does differ involving reds and whites!
Basic Encouraged Wine Service Temperatures:
F Wine Variety
64 Red (Complete-Bodied)
59 Red (Medium-Bodied)
55 Red (Light-Bodied)
54 White (Full-Bodied)
52 White (Medium-Bodied)
50 White (Light-Bodied)
Precision is Not Expected
Furthermore, there is no harm in storing wine colder than this, all this does is slow down maturation. So why 55F? Pretty a great deal all of the credible sources agree that at around 55F fine wine (i.e., those wines that are worth aging and can advantage from aging) can gradually and gradually mature (oxidize) at a price that improves and deepens the wine’s taste and aroma. Substantially below 55F, the chemical reactions responsible for this process (like all chemical reactions) slow down or halt, thus lengthening the time required for the wine to reach its “peak.” So a wine that may need five years of aging at 55F to taste/smell its best might nonetheless not be ripe following ten years in cooler storage. On the other hand, if wine is kept slightly warmer than 55F, it will mature more rapidly. For instance, a wine that may peak at 8 years might peak at five if kept closer to 60F. Certainly, this is not a dilemma for most people – and quite a few men and women could possibly choose speeding up maturation to some degree – which is why we are normally shocked at how a great deal paranoia exists with respect to temperature.
Temperature Stability is Most Vital
Even though storing wine anyplace within a few degrees of 55F is best, the larger concern is sustaining stable temperatures around the selected set point. Why? Very first off, a considerable, prolonged spike in temperature is damaging basically simply because it rapidly promotes oxidation in a way that is not controlled and that can set off other, undesirable reactions, which can then influence the aroma and taste of the wine. Even so, a great deal less dramatic but periodic temperature swings can be equally or a lot more deleterious.
Wine, and specifically the ullage (airspace/unfilled space in the bottle), expands when temperatures rise and contracts when temperatures drop. And since corks are porous, this primarily causes the bottle to “exhale” by way of the cork when temperatures push upwards and “inhale” as they come back down. In other words, some gas from the ullage is pushed out and fresh air is pulled back into the bottle through significant temperature swings. This fresh air, as opposed to the original gas composition of the ullage, has a fresh provide of oxygen – and far more oxygen indicates higher prices of oxidation. As a result, a continuous cycle of excessive “breathing” can promptly degrade wine by more than-maturation just as certainly as continuous storage in elevated temperatures can. Again, you never want to panic over a swing of a handful of degrees on the other hand, the far more stable you can keep your wines about the set temperature, the greater. Attempt keeping your wine cooler complete – a bigger volume of wine in the cabinet benefits in greater thermal inertia, which aids minimize temperature swings due to fluctuating external temperatures.
Keep Right Humidity Levels
Humidity levels are critical for wine stored for longer periods, for a couple reasons. Initial, low humidity can result in corks to shrink, which sacrifices their sealing ability and can allow outdoors air to infiltrate and/or wine to be pushed previous the cork. And sealing failures can expose the wine to greater levels of oxygen, which can over-mature the wine or spoil it based on the magnitude of the breach. Second, higher humidity can foster the growth of molds and mildew, which is not so a great deal a dilemma for the wine as it is for the wine’s labels, which can be permanently discolored and decrease the bottle’s prospective resale value.
Most wine storage authorities recommend keeping your collection at about 70-75 % humidity to make certain excellent cork sealing without advertising mold growth. Having said that, as with most figures, precision is not needed, and something from 50 – 80 percent is likely just fine. Once again, retain factors inside explanation. If your wines are worthwhile enough to be concerned about label harm and resale worth, they really should be sitting in a expert storage facility anyway.
Protection From UV Light
The harm to a wine’s taste/aroma that can happen from exposure to UV light is properly documented. UV (ultraviolet) light is a form of high-energy invisible electromagnetic radiation present in all-natural sunlight and artificial light sources to varying degrees. Most folks recognize the effects of UV exposure in the kind of suntans and sunburns.
As far as wine is concerned, nevertheless, it really is believed that UV radiation reacts with sulphur compounds that naturally occur in wine, causing a “light strike” reaction – a course of action whereby these compounds are then broken down into to smaller sized, undesirable metabolites that go on to type unpleasant volatile compounds, which even an typical palate can notice at trace levels. Indeed, the regrettable flavors/aromas connected with such compounds, such as dimethyldisulphide and hydrogen sulfide, have been characterized by test subjects as “wet dog” and “cooked cabbage.” See the problem?