For many of us regular wine drinkers, storage is never a problem just for the simple fact that the wine does not stay in the house long enough to suffer any deterioration to the taste or appearance however for all those dedicated wine collectors out there storage is one of the most important factors to helping a fine wine age gracefully.
There are many procedures that wine collectors have to take in order to preserve their wine, one of the most important being the position in which the wine is stored. In order for a wine to age to the best standard, the bottle must be stored on its side. In shops we often see wine bottles standing vertically and this is a typical mistake made by inexperienced collectors who do not take a moment to consider the impact over time.
So the question still stands, why should collectors store their bottles on their side? Well, any wine you select will share a fickle and fragile friendship with oxygen. Over time, oxygen will react with the chemicals present in your wine to change its initial flavour compounds so when it comes to ageing wines, oxygen is the most important thing to consider. A lack of oxygen can affect the quality of wine overtime and conversely too much oxygen can ruin a good flavour however by ensuring the bottle is stored in the correct position it will provide you with the finest wine in the entire town.
How? Well, the cork found snugly fitted in the wine bottle has more than one purpose when it comes to savouring fine wines. When the bottle is placed vertically and left for a long period of time, there is a higher chance that the cork will become dry thus shrinking due to its ability to contract and expand according to its environment. As the cork contracts, there is more room for additional oxygen to leak in and react with the wine. By keeping the bottle on its side it will help to keep the cork moist therefore allowing it to keep its initial shape and sustain consistent oxygen levels within the bottle.
This is where wine racks come in handy as they allow the bottle to rest comfortably in the correct position for the years to come as well as making a beautiful display with your array of vintage wines.
Similar to the rule behind maintaining consistent oxygen levels, in order for your wine to experience the best possible years of ageing, it is crucial that it is stored in an environment with appropriate and stable temperature levels. Should the temperature of your wine storage area drop too low, it may slow the development of your wine therefore impacting on its quality of ageing.Contrariwise, an environment that is too warm will speed up the ageing process.
Fluctuations in the temperature will put your wine at risk of losing its taste appeal and freshness so proper storage conditions are necessary in order to extend the shelf-life of your wine.
Wine collections are a classic tradition for those who appreciate the hard efforts that are put into creating the perfect sweet wine with the oldest dating back to the 1650’s which is not found on many wine racks of today. We wish you luck in the years to come that you may age the world’s most exquisite wine.