How to store wine?
Without hesitation, the layman will enter the wine into quite a large group of food products, useful and tasty, albeit devoid of a halo of originality. In turn, for a grape drink enthusiast, each tasting will mean an unforgettable journey to the land, the boundaries of which are marked by successive burgundy, rieslings or merlots. However, none of them can do without the knowledge of even the basic rules for their storage.
At the beginning, it is worth debunking the myths that wine is a product of "special care". Yes, it can be capricious like a child in front of a candy shop, but the rules for its preservation are by no means secret knowledge. However, ignorance of them can make you, that instead of divine ambrosia in the glass we will find vinegar that is hard to swallow. It will be painful not only for our taste buds, but also for wallets, if the purchase of wine was associated with a considerable expense. And just such drinks should be carefully stored. Let us not forget, that only a few of them have the ability to enrich and develop their aromatic and flavor palette over time. Most of the wines in our stores - in accordance with the intentions of their creators - should be drunk as soon as possible, a conventional theorem, as if it grew in value with age, is not entirely true. Just this wine, which seriously depleted the contents of our wallet, worth proper storage.
First - temperature.
Greatest friend, and at the same time the enemy of any noble wine is temperature. Contrary to popular belief, it does not need arctic conditions at all. Well, in its previous incarnation it was definitely not an Eskimo. The range between 8 ° C and 18 ° C seems to be safe for the preservation of the taste and aroma, and the ideal temperature is 12 ° C. When we manage to provide the wine with a stable temperature at this level, it can easily mature for several years. Interestingly, among many wine lovers it is fashionable to keep a bottle of fine vintage wine, in which their descendant was born, until the child reaches the age of majority. Such a wine - opened after eighteen years - tastes special. It can also be a great gift for our offspring entering the world of adults.
But what happens with the wine, when the temperature of the place, in which it is stored, will exceed, and a lot, 20°C. It should be mentioned here, that the lower temperature will harm the wine less from the two evil than the higher temperature, and red wines can withstand these fluctuations better than whites. Well, rising temperature speeds up the wine maturation process. A number of chemical reactions take place then, which - to say the least - impoverish its taste. It is not difficult to guess, what happens then with the wine, which has a low aging potential, that is, it is intended to be drunk as quickly as possible. Its taste becomes "faded", devoid of any flavor nuances, and the palate is attacked primarily by intrusive alcohol, unnaturally emphasized acidity or bitterness. None of these experiences are particularly pleasant.
Too high temperature is also a threat to the traditional closure of a wine bottle, that is, a cork, which may crumble or shrink in volume, which will result in the wine leakage or oxidation.
Temperature stability is particularly important. Her sudden hesitation, alternating attacks of heat and cold, they instantly deprive the wine of all its strengths. So it is better to locate our home cellar away from the radiators, fireplaces or boilers, even in these places it pleased our eyes the most.
All doubters, who downplay the influence of temperature on wine quality, I propose a little experiment. It is enough to place two bottles of the same wine in two different places - where it will have ideal conditions, and in place, where it will be exposed to changing or excessively high temperatures. Which will taste better? I already know the answer…
Second - humidity.
When we are sure, that our alcoholic drinks are kept at the right temperature, we still have to remember about humidity, because temperature and humidity at an appropriate level are the necessary conditions for storing wine. The absolute minimum is 50%, the ideal is 70-75%. What is happening, when the level 75% will be exceeded? The most tangible sign is the peeling off labels. This, however, does not endanger the wine itself. This is where the trouble starts, when the cork is attacked with mold due to unnaturally high humidity. Cork defects are one of the most common wine defects. Musty permeating to the drink, the almost cellar smell effectively deters from tasting.
In case the humidity drops below 50% trouble also starts, and in the greatest dire straits there is a cork again. This time - as you can guess - the cork is shrinking, and wine oxidizes in excessive contact with air. Effect? Flat, trivialized taste, and none of the tasting pleasure.
Third - a place for wine.
Finding the right place, in which our carefully collected bottles will wait patiently for opening, it's not easy. After all, it is not enough to put them in the first edge of the wardrobe. A refrigerator is also not a good solution, unless we are going to serve the wine immediately and it only needs to be gently chilled.
For example, wine lovers in the United States very often build outdoor wine cellars, while in Europe they are often placed in a previously designed room, below ground level. In practice, these are ideal conditions for storing noble drinks. For wine - although born from vineyards bathed in the sun - does not like light, preferring a discreet twilight. Also, beware of the vicinity of overly intense smells. So a garage full of car oils and gasoline canisters should be absolutely ruled out, because wine has the wonderful ability to soak up the surrounding aromas.
Producers of household appliances came to the aid of wine lovers, who offer a wide range of professional cabinets specially designed for the storage of wine. It may not be a cheap solution, but certainly effective. They not only guarantee the right temperature and humidity (are controlled fully automatically), effective filters against the penetration of odors from the outside, but also very effective. Thus, in front of our visiting guests, we can boast not only a rich collection of sophisticated drinks, but also an original interior design.