Wine storage tips

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Wine storage can be profitable in terms of getting to drink more enjoyable older wines or you can profit by reselling the wines. These wine storage tips will help prevent you wasting your time and money through wine spoilage.

Most wine is consumed soon after purchase by the end consumer, but there is a quite a mystique surrounding aging of wines. All but the novice wine lover will have some sort of an opinion about wine storage tips.

Wine is among the few products that can improve with age. Most wine enthusiasts have at least a few bottles that they are saving up for a special occasion, or until the wine reaches its peak.

You need to decide a few issues once you get beyond having a few bottles of yellow tail wine in the cupboard. First, what wines are worth keeping, where will you keep them and finally how long should you keep them.

It worth while doing some planning, wine storage is a long term activity, investing some time and effort early on will add to your enjoyment for years to come.

How to build your wine cellarChris Miles has written an extremely useful electronic book (ebook) covering all aspects for wine cellaring. You can download the book, and print it out if you like, but I'm sure you'll find plenty of advice. Avoiding just one costly mistake will more than repay you the modest purchase price.

More details about this book packed with wine storage tips.

It is probably best to explain what wines are worth keeping by defining those that are not. Generally cheap and light bodied wines are probably not worth keeping, so the generic mass produced supermarket wines are the first to be eliminated.

If a wine is bottled and released for sale within a couple of months of vintage you should take the hint from the winemaker and drink it now. As an aside, even the humblest wine can suffer from "bottle shock" and will benefit from being left in the bottle for a few weeks to recover. But note we are talking about weeks here, rather than years.

Another quick pointer is that if a wine is a clear bottle then it may not be a good candidate for aging...light can cause wine spoilage and winemakers take this into account when bottling wine fro extended aging.

Many winelovers don't consider aging white wines. This is a great pity because I consider the rewards of aging white wines are often comparatively greater than aging red wines. Riesling, Marsanne and Chenin blanc are varieites that make wines which are good for aging.

Rose wines are generally not worth aging, but there are exceptions.

Most quality red wines benefit from bottle aging. Many red wines are released onto the market with some bottle age already, but most will improve with a couple more years and some will improve for over a decade of further aging in suitable conditions.

Full bodied wines with higher levels of acid, alcohol and tannins are usually regarded as suitable for extended both aging. indicators that a wine

How wines age

The process of aging is not fully understood, but it involves a complex series of reactions between the chemical compounds called phenolics. These are the compounds mostly responsible for the colour, aroma, flavour and astringency of wine. Small amounts of oxygen are involved as well, but as we all know if wine is exposed to too much oxygen it will quickly spoil.

There are hundreds of different phenolics in wine and the amounts of each compound will determine how a particular wine develops. No two wines will follow the same path, so although a lot is known about the science of aging, giving wine storage tips is based largely on intuition and experience.

Environmental factors, especially temperature, effect how quickly or slowly the chemical interactions in wine take place. The slower these reactions are, the more successful the aging process will be.

My Wine Storage Tips

After years of uncontrolled experiments and some failures I have come up with a few pieces of advice.

1. Don't expect wines with faults to lose them with bottle age.

2. Store wine with cork closures on their sides. Check them every few months to see there are no leaks. If the cork is weeping you can replace it and top up with a tiny amount of a similar wine, or it may be better if you just drink it soon.

3. Choose a place to store your wine that is relatively cool, and has the lowest seasonal and daily temperature variation.

4. Light can cause deterioration of wine, even in dark coloured bottles.

5. Choose wines to age carefully. Read the label notes or consult the winemaker as to the ideal drinking time, but remember every wine is different and what happened to a previous vintage may not apply again. You can also get advice from a range of other sources, for example online wine discussion forums.

6. It is best to have at least a half a dozen bottles of each type, that way you can monitor the progress. If you are storing wine as an investment it is desirable to have dozen lots for sale.

7. Fancy wine racks don't make the wine any better.

8. I am not convinced that having a small wine fridge makes much sense. The costs of running the machine for several years to store such a small quantity seems entirely out of proportion with the marginal benefits you might get.

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