Five essential elements to care for your premier wine collection
As the proud owner of some award-winning Burgundy or Bordeaux, you need to understand the intricacies of keeping it in optimum condition. As technology progresses however, it’s getting easier to ensure the longevity of your wine collection. Here we explore some of the most popular tech as well as the trusted tips that are helping aficionados accurately age their premium wines.
1. Control the climate
With climate being the most important factor in maintaining the quality of a wine collection, storing bottles in a climate-controlled setting is a must for serious collectors. As a rule, the ideal temperature for storing your vintage wines is approximately 55°F (13°C), but this can vary from wine to wine.
The most significant element when it comes to temperature is stability. Modern systems connect to your smartphone and detect/correct fluctuations that can be potentially harmful to your collection.
Fluctuations can cause the cork to expand, allowing air to pass in—and wine to seep out. Air can also take the place of evaporating wine during temperature fluctuations, either resulting in ullage or an oxidized flavor in the remaining contents.
Humidity is just as important as temperature when it comes to keeping vintage wine at its best. The ideal humidity for wine to be stored in is around 60%, with 50-70% being considered safe. Humidity over 70% can cause mold and the breakdown of glue on the bottle whereas under 50% can lead to cracked corks.
2. Store bottles horizontally
Ensure you keep cork-top wine bottles horizontal, in a fixture such as a wine rack. This keeps the cork moist, which helps mitigate early aging and seepage.
While the traditional wine rack usually keeps your bottles cork-facing, some wine fridges and storage options are designed with bottles positioned side on. This enables them to be displayed in their entirety, so collections can be proudly flaunted with ease.
3. Protect wine from sunlight & vibration
It’s not just fluctuating temperatures and humidity that wine aficionados need to be cognizant of. It’s also essential to protect your wares from sunlight and vibration: if possible, choose a room without windows, and avoid keeping appliances like washing machines nearby.
As the long-established wine storage solution, underground wine rooms or cellars mitigate sunlight exposure and serve as a bespoke sanctuary for managing and appreciating your collection.
4. Keep your collection secure
If you are concerned about your collection being tampered with by younger household residents, there are numerous inventory management and security systems that help you track your supply and provide protection from underage drinking, power outages, and more.
5. Blend modern technology with classic design
While the tech is improving to make caring for high-end wines easier, house developers have been mindful to ensure dedicated wine rooms are in keeping with the overall design of the property—and in some cases are designing rooms with vintage flair to complement the vintage wares.
Some of the most sought after and effective wine cellars keep it simple: incorporating classic insulating materials like brick with an ergonomic design and modern tech features that coalesce to create the ideal setting for successfully aging a vintage wine collection.