It’s finally summer! Great news for us wine lovers, fabulous news for the ripening grapes of the northern hemisphere but potentially concerning news for the bottles of wine lying around your home.
It takes surprisingly little heat for your wines to “cook” but heat is not the only danger to your wine collection this summer. Read on to learn about the benefits of keeping your bottles away from the four horsemen of the wine apocalypse this summer; heat, light, vibration and humidity.
Keep Wine Away From Heat
Both heat and light were friends to your wine back in its formative days on the vine, today, these two dastardly elements form two of the major foes that will prematurely age, or spoil your wine collection. Your wine can spoil at a constant 21°C, it will degrade faster and faster up to 30°C and at this point it can cook and leak out of the bottle.
It’s not only high temperatures that can spoil your wine but also cold temperatures or even fluctuating temperatures can cause your wine to age prematurely or spoil. Keep your wine at a constant temperature, ideally 12°C or 54°F.
Keep Wine Away from Light
The best friend of the vine now becomes wine’s biggest foe. Constant exposure to UV sunlight causes damage by exciting molecules in the wine that react with amino acids. This internal chemistry inside the bottle causes the production of sulfur compounds which will spoil the taste and aromas of your wine. The greater the sunlight and the longer your wine is exposed the more damage will be done. Store your wine in a dark place.
Don’t Subject Your Wine to Vibration
Keeping your wine next to the washing machine or tumble dryer? Live next to the railway? Like taking your wine collection on bike rides? OK, probably not the last one, but any movement of the bottles, especially with an older wine, can damage it. Stirring up a wine’s sediment may be great in the winery, but in the bottle at home can cause a decrease to the wine acids and lead a wine to ageing prematurely and dulling the flavors. Keep your wine still and resist the urge to move it.
Keep Wine Away from Humidity
Wine likes to be kept at a constant humidity somewhere in the 50-80% range. Outside of this some strange things can happen. If the humidity is less than 50% then the corks can dry out causing oxidation to the wine. Any more than 80% and the labels begin to degrade causing mold to the cork. Either side of the 50-80% range can lead to wine faults like oxidation or TCA. Keep your wine at a constant humidity.
How You Should Store Your Wine
Wine storage can be a problem year-round but summer is when we really see the need to move those bottles to a safe, dry, dark place. You can store your wines in a cellar or any place where: the humidity is kept in the 50-80% range; sunlight is at a minimum; there’s no vibration and the heat is kept at a constant temperature – ideally 12°c or 54°F. A wine cooler could also be a great option if space is a problem in the home or the above conditions can’t be met. Wine coolers (or wine fridges as they are otherwise known) can hold anywhere from 6 to 300+ bottles and will prevent your bottles from spoiling this summer. Check out CoolerSomm for a range of wine coolers for all budgets.