In order to offer the best conditions as possible for the good development of the wine, attention must be paid to its method of conservation. Wine preservation is an important process, an essential system that should not be neglected.
Today, the wine lovers’ team of My Winedays is here to give you the necessary 3 main basics for wine preservation.
Wine is all about patience!
Temperature is an absolutely essential factor in the development and conservation of wine. A wine must be kept at the right temperature between 10 and 14°C (between 50 and 57,2°F), and ideally at exactly 12°C (53,6°F).
An increase in temperature implies a faster evolution and maturation of the wine. However, wine needs to take its time.
But, more than the temperature itself, the important thing is its variation. Indeed, if a progressive increase in temperature does not have a real impact and even allows the wine to take a little character, on the other hand, a violent change in temperature, a thermal shock, would be fatal! It is a no possible return and would lead to the loss of the wine.
Maintaining a cellar at a constant temperature of 12°C remains the best solution and allows, above all, to keep the wines for a very long time. It also allows the wine to develop very slowly and gently, so it can give the best of itself.
You have to be patient!
Humidity is also a fundamental factor for the good ageing and preservation of a wine. This parameter should not be neglected.
A cellar that is too dry could be catastrophic and lead to the loss of a wine as well. It is also a process with no possible return. Indeed, if the humidity level is too low, the corks dry out and the wine evaporates. Therefore, this will lead to a decrease of the wine level and, above all, to oxidation and premature ageing. Add this to a too high temperature and it is the ultimate catastrophe!
In order to check if the humidity level is suitable for the good development of the wine, it is necessary to have a hydrometer. It is an indispensable instrument for any good wine professional. The ideal humidity level is around 70-75%. If the humidity level in the cellar falls below 50%, it is absolutely imperative to act and get back on track before the situation gets worse. One of the various solutions is to water the clay floor.
However, if the humidity level is too high, this is not a problem. The only risk is that you will end up with damaged wine labels.
But when it comes to choose, you might as well preserve the wine as it should be and do without the labels, right? 😉
Here is the 3rd great parameter absolutely essential to a healthy wine preservation: darkness.
Light is the mortal enemy of wine! ☠
Especially for white wines, a too long exposure of the wine to light causes an aromatic deviation, a wine fault or defect. In French this is called the “gout de lumière”, the “taste of light”.
It is exactly for this reason that the majority of glass bottles are tinted. Wines bottled in white glass are therefore the most sensitive to light. Indeed, a white glass allows UV rays to pass through, while the tint acts as a luminous “filter”. UV rays then causes oxidation of the wine.
It is also the reason why glass bottles are often wrapped in tissue paper. This trick allows the precious beverage to be kept away from the light.
Thus, a good cellar should be as dark as possible. Banish neon lights and prefer low intensity bulbs. In addition to protecting the wine for preservation, cellars exude a mystical and enigmatic atmosphere absolutely stunning.
You want to experience the unique atmosphere of a wine cellar? Why not join the My Winedays team on one of our daytrips to Champagne or to the Loire Valley and discover the secrets of wine preservation?
In order to gather the maximum of factors for the good conservation of wine, here is a quick talk about the resting and the position of the bottles.
Indeed, if wine is a story of patience, it is also a story of comfort.
Wine needs calm to evolve and blossom one day. Indeed, with vibrations, some undesirable matter of the wine finds themselves in suspension, which is the opposite of the purpose of resting.
Therefore, so that the cork does not dry out and remains always wet, it must be in constant contact with the wine. With this in mind, wines are kept lying down. The vertical position is only used during the transport of the bottles or in the case of a short conservation period.
There is no such thing as the supreme perfect cellar. But natural cellars bring together all these major and indispensable points that we have stated previously. They remain the best way above all: they allow the wine to age in the best conditions of preservation as possible.
And all this is for our greatest pleasure! As much for our eyes as for our taste buds.
Remember: it is all matter of time!
It was interesting when you talked about how being exposed to light can affect the aroma of the wine, which the French call “taste of light.” My husband and I have recently developed a love of red wine and want to start buying bottles we can store to enjoy at a later date. I know that temperature control would be important to look for at a wine storage facility, but I didn’t know about the effects of light before learning about them from your article!