Cellaring & Storage
Cellaring wine isn't a pursuit of creepy rich uncles with subterranean lairs or cashed up yuppies with their fancy wine fridges. In fact it's an enjoyable, rewarding hobby for everyone. Cue the thunderous applause! Part of what makes cellaring so great is the exciting moment when you finally decide to open that special wine. It's a celebration, a reward for patience and sometimes a drunken mistake, but opening your carefully cellared goods is definitely a treat. The evolution of wines are part of what make them so interesting and cellaring is a noble pursuit. However convenience also plays a part, as does correct storage so that your wines wont spoil.
Here are our tips for cellaring and storage:
- Dark place! Keep wine out of sunlight, treat your bottles like vampires.
- Keep humidity even – this is more important than temperature variation, and essential if the wines are sealed with cork.
- Coolish place! Somewhere between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius is ideal.
- Keep your wines away from strong aromas, and keep them well ventilated.
- Keep away from rodents, strange insects and stranger boozed up relatives with wandering, greedy hands who know where you keep your stash.
- Keep away from appliances that generate heat – near the hot water tank in the laundry is a classic rookie error. Use under the staircase, in a cupboard and keep wine in original boxes where possible.
Some additional solutions:
- Buy a wine fridge – these are the ultimate storage cabinet and very convenient in smaller homes
- Consider professional cellaring services at storage facilities
- Keep a log book or spread sheet to keep track of your wine
NOTE: Not all wines age well and not all wines are actually suitable for aging. It's best to consult someone with some wine expertise to help with making these decisions for your cellaring needs, if you feel a little unsure. That special bottle of Viognier you picked up from your wine region visit may only have 6 months in it, not 6 years, and though looks pretty when it gets all dark coloured, won't taste great at all. While sticking away wines for periods of time is great, crossing your fingers and hoping they will taste great with additional time in bottle isn't the way to go. The same goes for wines that do cellar well but you can bear to open – they may just be ready for salad dressing if they sit for too long. The best policy is to seek out wines with ‘structure’ – this is a balance of fruit, oak, tannin, acidity that feels harmonious and complex when you taste it. Wines that are tight and restrained when young can benefit with time served in dark places and when mature show totally different form. The key to ageing wine is liking it when it is young.