In this edition of Wine Lifestyles,
we focus on how to store your wines.
How to build a Wine Cellar
A 20,000 case winery or a private collector, the process for storing wine is the same.
The word “cellar” is over used. It can be a closet in your apartment, a space under the stairs, or with a little imagination it can become a social gathering spot to enhance your wine lifestyle.
The temperature should ideally be around 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, most homes and apartments are closer to 70 degrees. Wine will age slower if you keep the temperatures down. The exact temperature is less important than the consistency of temperature. Major changes in temperature will cause wine shock and damage the wine. One way to manage the effects of fluctuation is to pack wines tightly together. The increased mass of tightly packed wines means that they will warm up and cool down more slowly.
The humidity of your wine cellar should be sufficient to keep corks from drying out. The ideal humidity for a wine cellar is about 75 percent. Humidifiers can increase the humidity of an otherwise dry storage space.
Light is another enemy of wine. Your wine cellar should be kept dark unless you are intertaining or choosing a bottle. The light source should not be florescent. Ultraviolet light is deadly for wine.
Vibration and Ventilation
Good ventilation and freedom from vibration are important. The wine bottles should lie horizontally, on their sides, not upside down. Have the necks of the bottles facing you with the labels facing upward so it’s easy to see at a glance what the wines are.