With our newly expanded wine cellar just opening we thought we would revisit the most important factors to consider when storing your wine.
Here are our Top 5 Wine Storage Tips to consider when cellaring your fine wine collection.
1. The Right Temperature
Keeping your wines cool is critical, especially in our warm Australian climate. Temperatures higher than 21°C start to cook wines, with ester compounds burning off and leaving flat aromas and flavours. We keep our cellar at 13°C which is the optimum temperature to allow a wine to mature slowly. Too cool and wines age slower, this coupled with screw caps can put your wines into a state of hibernation, great for keeping things fresh but not when looking for those secondary and tertiary notes of a well-aged wine.
2. Steady as she goes
Keeping that perfect 13°C steady is as important as the actual temperature. Fluctuations in temperature can cause significant damage to wines. Not only on the chemical side with polymisation increasing and decreasing at vary times and causing volatile compounds forming, but also with changes in volume potentially pushing out corks or testing the seal of the screwcap.
3. Humidity is a friend
Whilst many of Australia’s finest wines are now under screwcap, or glass seal (Henschke) the majority of fine European and US wines continue to use cork. Keeping that cork seal in the best condition comes down to keeping the cork supple. Our cellars relative humidity is a steady 70%, enough to prevent corks drying out but never wet to encourage mould or stale odours. It’s also worth noting that screw caps do let in the ingress of air, all be it generally slower than cork. Too dry an atmosphere creates a pressure gradient between what’s inside the bottle and the outside, encouraging faster oxygen ingress and a greater chance for wines to spoil.
4. Who turned off all the lights
Ever wondered why wine bottles use coloured glass? They block the UV rays of sunlight which degrade wine, in particular the colour pigments which are crucial in the chemical polymerisation of acid, tannin to produce secondary flavour aromas. Keeping your wines in the dark for long periods is essential. All our wine vaults are naturally dark once the door closed, so you know there is no UV light affecting your wines.
Another environmental condition that speeds up undesirable aging processes is vibration. Continued agitation at the molecular level is thought to speed up certain reactions that can produce nasty aromas. It can also stop the formation of crystals which is a bye product of the complex polymisation of colour pigments, tannins and acids through which desirable flavour compounds are created.
If you’re looking for the best in Sydney wine storage give us a call on 02 9361 3380 as our new wine cellar is now open and taking bookings.
UPDATE: We are currently full, however do have move outs (and move ins) every month. Contact us to put your name down on our waiting list