Dos & Don'ts Of Wine Making
Even if the bottle is clear, you’ll want to keep your wine in darker areas. While dark bottles are better than clear or green wine bottles at protecting the liquid from light, try to store any and all of your fine wine in a dark place. Why? Ultraviolet light affects your wine. This means you’ll want your wine kept away from fluorescent lights and sunlight.
Now that you have your wines in a dark place let’s talk about the proper humidity. Proper humidity for wine will vary depending on the amount of time you expect it to be in storage. For longer storage, humidity should be around sixty percent. This will keep the corks fresh and expanded. When wine is kept in conditions that are too dry, the cork will shrink and cause leakage. If the humidity is too moist, however, mold and contamination can occur. Let’s avoid all of these problems, shall we? Store your wine in an area that maintains moderate humidity levels of fifty-five percent to seventy-five percent. This allows for optimum wine development conditions.
Both humidity and heat are important to the welfare of your fine wine. Yes, the average room temperature is too warm to both serve and store your wine. Wine is very susceptible to changes in temperature. Temperatures that are too high and your wine could become spoiled or “cooked” if kept in the heat too long. When temperatures are too cold, the wine can freeze and expand. This will cause the cork to be pushed out, causing oxygen to be to be exposed to the wine. Most experts recommend that wine be kept at constant temperatures between10-15 C. A mild, constant temperature is best.
Two words: cork moisture. Storing your fine wine on its side will keep the cork in contact with the liquid. This will keep the cork moist. A dry cork can create an imperfect seal with the neck and opening of the bottle. This means there is potential to let air in, which can cause oxidization and premature aging. For make your own wine please keep it up right for 2-3 days to allow the cork to fully expand and relax into the neck of the bottle.
Although it may be good for the wine, it’s not practical to store your wine in that upstairs closet, away from harmful elements. It’s important to know what’s in your collection and where to find it. Although documenting your collection is helpful, it’s hard to beat a clear visual display of all of your bottles. Whether open or closed, wine is meant to be a conversation starter and a way to bring people together. It’s important to keep it somewhere convenient and easily accessible.
Convenience is important, sure. But, with your fine wine, you’ll also want to think about more than just that. While on top of your fridge may seem like the most logical home for your full wine bottles, it is one of the worst places you can keep wine in your home for three reasons. Reason 1: Your fridge gives off tons of vibrations. Think of those that come with the compressor cycle’s on, when it cycles off, when the icemaker dispenses ice, when the water dispenser does its thing, etc. The point is, vibrations alter the processes happening in your wine. This will affect both the taste and the aging process. Reason 2: Your fridge gives off heat. The compressor and other internal components are working hard to keep the interior of the refrigerator cool. This process gives off a significant amount of heat. Reason 3: The top of your fridge is most likely close to your light fixtures. This may not be the case for everyone and their fridge location in their home. However, if it’s true for you, this don’t is a big one since light bulbs give off a lot of heat. This can prematurely age your wine.
Locking a wine cooler will fix the problem of unwanted guests in your wine collection.
A kitchen fridge is too cold for your fine wine. The fridge can dry out the cork, which will allow air into the bottle. Since a kitchen refrigerator is constantly being opened and closed, it makes it that much harder to maintain a constant temperature for any of your wine in the fridge. Additionally, when a bottle is put in a kitchen fridge, it’s usually stored standing up, which is also an issue.
Many people think the way to remedy the temperature conundrum is to keep their wine in the refrigerator, but unless you are using a wine refrigerator, this can be equally harmful. Your average kitchen refrigerator is not only too cold for your wine, stunting its development, but it also dries out the wine’s cork.
or the same reason it’s recommended to store wine on its side is why it is not recommended to store it upright. When your bottle is upright, the wine is not hitting the cork. The cork will then begin to dry out, resulting in a musty, malodorous wine. With that said, it is okay to store your wine upright for a short amount of time, which is why many some convenient or liquor stores can get away with it; they are banking on a timely sale of the bottles. I wouldn’t recommend keeping bottles upright for more than a few weeks.
One way to ease the selection and viewing of your collection is with lighting. The type of lighting used is very important. Your average household lighting gives off heat, which as we now know, is not good. Sunlight and UV Rays are even worse for your wine. Keep your wine away from windows or other sources of natural light. Your best light for the cellar is LED. LED lighting creates a soft glow without giving off any heat.