Whether for daily consumption or special occasions, wine lovers usually always have wine bottles stored. They can be small or big collections, but regardless of the size, the most important is doing it under the right condition. This will prevent those wines from damaging. If you plan to take your wine cellar seriously, here we explain what you should and shouldn’t do.
First, you must know that not every wine is for aging. In fact, only certain type age well. Having this under consideration, one recommendation is to organize your cellar dividing your wines in two groups. Those that are unique because of its price, high quality or that stand out for its vintage. Or those everyday wines, that you enjoy when you have friends at home or family lunch, like Casillero del Diablo Reserva Sauvigon Blanc 2018.
Now, if you don’t have any collection but you are still planning to make your own wine cellar at home, start buying more red than white wines: they age better thanks to its tannins. If you don’t want to divide your wines, you can also make a mix cellar. But don’t forget to remember which wine is for each occasion.
Where to place it?
This is a mistake that most people do but don’t worry, you are in time. If you have wines stored at your kitchen, get them out of there! While bottles can look pretty on a shelve, the oven makes this the hottest place in your home and as we’ve said before, heat is the worst enemy of wine: it makes them mature quicker. So, where to store them? Somewhere cool, dark, damp and free of invasive aromas. This could be a basement, but because most people don’t have one there are other places that work: underneath the stairs, a pantry, a service toilette, a towels cabinet, an unused fireplace or an empty room. As long as there’s no heating. Because of it, also forget about attics. It is important that these place are kept isolated, with no vibrations and lights (to avoid the faster aging and wine oxidation, respectively).
Its ideal that wines are kept at 10 degrees, but any temperature between 7 and 18 degrees works well. The higher the temperature, the quicker is the aging process. And the less the temperature, the slower is the process.
Another good option are the wine cooler fridges with controlled temperature, where you can store upto 300 bottles but they can be expensive enough.
Ideally the environment must be between 60% and 70% humidity. This is important so that the cork doesn’t dry out and is not attacked by fungus that could be transferred to the wine. To avoid this, the bottles must be positioned inclined. This helps the cork to always be in contact with the wine and not to shrink. But it also helps the wine sediments go to the bottom of the bottle.
If you choose a place in your home that is enclosed, take care about ventilating it from time to time. Remember that wines is an alive liquid, it can breathe through the cork and you don’t want unpleasant aromas to be transferred to it.
Time to uncork
When that long-awaited moment arrives, you have to do it right. If the bottle that you are going to uncork was stored and laid down for many years, it is best to leave it standing for 24 hours before drinking it. In this way, the sediments will go to the bottom. In addition, is better to decant the wine so that it releases all the aromas that developed over time. When they are young and inexpensive wines, the ideal time to drink them is no more than two years as the pleasure lies in their fresh, lively fruity taste. But if you invest a little more, you can access to wines that you can keep for much longer. Gravas del Maipo Syrah 2017, for example, has an aging potential between 15 and 20 years. While a bottle of Terrunyo Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 could be opened in 2027.
Do you dare to start this project? While you think about it, you can start choosing some of your favourite labels and why not, uncork a bottle of Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 to get some inspiration.