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Wine storage solutions


#12

If thinking about long term storage you might want to consider light strike issues with a glass door.

I’ve actually ordered now but ended up with a slightly bigger one. They were out of stock on the cvp270 and so gave me a good deal on the cla310.


#13

I’m sure they are designed to severely restrict UV and blue light, but I must say I tend to agree, and would prefer something that blocks all light.


#14

Light strike is something to consider I’m sure but they’re designed to remove UV and it’ll be out of direct sunlight. By long term I’m thinking nearer 5 years than 10+ so I’m sure it’ll be fine


#15

So it’s arrived and all went to plan in that two days later, giving it time to settle, my '16 Rhone EP arrived to be loaded straight into it along with the contents of my older, too small cabinet, and most of the wine from the hall. Now only keeping wine in the hall that’s planned to be drunk within the next few months.

Major job loading (and documenting) it. But all done now. :smiley:


Only just enough room to open the door so hard to get a good piccie!


#16

Been buying and storing fine wines from the society since 82 , stored them in an unused bedroom with heavy curtains on the windows. Use a maximum thermometer to minimise temperature changes. No heating used at all apart from opening the interior door in colder spells. Successfully aged claret, Rhone & port for as long as 30 years . Aged a few in the Society cellars as a comparison but no major issues. It’s worked for us. Kept them in boxes as opposed to racks. All based upon minimising the range of temperature changes.


#17

Can I ask what your temperature variation has been in the room? Interested to hear any temp variations for successful, non fridge storage over the long term.

I have a cellar - over the past year of tracking it has gone from 11C min to 17C max. I’m slightly worried that the variation is too large, especially the max reached last summer (would prefer it closer to 15C) but not going to get too worried about it…I think!


#18

Prior to buying that cabinet (and another smaller one I picked up a year ago) I kept all my wine in my hallway. I don’t heat the hallway and being an old house with one metre thick stone walls it tends to stay pretty stable temperature wise, if a little on the warm side. Most of the time it only varied between about 13 and 15 however occasionally it makes it up to 18. This has been pretty successful but I mostly didn’t keep wine for more than three or four years. Now I’m starting to buy EP and, with the prospect of keeping those for 10-20 years, that occasional 18 degrees worried me,

I’m still keeping most of my short term bottles in the hall and mainly keeping the cabinet for longer term stuff. My feeling is that it’s just not worth the risk of cooking the wine after investing that much money and time on it.


#19

I was quite surprised at the temperature variation of a ‘proper’ cellar (underground on the north side of an eighteenth century house), it would get up to around 18 degrees in summer. I think the important thing is that the temperature varies slowly.


#20

I think too much is made of the bad effect of temperature variation.

You need a huge variation large enough to cause enough pressure change to shift a sound cork, and I see no other reason to expect variations to be worse than constant temperature. Edit: I am not so sure of this anymore!

Also I have heard of no solid evidence for temoerature variations being bad - just assertions passed from wine writer to writer. But please do shout out if you know of any evidence


#21

My understanding is that wine matures slower at low temperatures, which is said to be a good thing. Thus variation to a warmer temperature would mean wine matures faster, thus its a bad thing.

Are you saying that variation by itself is not bad or that warmer temperatures aren’t detrimental?

We take so much about wine from books and experts that it is good to test the ‘common knowledge’.

(I recall Nick Alabaster doing a 5 year trial of corks comparing a case of the same wines with half standing upright, half on their sides. Conclusion, no problem standing upright for 5 years)


#22

I’m saying that variation itself is not bad (or, to be more precise, that I have seen no evidence for it).

At a certain level, of course high temperatures are detrimental. And wine must age differently, and at different speeds. at different temperatures. But as far as I can tell, the evidence base is poor for the ideal temperature, and the temperature at which wine becomes seriously damaged.

In practice though, I am risk-averse, and keep my wines in a fridge set to 12C :slight_smile:


#23

This! :smiley:


#24

certain chemical reactions happen quicker at elevated temperatures…hence why we have fridges (for food)!

but my understanding is that a doubling of these occurs every 10 deg, so you would have to constantly store at 22deg to see any difference…perhaps this is the modern kitchen vs a cellar analogy ?

Ive never found anything concrete on fluctuation and even asked top chemistry bods I worked with if they could think of anything…they couldn’t !


#25

My understanding is that temperature fluctuation is less about the direct effect on the wine itself, and more that the change in pressure inside the bottle can effect the seal created by the cork (and in extreme cases force the cork to start coming out of the bottle) - more on that in this piece from Janics:

https://www.jancisrobinson.com/learn/drinking-wine/how-to-store-wine


#26

certainly the effect of increased temp on the pressure in the bottle is of concern - just think how much more force there is on a cork in a bottle of fizz when its been out of the fridge for a while

don’t worry about the wine expansion - the co-efficient of expansion of water (close to wine) means a 75cl bottle would expand enough to take the ullage in the bottle.


#27

Yes, that is the rule of thumb I learned in chemistry, but it does vary a significant amount between reactions. So with all the various reactions in wine, aging will not just speed up with temperature - you will also get a different endpoint. And a different one again with temperature variations. Which endpoint is best is another question.

Also there may be biological processes involved if the bottling was not sterile. I have seen claims, for example, that brett flourishes at a particular temperature (in the 20s I think).


#28

I suppose the big aspect of the reactions is based around the phenols and flavour profiles that will be created. Also risk of higher temperatures meaning you lose the light ends (sorry - refinery term) which would exacerbate some issues

I did wonder about Brett and also cork taint - no experience on temps for either being a problem


#29

It is the air in the ullage that is key in considering how temperature changes may move the cork. The pressure of that would increase due to a) the reduced volume due to the expanding wine and b) the increased temperature of the air, and it is that pressure change that would push/pull the cork. (The glass of the bottle expands a lot less than the wine and air, so has a neglible effect)

I once did a back-of-the-fag-packet calculation, and reckoned that the change in pressure was equivalent to a force on the cork corresponding to the weight of a smallish apple. So unless the cork has deteriorated it is unlikely move the cork in and out, but it could be important for very old wines with corks that have lost their elasticity and slide very easily. Here is my calculation - http://www.winenous.co.uk/wp/archives/8173 - feel free to challenge my assumptions, but I don’t think any error in them (I actually failed to account for the expansion in the wine) would change the overall conclusion.

Edit: On checking, the failure to account for the expansion in the wine was a major omission that could well change the conclusion. I shall return to my blog post and either delete it or fix the calculations


#30

Here is a bit more on reaction rates at different temperatures:


#31

Interesting article! I’d say the main point coming out of it is that wine stored at higher temperatures may be affected by reactions taking place that wouldn’t otherwise take place or only very very slowly at lower temperatures. As well as the normal aging running faster. The former could well affect the quality, the latter only if you stick with the drinking window which assumes 13 degree storage.