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Fundamentals of Wine Storage

A serious wine enthusiast has invested, or is planning to invest, a significant amount of money on their collection. As the maturing process usually takes years, the proper storage of the collection is very important in order to ensure that the collection is safeguarded during the aging process.

Although the aging time varies from vintage to vintage, the optimum condition for the aging of both red and white wine requires a constant temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit and a constant humidity of approximately 55%. In addition, the cellar should be dark as UV light will cause the wine to age prematurely. This is the reason why wine bottles are always colored.  A sommelier at a fine French restaurant once commented “think of the bottles as if they were sleeping, and not wanting to be disturbed”. In addition, the bottles must be stored in such a manner so that the cork is always wet which prevents the cork from drying dry out and shrinking which would allow air to enter the bottle and spoil the wine.

Another consideration is how the wine racks are “finished”. The racks should never be coated with products such as a urethane or lacquer.  The concern is “flashing” which occurs when these finishes evaporate into the air and come into contact with the wine, through the cork, and effects the taste.