Oct 29 2010
Enjoying a fine bottle of wine with family and friends has to be one of life’s great pleasures. If it happens to be a bottle you picked-up years ago and matured wonderfully in your very own wine cellar – even better.
Red wine will develop and improve in the bottle for the short, medium, or long term depending on the style of the wine and the quality of the particular vintage. Although some white wines will also benefit from (usually short-term) cellaring, most are best enjoyed when relatively young.
Wine is best stored somewhere cool, dark, airy, and free from major vibrations and dampness.
A few of the critical factors in aging wine successfully are:
Temperature is the single most crucial factor of wine cellaring; especially when aging wines for 5, 10, 15 years or more. Constant temperature is of the utmost importance. Temperature changes (especially rapid change in temperature) cause corks to expand and contract, allowing air to enter the bottle. There is no surer way to create oxidization of the wine and thus render the wine undrinkable. Suitable temperatures for storing wine are between 11ºC to 17ºC but several degrees either side of this are safe. For wine cellars of up to 1000 cubic feet the WhisperKOOL 4200 is an excellent option if you are looking for a self contained cooling unit.
Humidity levels are probably the next most important factor to be aware of. The ideal humidity level for wine is between 62.5% and 72.5%. Most air conditioned wine cellars suffer from lack of humidity which leads to corks drying out, shrinking and eventual wine leakage and oxidization. The WhisperKOOL XLT 4200 is specially designed to cool cellars slowly, thereby running almost 80% of the time and ensuring that optimum humidity levels are maintained.
Cellars that are flooded out (especially underground cellars) are an all too common occurrence causing substantial damage to the wines. A good wine cellar will be designed to protect against flooding. Cellars that are well above ground level are safest as water will simply drain away immediately.
So, just make sure to remember these points and you will be well on your way to growing a wine collection to be proud of. For wine cellars of up to 1000 cubic feet the WhisperKOOL 4200 is an excellent cooling option as it monitors both the temperature and humidity in one easy-to-install unit.