With wine sales rising across the UK in the last year, with 2018 having a record-breaking harvest, more and more people are beginning to understand how important the condition of a wine bottle is to the taste it has. This fact has become increasingly evident to those who have invested into collecting a large selection of wines, with owners acknowledging the purchase or installation of a Wine Cellar as being a sound investment.
Wine is one of the few consumables that gets better as its ages, with this aging process being highly dependent on the external conditions surrounding a bottle. It only follows that by storing a wine bottle in a particular condition, the manner and rate in which it ages will be appropriately affected.
There are four factors which need to be considered addressed when aiming to keep your wine bottle collection in the ideal environment, cultivating the best flavours and finish:
- Temperature: Lowering the external temperature of a wine will cause it to mature more leisurely, conversely increasing the temperature will speed up this aging process. If a wine is exposed to a high temperature for a prolonged amount of time it is vulnerable to becoming “cooked” and can potentially develop underlying flavours akin to raisins or stew. In addition to this any sharp spikes or dips in temperature can result in permanent damage to the flavour and fragrance of your wine. Whilst there are no exact model temperatures for either red, rose or white wines, it is preferred practice to keep white and rose wines within a range of 7 – 13°C and red wines between 13 – 18°C. It should be noted that red wines being served at “room temperature” is frequently misunderstood, and actually referring to cellar temperature.
- Humidity: A moderate amount of humidity is expected and necessary in order to prevent bottles with cork tops from drying out. Any fluctuations can result in a cork expanding and contracting, allowing oxygen to come into contact with the internal wine, prematurely aging it via oxidation. Disproportionate moisture in the atmosphere also presents the risk of damaging wine labels; this being a major concern for anybody who may consider selling on their collection.
- Sunlight Exposure: Direct sunlight or incandescent light can cause adverse reactions within a wine producing a variety of issues, or ‘wine faults’. White wines are the most susceptible to this exposure, alongside wine bottles which are packaged in clear, or lightly coloured bottles.
- Vibrations: If a wine is exposed to excessive vibrations then the internal sediment within a bottle can be disturbed, alongside chemical reactions occurring which are not visible to the naked eye. These disruptive movements can lead to a decrease in tartaric and succinic acids, reducing esters, which in turn dull the flavour of a wine.
Together with these four factors, it is also vital to reflect on the security and appeal of your wine collection to have peace of mind. If your wine is not stored in a physically and financially secure area then in the event of an accident your investment is more likely to be affected significantly.
The Benefits of having a Wine Cellar:
A high-quality wine cellar comes with numerous benefits to its owner, offering an opportunity to expand upon the exploratory experiences of wine collecting. By installing a custom wine cellar, you can introduce an entirely new aspect to your home, as well as:
Provide Cost Efficiency for your Wine Collection: Introducing a wine cellar to your residence is a long-term investment, allowing every bottle of wine you purchase to remain in prime condition. A cellar also supports the option of purchasing large cases of wine at once, paying less per bottle due to the bulk purchase discounts, whilst still retaining the space to store them effectively. Many wine enthusiasts hesitate to purchase vintage bottles due to them having inadequate means to store and protect such valued items, however, this becomes a non-issue with the installation of a wine cellar. Securing vintage bottles which are younger, managing this investment, and allowing them to mature in a controlled environment is a legitimate option for any wine cellar owner.
An Attractive Investment for any Home: Built-in wine cellars undoubtedly add value and prestige to any property due to the impression of their associated owners and the utility they bring for the well-respected craft of wine collecting.
Expanded Options for Wine Collections: It is possible to test many different ways of aging your wine, year on year, as you will have control of the constant conditions which are present in your cellar. Being able to freely manipulate the external environment of a wine means you have the ability to control the way it ages, and experiment with the flavours produced under specific conditions against the original taste present when first purchased.
Entertainment and Social Value: There are few better ways to show your enthusiasm of wine to others, than by introducing them to your own high-class wine cellar. Entertaining friends and family will be taken to the next level when you have the option to take your guests into the cellar to view and sample different samples to go alongside a meal, or even as a backdrop to a relaxed evening. You could even go as far as holding your own ‘Wine Tasting’ events, inviting friends, family and even some enthusiasts you would like to converse with, all centred around this cellar.
Increasing your Knowledge in Wines: Obtaining different bottles and vintages, being able to order them and see where you would like to expand your knowledge is made much easier. By storing wines in your home, it becomes much easier to analyse, taste, research and plan how you want to build your own collection further. Being able to accurately gauge and note food pairings combined with ordering your own preferences for each variety of wine is something which will improve upon the experience of any budding wine connoisseur.
A high-quality wine cellar is the perfect addition to any wine-lovers home, uniting a sound, long-term investment with the elegant and refined nature inherent to a wine cellar.
The Wine Corner ensures that all bases are covered through their comprehensive 9 Point Cellar Health Checklist which evaluates the operating levels of their cellars to guarantee optimal performance. This checklist builds upon the original four points described earlier which focus upon a wine bottles wellbeing and expands to cover factors such as ‘ease of use’, ‘ecological and energy efficiency’ and ‘investment profitability’.
To discuss any queries you may have with regards to Wine Cellars and what type of build would be ideal for you, call our Team on 03333 702 589.