When it comes to alcoholic beverages, the wine remains among the top of the totem pole in terms of elegance.
Wine has been an amazing drink for centuries. It can contain diverse flavors, it comes from an astounding range of locales, and the quality of the drink is unparalleled for its versatility.
With all of these factors in mind, it can be hard to imagine how the potential of wine is dimmed, but it can be impacted on various fronts. For as decadent as wine is, there are equal amounts of care that go into preserving its quality for purveyors.
Wine is a sophisticated drink so it is no surprise that it is delicate to maintain, but here are 4 stunning facts that prove how preserving even the most high-quality wines makes it a cut above the rest.
Keeping It Cool is Important (But Not The Only Thing)
Wine needs to be stored at a proper temperature to maintain its quality and consistency. Keeping it in a cool, but not cold, space is important for wine to retain its delicious flavor profile and complexity. As explained on this website, even though it needs to be kept cool, a good cellar cooling system should not drop too low on the temperature scale, which is bad for the consistency of the wine.
A cool cellar is great for wine and pushing this limit below 45 Degrees Fahrenheit can dry out corks and result in air getting into the bottle and impacting the moisture of the liquid itself. This change in temperature impacts the wine because it is so sensitive due to acidity, obviously because of its origins from grapes. Cool storage spaces and cellars help keep wine within a very reasonable temperature range that helps maintain the quality of the bottle and the wine itself.
Consistency is Key
As indicated prior, the temperature of the wine you store is key, but so is being consistent with these temperature properties. Keeping it cool, but not cold is important, but unregulated changes to this temperature can disproportionately harm the quality of the wine. Moving bottles from dry to a moisture-ridden, vice versa, or even cold to colder storage spaces will impact the quality of the wine.
The cork can cause seepage if the temperature changes often as a result of it becoming looser, which again, allows air in. These changes are bad for the wine, but minor dips or rises in temperate are not factors of consistent temperate that should be of concern. Going from overtly regulated temperature to unchecked temperatures can negatively impact wine quality.
Avoid the Light
Walking into the light does not apply to preserving wines. While light is a beautiful phenomenon that adds light to many things, it can negatively affect wines. Light is a form of energy, and this energy form heats the glass, which changes the preservation of wine bottles. In more scientific terms, the UV light will degrade the wine inside the bottle because liquids are susceptible to the impact of light in terms of aging the chemical process inside.
Water will not be affected, but pH sensitive liquids like wine will be damaged. Premature aging of wine is not a good thing, contrary to the fact that matured wine develops a better taste so keeping wine out of direct sunlight and within the reach of more soft or sensitive fluorescent or light incandescent bulbs is a good way to preserve wine.
Movement is Not That Serious
There is a belief that vibrations and movement can impact a good bottle of wine, which is both true and not true simultaneous. It may sound like an oxymoron, but how much movement a wine deals with can be bad and good depending on the amount. This means it falls on a spectrum, much like most wine quality preservation efforts.
Shaking a bottle of wine vigorously will disrupt the natural process of sediment from forming in wine, but vibrations from natural causes will be negligible. Even an unexpected earthquake will leave minor problems for a wine collection, the important part is consistency (as mentioned above) as the wine needs to remain in a very controlled environment. Keeping wine from being disturbed is important, but it will completely denigrate the quality.
Humidity Impacts the Cork
As mentioned in the sections on temperature regulation, another factor in the conditions of the air inside the storage area/cellar is the humidity level. Humidity impacts the cork of the wine bottle prominently if it is not within a reasonable range. It is advised that the humidity level is around 60 to 80%, this keeps the air from drying out and causing the cork to crack. Now, this does not happen immediately and takes time, but it is important to stop it from becoming a problem early. Higher humidity levels will not destroy the cork because it will create more moisture, but this raises the problem of mold and mildew build-up. Keeping the humidity levels within that sustainable range keeps a wine collection protected.
Ventilation is Required
As with any kind of cellar or storage area, dust and particles will build up. These rooms are often in basement levels or lower so they need better ventilation to keep the air clean. Beyond the need to keep dust and bacteria out of the room and the wine, you need to protect the wine from odors.
Odors can slip in through the cork and change the profile of the wine. Much like a dried-out cork, it takes a long time, but it is still important to stop it before it becomes a problem. Solvents and aromatic foods are things to keep away from your wine because they produce incredibly strong scents. These odors will damage the natural aroma of the wine and alter the flavor in unfavorable ways.
Wine is widely recognized as a drink of regal elegance. This alcoholic beverage is enjoyed and fermented from culture to culture and there are evident qualities that make it so valuable. Figuring out how to preserve wine is a major part of wine culture, which makes it so important to know what goes into this preservation. These 4 facts should shed light on how important wine preservation is to wine enjoyment from connoisseur to casual drinkers.