With three new Kennards wine cellars opening soon in Miranda, Fyshwick and Hawthorn, we thought it was time to talk about why it’s so important to cellar wine correctly. The ageing of wine is an intricate process, requiring the harmonious balance of numerous interrelated factors. If this balance is neglected, an unfavourable combination of the components can adversely affect the quality of wine.
Wine cellars are like an eco-system, constantly in flux; it is susceptible to the environment that surrounds it. For those who appreciate the subtle nuance of drinking wine, storage is everything.
The Factors That Affect Wine Cellaring
To ensure wine ages well, and achieves its full potential, it needs certain storage conditions. The three factors that have the most direct impact on a wine’s condition are light, humidity and temperature.
Wine is a living breathing organism. It interacts with its environment, vulnerable to conditions over which it has no control. A bottle of wine undergoes hundreds of chemical reactions. Temperature is the principle determining factor of how and to what degree these chemical reactions take place. The correct Cellar temperature range is between 13-15 Degrees.
If the temperature is too high, it age’s wine rapidly and will produce undesirable chemical reactions like unpleasant taste and odour, premature browning.
If it is too low, it doesn’t destroy wine, but it will slow the maturation process. Since you are cellaring to mature the wine, this process interrupts the process.
“A constant temperature is the single most important prerequisites for cellaring wines long term”
Humidity is less of a factor with some of today’s wine, with many now under screw cap instead of cork closure. The Relative Humidity level of a wine cellar should be kept between 50 – 70%.
If the humidity is too high, it will result in the growth of mould, ruining wood cases, corks, labels, wine cartons and other paper surfaces. Although high humidity levels do not affect the wine directly, the mould it causes can ruin wine labels.
Low Humidity dries Corks out and cause excessive evaporation of wine. Excess amounts of oxygen-rich air replace precious drops of fine vintages during the evaporation process and destroy the wine through premature aging. Light and Movement are also enemies of wine. Ultraviolet light induces chemical reactions that can cause hydrogen sulphide compounds to develop in wine, effecting the wines aroma, flavour, structure and can also promote premature ageing. Whilst, excessive vibration can affect the ageing process and stirs up the contents of the bottle and hinders the settling of sediments.
Now you know why it’s important to cellar your wine in a stable environment. Consider where is your wine stored at home?? Under the kitchen sink, in the laundry, maybe the garage… Isn’t it time you let one of Kennards climate controlled wine cellars take care of your liquid gold?