Wine Storage Solutions At Your Fingertips
Are you an oenophile? If you even know what the word means, the chances are that you are indeed a lover of wine. Wine is an almost mystical beverage that came into being simply because yeast is almost everywhere, and when it landed in grape juice or almost any other sweet liquid, it would cause fermentation.
Ancient people found that yeast did not ruin grape juice but changed it into a completely different drink with a kick, because the fermentation changed the sugar into alcohol. Ancient people did not see this a a bad thing so they began to make juices, mostly grape juice, into wines.
At that time, wine storage solutions weren't much of an issue. The choices were just crocks and ewers and with little way to control temperature or humidity, it was never certain that anything kept for long would be anything but vinegar when opened. Eventually, caves and cellars were found to be good conditions for wine to reach its peak and the first wine cellars came to be.
Just as they learned that wine needs different conditions to develop and quite another set for aging and storage, modern wine lovers have learned that wine storage solutions need to meet different situations. For modest wines in a home that is kept at a reasonably moderate temperature and humidity, open wine racks provide adequate wine storage for many tastes.
Wine storage coolers can be purchased to control the exact conditions your wine will be stored in. Coolers can be found in a multitude of sizes, ranging from a single bottle cooler, best for individual use, to refrigerated walk-in coolers for extensive collections. An individual's choice of wine storage solutions will depend on both the size of the collection to be stored and the individual's budget.
Wine is fussy if it is to stay at its peak, or to reach it by careful aging. The temperature range is pretty narrow, needing to be no lower than 40 degrees and no higher than 65 degrees Fahrenheit with as little variation as possible, and no more than about five degrees. The less frequent temperature variations occur, the better. Less than one time each year is recommended and the humidity should also be kept at more than fifty per cent. The cooler should be light tight or out of direct sun, which can also harm wines.
For wine storage solutions to be effective, the wine bottles must also be stored at the correct angle. Storing the bottles at a completely horizontal angle is best, but anything up to a maximum of 45 degrees is acceptable. Storing them at a less than 25 degree angle is preferable. Racks are the best option in a wine cooler, although some simply are units to stack loose bottles. If possible, allow space for for unusual shapes and sizes of wine bottles, and don't forget to make the display attractive, especially if the unit will be seen by others.
Back in the ancient world someone discovered that if he put yeast into grape juice he turned it into an entirely new drink. At that time, wine storage solutions weren't much of an issue. Today's wine enthusiasts have discovered that their own home wine storage systems must meet certain conditions to keep wine stored without spoilage. For most modest wines, open wine racks in a home of moderate temperature and minimal humidity are sufficient. Others prefer to use wine storage coolers to protect wine and keep it at its best possible quality.
Published November 29th, 2007
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