|To maximize your enjoyment of our fine wine making products, the following information on the ageing and storing of your finished wines may prove useful.||
Wine Making TIPS
Wine Finishing: During the 4-6 weeks your wine is "finishing", you may wish to take part in other wine tasks. If you are interested inquire at the time of your wine making session.
AGEING; As with all wines, some degree of ageing in the bottle for finished wines is beneficial, allowing the full complexity and intensity of aromas and flavors to come through. Red wines become richer, as the initial fruit flavors mellow and tile astringent tannins relax, contributing to the body and character. White wines showing high acid levels will soften over time, revealing wonderful textures and flavors. Components of wines differ by variety or blend, and thus react differently to ageing. some wines require longer ageing periods than others. For example:
|MORE AGEING||SOME AGEING||LITTLE AGEING|
|Red Wines:||Cabernet Sauvignon - Barroom Style||Marplot - Pinot Noir - Valorize||All blush wines|
|Whites Wines:||Chardonnay/Semillon - Blanc||Sauvignon Blanc - Johannisberg Riesling||Liebfraumilch Style - Piesporter|
Different factors exert influence on the rate of ageing and can contribute to a better ageing potential:
|A very big factor, addressed in more detail below.|
|Cork quality||The longer and less porous the cork, the better the oxygen barrier, extending ageing potential.|
|Ullage||The amount of head space in the bottle. Leaving 1 - 1 12 inches is best.|
|Higher concentrations protect from oxidation.|
|Ageing wines; Use the following as a general guideline:|
|Wine Selections||Best After||Best Before|
|Reds||3 - 6 months||3-5 years|
|Whites||1 - 3 months||2 years|
|STORAGE: Storage plays a big role in the ageing process and can make or break a finished wine. Generally, white wines - sweet wines and champagne above all - are more frail than reds. Grape variety can also make a difference - for example, Cabernet Sauvignon wines are generally more resilient than Pinot Noirs. However, always minimizing the risks involved in bottle storage - heat, light, lack of humidity and constant movement is the wisest plan.|
|Temperature: The ideal cellar temperature is 45 - 55 F (7 - 13 degrees C). Wines can be stored up to 68 F (20 C) but note that wine matures much more rapidly at higher temperatures. At lower temperatures, slower maturation allows more complexity to develop. Constant temperature is the key - chronic fluctuations should be avoided|
|Light: Sunlight and ultraviolet light are as bad for wine as excessive heat, but are problems usually much easier to overcome. Though most wines are protected by colored glass bottles, place wines in areas away from light or cover them with a blanket.|
|Humidity: Some degree of humidity is beneficial to ensure that the exposed end of tile cork does not dry out and allow in oxygen. Thus, beware air conditioners that suck moisture out of the air. Ideally, relative humidity should be between 60 - 75%.|
|Movement: Wine does not take well to constant movement and vibration (particularly) if there is sediment present), thus a secure storage space is necessary. Secure storage should also lean storing bottles horizontally, allowing constant contact of the wine with the cork and preventing it from drying out.|
| A simple check of all Environmental Influences in or near your storage area is advised. Areas such as garages or attics, which seem cool, may be subject to temperature fluctuations due to lack of insulation. A good option is to insulate a small room, large cupboard or area under the stairs, void of ally heat sources like a water pipe or a boiler. Following up with preventative maintenance is also useful, like keeping a resident thermometer on hand and checking it regularly.
Allowing for the ageing of your finished wine in an environment which helps to preserve its finer qualities will pay big dividends in ensuring that you will have the best wine possible to enjoy with friends and family. Cheers!
Let’s start with a toast:
“Wine improves with age – The older I get the more I like it.”
This is not intended to be "Wine 101" or anything remotely considered wine education. No one wants to read "War and Peace" on their computer monitor and a thorough dissertation on wine education would be as voluminous. Besides, wine is not made to enjoy reading about. Wine is made to enjoy drinking. In addition, my knowledge of wine is limited to the budget end of varietals I personally enjoy. Bordeaux, Rhone, Sangiovese, Chianti and Cabernet Sauvignon. Except for Bordeaux, I’m not even picky about the appellation.
What prompted the addition of this page to my website, is I recently suffered the terrible agony of dumping 14 bottles of absolutely wonderful old Bordeaux's and Rhone's down the kitchen sink. These wines had some age on them when I bought them, their cost exceeded my normal trivial wine budget, and I was saving them for some special event or some special friends to enjoy them with. After laying in my wine rack for 5 or 6 years suffering the wide temperature extremes of an Arizona household, they simply gave up their ghost and soured.
It still hurts. I need another toast: “Here's hoping that you live forever, and mine is the last voice you hear.” — Willard Scott
So I discovered one of the three “gotcha’s” of wine cellaring. Temperature. The other two - - - - -
See the rest of the story: "How to Care for your Wine"