Wine often changes over time. Itís very important to produce desirable changes to avoid harmful ones. You can do this by exercising control over many physical changes in the wine itself. Nothing spoils wine faster than excess air. This excess air not only causes the wine to lose freshness but it also causes the wine to oxidize. The result often create premature aging and before long, you have vinegar instead of wine. Fortunately, glass does not allow air into the wine stored and a good corking will keep the air exchange to a minimum for years to come.
To ensure that proper aging occurs in the wine, wine has some air in the bottle to start with. It is very important to make sure that the cork remains moist so that no additional air is allowed to enter the bottle. It is advised that you store your wine horizontally to keep the cork from cracking or shrinking, thus letting in the unwanted air your wine does not need.
Proper temperature storage is vital to ensure that the wine stays drinkable before you open it. If a wine is stored in conditions that are too cold, it causes the cork to shrink allowing air to enter the bottle. If the conditions are too warm, the wine will age faster than it normally should.
The optimum temperature for storing wine is generally fifty to fifty five ∞F (10-12∞C). Any constant temperature within forty-sixty-five ∞F (5-18∞C) is normally acceptable. The rate of the temperature change also plays an important role. A ten degree change over a season is usually harmless, but rapid changes can severely damage wine, even when stored within the desired temperature.
Along with controlling temperature and humidity, light exposure should be kept to a bare minimum. Often darkness is preferred by wine growers. Though modern bottles come with a good UV filter, light can still penetrate leading to a condition called ‘light struck’. This shows up as an unpleasant air in the wine itself. Incandescent bulbs produce less ultraviolet light than fluorescents so make sure you use the correct lighting in the process.
Vibrations also interferes with aging and stirs up unwanted sediment. Try to avoid moving any bottles until they are ready to be served. Bottle size also plays a part in storing your wine. A larger bottle actually has a smaller ratio of air to wine so as a rule, always use a large bottle. Once the bottle has been opened and you don’t expect to drink the rest in a few days, it’s important that you transfer the leftover to a small bottle. Generally, if you’re a casual drinker and drink your wine within one year after purchase, you can store wine just about anywhere that is not exposed to light or heat. That usually ensures that wine stays wine and your wine is protected and safe.