Knowing the secrets of how to store wine means being able to preserve its organoleptic characteristics intact over time and to obtain a proper evolution in order to increase its complexity. Conservation is not an obvious and banal phase in the production and life cycle of a bottle of wine. It plays an important role as much as the harvesting or the aging. The environment where bottles of wine are kept must NOT compromise their keeping. There are some practical solutions it is good to adopt in order to ensure a proper keeping. Making the decision of keeping a bottle of wine, means the high importance it has for its owner. Bottles of Amarone della Valpolicella, or Recioto della Valpolicella, deserve to be kept in an optimal environment, in order not to compromise in any way their quality and deepest essence.
How to store red and white wines
In order to create an optimal storage environment for wine bottles (white wine and red wine) there are six factors that must always be taken into consideration:
- inclination of the bottle
They are all important in the same way, because wine is a precious object that needs cares and attentions, provided it is to be consumed at its best potentialities.
The relative humidity of the storage environment is one of the determining factors for long and correct preservation. The optimum percentage should be between 65% and 75%. A relative humidity level higher than 85% would ruin the labels and would lead to the slow but progressive formation of mold and moss which would ruin the cork and damage the content of bottles. On the contrary, a lower humidity could accelerate the phenomenon of oxygen exchange with the external environment, which would push the wine to try to escape from the bottles.
In order for the temperature in a storage room to be perfect, it must be constant and medium-low (12-15 C°). The ideal temperature ranges between 12 and 15 degrees, however the range can also be extended to 11-18 degrees (low for particular white and rose wines, high for some red wines).
A too high temperature can lead to phenomena of
- evaporation of alcohol
- oxidization of acids present in wine
A too low temperature can instead cause the precipitation of wine’s components, increasing sediments on the bottom of the wine and therefore stopping its evolution.
Moreover, the temperature must be constant in order to avoid damaging temperature changes. Temperature changes can, in fact, expand or reduce the volume of wine in bottles.
Wine bottles must be stored horizontally. The perfect inclination is 5°. This slight inclination allows sediments to deposit at the bottom of the bottle. Moreover, it keeps the cork moist thus preventing oxygen from entering the bottle and deteriorating its content. Before consuming a bottle of wine stored horizontally, it is good to put it back vertically some hours before consumption. In this way the sediments will move on the phono of the bottle. The alternative is to decant the wine by using a decanter, which separates solid sediments from the liquid part of the
Wine is photosensitive. Some wavelengths of light radiations can alter the organoleptic balance of wine. Light therefore accelerates the decay of wine and influences its properties, first of all the olfactory one. Therefore the environment where wine is kept should be dark. Neon lights and the like should be avoided and bottles should be protected with special opaque films.
Vibrations must be absolutely avoided because they can alter the balance of wine. Knowing how to store wine also means knowing the consequences that vibrations have on a bottle of wine. These vibrations “untie” the components of wine and they also tend to make corks lose their elasticity.
The environment where wine is kept must be free from any odor, because wine, being a living element, tends to absorb them. Therefore banned are boilers, chemical solvents, varnishes and anything else that could compromise wine’s smell.
Wine Cabinets: an optimal solution
Wine cellars have been transformed, as time passed by, in an indispensable element of interior decoration, as well as a practical and functional object. Therefore they are real and proper indispensable components for the ones who want to keep, in the best way possible, their wine bottles. A unique little big object that collects and respects every characteristic in order to keep wine in the best way.
Humidity, temperature, light, smells, vibrations and inclination, every one of these characteristics is fulfilled in a simple wine cellar. Humidity, as well as temperature is adjustable. The tilt is already set as it should be (in some more expensive models it is also adjustable). They are airtight, so as not to allow surrounding odors to penetrate inside and are usually made of solid and resistant materials that adequately absorb any vibrations. Basically, you do not need to know how to store wine if you have a wine cellar that does it for you.
How Amarone and Recioto are store
Amarone della Valpolicella and Recioto della Valpolicella are two valuable wines which need a proper keeping in order to keep their organoleptic properties intact. In practice, in the refinement and aging rooms is recreated a proper internal microclimate in order to ensure a long preservation.
For this reason wine bottles are kept in rooms where
- air temperature for red wines is included between 12-14°C (54-44°F)
- air temperature for white wines is between 10-11°C (50-11°F)
- constant air speed 1 m/s
- relative humidity 80/85
- average illuminance not higher than 250-300 lux
- vibrations and intense unpleasant odors are absolutely avoided
Valpolicella cellars are dark in order to avoid the aggregation and precipitation of polyphenols. The walls of the cellars are thick and they do not have many openings to the outside. Bottles are kept in a horizontal position with the label facing upwards.