In Depth

How to store fine wine

Lukasz Kolodziejczyk, head of fine wine for Cult Wines, explains how to keep your favourite bottles at their best

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If you are investing in high-end wine, storing it professionally in controlled conditions is vital to increase its value, keep the wine fresh and allow it to reach its full potential.

To navigate you through the storage process, we here at Cult Wines have five top tips.

Keep a steady temperature

Heat is not a friend to fine wine. In fact, heat is the number one reason your wine may lack flavour and taste flat.

The best temperature to store your wine at is 12-13 degrees centigrade, as any higher or lower could damage your wine. If the temperature is too low, it could potentially freeze the contents or push the cork out. Therefore, it is important to maintain a consistent temperature as this will ensure that evenrything matures correctly.

Control the lighting

There is a reason wine cellars and storage units are so dark. It is important to keep your wine bottle shaded, as too much light can result in premature ageing. Sunlight and UV rays can also increase the temperature of your wine, which can substantially alter the taste for the worse. This is why wine is generally stored in coloured bottles such as green and amber.

Opt for a storage unit which uses LED light, as this provides enough light to navigate around the facility while not giving off any heat. 

Keep bottles facing down and control the humidity

It is recommended that you store you wine lying down. This way, the liquid can hit the cork preventing it from drying out and creating a musty, unpleasant flavour.

You also want to stop your cork drying out on the outside too, which is why some humidity is required. This will stop air being let into the bottle which will spoil the wine's taste. But be sure not to store your wine in a facility that is too humid, as the valuable bottle’s label might be damaged, and mould could grow.

Don’t shake the bottle

There are varying theories on whether shaking your bottle of wine can ruin it. Some serious enthusiasts believe that even the subtlest of vibrations can affect the taste and colour of your wine. This is due to the sediment at the bottom of the bottle being stirred into the rest of your wine, creating a gritty effect.

The sediment can also change the colour of your wine, causing rich reds to dull and whites to cloud. For long term storage, it is best to store your wine in a unit away from any vibrations.

Protect your investment

It is important to protect your investment. If you are a serious wine enthusiast, it might be time to consider investing in professional storage. This way, you can store your bottles where there are the most optimal conditions to increase its value and taste, without having to worry about the maintenance and rules of correct bottle storage.

Furthermore, if you are selling your wine at an auction it will give your buyers confidence that it was stored correctly, therefore further increasing the value.

For more information, visit wineinvestment.com

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