Cellaring: To ‘cellar’ a wine means to a store a young wine until the point the wine is at its peak drinking period (or you just can’t wait any longer!).
Personally I can’t cellar wine for the life of me. I just get too excited and I can’t resist. I really need to lock it up somewhere and make sure I have no access to the key!
However throughout my years of working in the fine wine industry in Dubai I did come to learn about the perfect ways to cellar wine. Here are 5 tips to get you on the way to being able to enjoy a perfectly aged wine..
1. Keep it cool like Vanilla Ice..
If wine is stored in a hot place it’ll age the wine quicker and literally cook it. Most people say around 12.8 degrees celsius is perfect. A few degrees either side of this won’t be a deal breaker (hopefully!).
2. Keep it at a consistent temperature like Barry White’s smooth tunes..
Even if your cellaring spot sits at a little higher or lower than 12.8 degrees it’s important that there are not large fluctuations in the temperature. If the temperature is rising and falling all the time this can ruin your precious wine.
3. Keep it away from light like Miley Cyrus’s twerking..
Wine doesn’t like light. Light ages wines quicker and it’s for this very reason that wine bottles are not usually clear unless they’re ‘drink now’ wines. So if you can find somewhere with low light your wine will love you. Or like Cristal Champagne you could wrap it in cellophane!
4. Jump up, jump up and get down as the House of Pain say..
If you have cork closures on your cellaring wine then yes lie them on their side however if your wines have alternative closures like screw cap or plastic corks then storing vertical is fine. The need to store wine on its side is simply for corks and saving space.
5. Don’t listen to Marky Mark – vibrations are bad..
Wine is a living thing and if it’s in a spot which receives heaps of vibrations this will have a detrimental effect. As will constantly moving it around. Keep your vino in a stable place and don’t move it every other day.
If you don’t have a proper cellar you could always buy a wine fridge or like myself find a place in the house that matches the above conditions as much as possible (I keep mine in an old brick fireplace as bricks tend to be good at keeping spaces cooler. A fridge is ok for a couple of months but not long term as they generally sit a lot colder and the moisture can be an issue. An unused cupboard would also be good, if you’re worried about the heat you could always buy a small cooling unit.
Of course if you’re seriously planning on cellaring wine for more than 10 years then I do suggest investing in proper cellaring, whether it be a stand alone cellar or stored with professionals offsite. If you have any useful cellaring tips of your own, please leave a comment below.