5 Tips on How to Store Wine

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.

Red Sky Rooftop Bar – Bangkok

Could you imagine having to abseil to get your wine? Well this is what they do at the Red Sky rooftop bar in Bangkok, Thailand. The impressive 2-storey glass temperature controlled cellar is home to plentiful 1st Growth Bordeaux, Super Tuscans and heroes of the new world. And they definitely keep them out of reach!

The Red Sky rooftop bar is situated in central Bangkok on the 55th floor of the Centara Grand Hotel at CentralWorld. Unforunately it was raining on the evening we visited but what we could see of the lights of Bangkok city were truly spectacular. It is a chaotic, crazy city but it also has such charm and culture, I absolutely love it!

You can be eating fresh mango from a street vendor one minute, being hounded to go see a ping pong show the next, cramming 4 decent sized farangs (the Thai term for Europeans/Westerners) into the back of a tuk-tuk the next and then end up sipping on a delightful Gaja 2010 ‘Sito Moresco’ on the 55th floor overlooking Bangkok city the next. You gotta love it!

Red Sky has impressive 360 degree views of the city and has a rather bright quirky nature to it with the bar area lighting up in 7 neon colours on a repeat cycle. There are large booth type tables which looked very much like bamboo steamers to me and they have live music playing every night. The wine cellar is definitely what impressed me the most at Red Sky (click here to see a short video I took of the wine cellar at Red Sky). The bar and general dining area where nice but perhaps a touch out dated. It actually reminded me a lot of the Sky Bar at the Burj al Arab in Dubai – classy yet it needs a bit of jazzing up or perhaps un-jazzing to bring it into the 21st century.

On this particular Thursday night, we didn’t make a booking however there was space at the bar which suited us fine as we just wanted to stay for a drink anyway. The service I have to say was top notch, very friendly and they were also very prompt with our drinks and bill which may have been because we were right at the bar. We even learnt that the Prince of Denmark once visited Red Sky!

Considering we were in Thailand the general wine by the glass menu wasn’t too bad. It was nice to see G.H Mumm Rose on the list as well as Riesling from Austria, Pinot Bianco from Italy, Pinot Noir from New Zealand, red Bordeaux and more. Glass prices started from around 300 Baht (AU$10). Read my tasting note of the 2010 Gaja here.

As we were sipping away we were served up some salty nuts to munch on. Alongside the wine list there is a good selection of international beers and ‘out of the box’ sounding cocktails. It is a bar/restaurant so next time I will be booking in for a dinner to see what that’s like.

I would go back again and I would suggest going there if only to see the wine cellar for yourself! I even spotted some Sandalford Cab in there from Western Australia! For more details on the Red Sky rooftop bar check out the Centara Grand website here.

For more photos from my trip please check out my Wine & Food Adventures in Thailand 2013 Facebook album.

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WIN Wine Glass Writer Pens!! COMPETITION CLOSED!

I love Christmas and I’m in the mood for giving! I have 2 packs of Wine Glass Writer pens up for grabs! Each pack includes a metallic gold, a silver & an emerald green coloured pen valued at $16.80

Simply leave a comment on this blog post before 5pm AWST on Sunday 24/11/2013 telling me:
What is your favourite wine accessory and why?

It could be an existing accessory like why you love your corkscrew or an accessory you’ve dreamed up! Perhaps it’s the bottomless wine glass, or Harry Potter’s water into wine spell or the secret wine cellar at the back of the wardrobe. The 2 most entertaining or convincing answers will win! For inspiration, check out my My 6 favourite wine accessories of the moment!

Wine Glass Writer pens are a fantastic way to mark your wine glass and keep track of it. The ink dries within 1-3 minutes and easily washes off with water & a cloth leaving no residue on the glass. The pens are made with a patented non-toxic ink that writes on leaded crystal, plastic and glazed ceramics – making it a multifunctional pen! Watch the video here.

For more information please check out the Wine Glass Writer website here or check out the Wine Glass Writer Facebook page.

Goodluck and Merry Christmas fellow winos!

Competition T&Cs

  • Competition is open to all Travelling Corkscrew readers with an Australian postal address.
  • Two Travelling Corkscrew readers who have commented here with what their favourite wine accessory is and why will be selected to win a 3 pen pack of Wine Glass Writer pens valued at $16.80
  • Competition closes 5pm AWST Sunday 24/11/2013 and the winners will be notified by email on Monday 25/11/2013. If the winning readers do not respond within 72 hours with their postal details, Travelling Corkscrew will redraw the competition and notify new winners.
  • Once the two winners are confirmed, the results of the competition will be published on the Travelling Corkscrew facebook pagetwitter page and blog.