Keep your fine wine stored away from the washing machine. Even vibrations from traffic have been known to spoil a good wine.
While not many collectors will put their prized bottle of Lafite 82 next to the tumble dryer, it is important that wine cellars aren't susceptible to even minor tremors.
It is best to house your collection in a purpose built facility - spaces in such cellars are often available for hire, or you may choose to set up your own.
Your cellar should have the following attributes:
- A cool, constant temperature: ideally between 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit (or 10-16 degrees Celsius) with minimal fluctuation. Try not to exceed 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmer the temperature, the faster your wine will age. Also, temperature fluctuations can result in "ullage", meaning wine is lost as the liquid expands and contracts in the varying temperatures
- Moderate humidity: ideally 65-75%. The cork in the bottle requires this to maintain its seal and stay moist. Keep your bottles on their side, and avoid having them inverted
- No vibration: vibrations will break up the alcohol and acid chemical bonds - or esters - which give aged wines their "bottle bouquet"
- No light: wine is badly affected by UV rays (this is primarily why wine bottles are coloured either green or brown, for minor protection). Therefore, store your wine in darkness.
For more tips on looking after your investment-grade fine wines, see our full report here.
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