Storing wine

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Denis Davidoff, Jul 30, 2020 at 8:29 PM.

  1. It is well known that wine and champagne should be stored at around 12°C. However, throughout the years I've heard a number of people say that it can even be stored at room temperature as long as the temperature doesn't fluctuate a lot. What do you think, is this a myth or it's true (maybe through experience)?

    We're talking about storing wine for quite some time, so not something that you'd buy and drink within a couple of days or weeks.
  2. I've read a lot more verdicts that anything up to 20C is broadly OK (provided there's no rapid fluctuation) than the converse, and haven't noticed any adverse effects from storing wine in my own cellar (unheated, but relatively small and roughly 18C). I keep stuff for long-term ageing off-site though, due to space limitations.
    Ian Hampsted likes this.
  3. A warm cellar (roughly speaking 15-20C between winter and summer) in my experience has been a ‘win-win‘ - the wines mature slightly faster but don’t get damaged. Even storing under stairs at slightly above 20C can be ok.
  4. From my experience of not having an underground cellar, there is no harm in keeping wines at home for at least ten years provided they are in the dark and in the rooms which see the least sunlight and lowest temperature variations in the house. I accept that they might age slightly more quickly, but I've genuinely never had a prematurely aged wine from those stored at the house. I'd rather have an underground cellar of course, but that's life. I store all unbroken cases professionally though.
  5. Lightstrike is more of an issue for Champagne, but the temperature is also important (excessive high-temperature increases mercaptan levels), more so than with still wines.
  6. Thanks for your replies, so it looks like it's not a myth, and it's fine to store wine at room temperate, i.e. 20°C.
  7. Yes, I've also read that light is more of an issue for champagne.
  8. How bad is noise for wine in storage, I wonder? In my ongoing quest to find somewhere to listen to music, the insulated wine chamber seems viable as an option. But while that might be safe from neighbourly and uxorial objections. Perhaps the wine won’t like it?!!
  9. Depends what you listen to, Alex...
  10. Vibrations are meant to be bad, I think, so cut the bass :)
  11. Oh no, my Son’s drum kit is in the room above the part of the cellar where I keep the wine! Never even thought about vibration.
    Simon Grant likes this.
  12. A constant of 20°C is probably slightly highish but should be Ok for mid-term keeping as long as it doesn't fluctuate too much. My cellar is above ground and probably averages 16°C across the year. Fluctuations do happen in summer and winter and one really hot summer saw the temperature in the cellar rise to 21°C. In the depths of a Scottish winter it can drop to 13°C. The important thing is to avoid large fluctuations on a daily basis e.g. one of those wine racks build into a kitchen unit as the temperature can move by several degrees each day with cool evenings and heat from cookers.
    My cellar is also on the north east side of the house so rarely even has sunshine on the outer wall, as the shadow of the neighbour's house falls on it. There are no windows and the floor is concrete with terracotta tiles, which keeps the space cool and vibration-free. Darkness and lack of vibration are also both very important for long-term storage. I have had this cellar for 17 years now and have not had a storage-damaged wine from it. Nearly all the bottles are out of their original boxes and stored in racking, except for a few magnums, which are still in their original boxes.
  13. I've been looking nervously at the weather forecasts (32 degrees for Friday and Saturday) and have decided to splash out £200 on a portable aircon - even paid an extra fiver to get it delivered tomorrow. The work that I've done has made quite a big difference, but it will never be great. I'd be looking at the aircon to come on to deal with excessive peaks as I don't think my walls will sustain >10 degrees C of difference for more than 2-3 hours. I'm hoping that, if I'm relatively modest with the objectives and frugal with its use, energy consumption and potential dew formation won't be serious problems. So maybe only come on if needed to prevent temp rising over 22/23 degrees.I'll also have to watch that I don't charge the car off the same circuit!
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020 at 7:14 PM
    Simon Grant likes this.
  14. BTW, for those using aircon units, are you using the built-in facilities, or something a bit smarter, like a Sensibo controller?

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