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Cellaring is an important aspect of the life of your wine. In ideal conditions your carefully chosen bottles will slowly blossom and flourish, gaining in depth and complexity and ensuring that you get maximum enjoyment when you pull the cork. There are four key aspects to providing the best conditions for your wines:
Ideally this should be maintained between 70% and 80%. A humid atmosphere helps prevent the drying out of corks, thereby preventing the wine from evaporating to a damaging degree and increasing the ullage (gap between the bottom of the cork and the wine). Insufficient humidity over a period can cause the cork to shrink, allowing air to enter and potentially spoil the wine through oxidation. Excessive moisture and humidity can cause some deterioration and spoiling on labels. Better that though than wine spoiled through insufficient humidity!
TEMPERATURE & AIR QUALITY
Temperature should ideally be maintained between 12ºC and 14ºC. Avoiding seasonal and significant temperature fluctuation is the key as this can have a detrimental effect on the ageing process of wine. A warmer cellar will simply mean your wines will mature more rapidly whilst the opposite applies if your cellar is below the ideal temperatures mentioned above. It is also advisable to avoid strong smells. These can penetrate corks over a period and taint or even spoil your wine.
LIGHT & VIBRATION
Cellars are generally underground for a good reason. Natural light can speed up the ageing process in wines, particularly reds, as it accelerates the deterioration of the colour compounds. Vibration too should be avoided as it can precipitate chemical reactions in the wine, breaking down molecular structure by the agitation of sediment. This, again, will prematurely age the wine.
This goes without saying. As the value of rare wines increases so their attraction to burglars and thieves rises. Security of your best bottles is therefore extremely important as is adequate insurance cover should the worst happen.
STORING WINES WITH CORNEY & BARROW
If you do not have a suitable location to store wine at home, our storage facilities at Octavian in Corsham offer some of the finest quality cellar space in the world. With competitive rates for storage of your wines you can sleep easy knowing your wines are in the best possible conditions just waiting for you to enjoy. Learn more about our Corsham Cellars