A fundamental of wine storage is placing wine on horizontal racks, to protect the cork. (Photo: Wine Racks from Rosehill Wine Cellars)
Wine storage is widely known to be best in cellar-like conditions, but far fewer wine drinkers understand the importance of the cork. The idea behind creating a wine cellar is to provide the perfect environment for wine to be stored so that it ages properly. For storage of a year or more, natural cork in a wine bottle is a crucial component in the process of wine maturation. The fact that most wine racks are built to store wine horizontally has to do with the cork, but that’s not all. The cork takes the spotlight in wine cellars in several ways.
Horizontal wine racks
For a cork to perform the way it is meant to, it must stay wet by maintaining contact with the wine. Horizontal wine racks are ideal because they keep the cork wet. If the cork does not stay wet, the result will be that the cork dries out, shrinks, and allows oxygen to get to the wine. This results in oxidation. Oxidized wine turns into vinegar, totally spoiling the anticipated flavor and enjoyment of the wine.
Constant Wine Storage Temperature
An essential part of wine storage is maintaining a constant temperature that rarely fluctuates. When there are swings in temperature, the wine will continuously expand and contract, which ultimately damages the cork’s integrity. As the cork is pulled in and out by the effects of changing temperatures, eventually, wine can seep along the outer edge of the cork, between the bottle neck and the cork. This allows air in, which is another way wine becomes oxidized. Due to the importance of maintaining a constant temperature, wine cellars are best built by professionals who understand how to properly insulate a wine cellar and how to choose a wine cellar cooling unit of the correct size for the space.
Another fundamental aspect of proper wine storage is keeping the environment clean and free of foodstuffs and other items that introduce strong smells. Odors can permeate corks and contaminate the wine. Don’t store bleach or foods such as cheeses in your wine cellar, since they can ruin the wine through the cork. If mice and insects are drawn to the cellar because of the presence of food, they also tend to chew corks and gnaw on wine labels.
Experts in Wine Storage
The professional builders at Rosehill Wine Cellars know all the details of proper wine storage, including the significance of wine corks. There is an undeniable connection between wine storage and corks, just as proper wine storage is linked to enjoying the taste of fine bottles of wine.
Great wine accessories are perfect additions to any party, and Rosehill Wine Cellars has a wonderful array of wine-related accoutrements to choose from. Wine bottle stoppers and pourers, drip rings, and wine thermometers are just a few. Sharing love of wine with fellow oenophiles is entertaining and can be memorable for everyone. The following are among the many wine accessories available at Rosehill.
1 – Wine Glass Cleaning Instruments
Wine glasses are essential components of serving and enjoying wine. They aren’t dishwasher-friendly, however, in that they often don’t fit properly. Wine lovers clean wine glasses with care. Part of the reason is to protect the investment made in the wine. For the discerning wine lover, soap can negatively impact the aroma and taste of wine. The following are the best ways to clean wine glasses:
- Thoroughly rinse wine glasses with hot water
- Use a miniscule drop of very mild detergent and rinse with hot water
- Gently clean with washing soda, such as baking soda
The best way to dry wine glasses is to air-dry them upside down. Rosehill Wine Cellars offers a Wine Glass Rack Tree that holds up to 12 wine glasses as well as other glass cleaning wine accessories.
2 – Wine Pouring for Large Format Bottles
VCanter wine pouring systems are available from Rosehill Wine Cellars. Various models are designed for particular large format wine bottles. The Methuselah, for example, holds the equivalent of eight standard wine bottles. There is also a Vcanter wine pouring system for the Goliath, a bottle of wine with contents equal to 36 regular wine bottles. These unique decanting cradles for large format wine bottles are made in Switzerland. Custom colour options include silver, copper, and 24k gold plating. Custom engraving is available, as well.
3 – Breathable Wine Glasses
Decanting of wine is accomplished in a variety of ways, such as in beautiful crystal decanters. One very chic approach to decanting is to serve wine glasses that have “Breathable Glass”. Comparison tests show that the impact of using breathable wine glasses is dramatic when drinking high-quality wines. For example, young white wines and red wines are typically best with a minimum of 30 minutes of aeration before drinking. With the “Breathable Glass”, you can drink the same wine immediately and fully enjoy the wine’s best characteristics. Rosehill Wine Cellars offers a range of Breathable / Sensis Plus crystal stemware.
4 – Wrap Wine Thermometer
Rosehill offers a Trudeau stainless steel Wrap Wine Thermometer with satin finish that can ensure wine is served at the perfect temperature. An LCD strip on the thermometer measures the temperature of the wine. Liquid crystal thermochromic ink changes to different colours at different temperatures. Around the perimeter, there is a list of various wines and their ideal serving temperatures. The thermometer is simple to use. When the bar lights up to the level you’re looking for, it’s time to serve the wine.
Recycled wine barrels are popular wine accessories.
5 – Unique Wine Accessories with Wine Barrels
Recycled wine barrels are popular wine accessories among connoisseurs.
Although Rosehill Wine Cellars specializes in the construction of wine cellars, many other products enjoyed by wine lovers are also available. This includes wine cellar cooling units, which are important for keeping a wine cellar at the correct temperature for wine storage
EuroCave Wine Cabinet (Photo: Rosehill Wine Cellars)
If you’ve been wondering whether you should get a wine refrigerator, below are some answers to help you figure it out. Most people who ask this question have recently begun collecting bottles of wine for future enjoyment with their meals. Simply placing wine on a decorative wine rack in your home could ultimately diminish the flavor, since undesirable chemical reactions occur in the wine from too much heat or exposure to UV rays. In the absence of a wine cellar, a wine refrigerator may be just what you need, but it depends.
Length of Storage
A wine fridge is excellent for storing wine for the short-term or medium-term. Long-term storage, on the other hand, may not be ideal for a free-standing wine refrigerator or an under-the-counter wine fridge. Quality wine that is stored for five years or more will do better with the unique conditions in a wine cellar. The temperature fluctuations in a wine cellar are typically minimized, as are vibrations and exposure to UV rays. EuroCave now offers wine cabinets that are made especially for long-term storage. They have significantly fewer vibrations than the nearest competitors.
Wine is a unique beverage that benefits from being stored in a very specific temperature range, that being between 55°F and 60°F. If wine is stored for very long, there should be at least 50% humidity, so that the corks don’t dry out, shrink, allow air inside the bottle, and spoil the wine because of oxidation. As mentioned above, other considerations include stability and protection from UV rays. If you have more than a few bottles of wine to drink, a wine fridge could be perfect for you.
Why a Standard Refrigerator Won’t Work
The atmosphere in a standard kitchen refrigerator is not favorable to wine storage. One problem is that refrigerators are designed to remove humidity from the cold air. Humidity is an essential element of proper wine storage. The temperature in a refrigerator average 40°, which is considerably colder than the ideal temp for wine. Another problem is that refrigerators don’t have wine racks.
Where to Buy a Wine Fridge
Is a wine fridge right for you? At Rosehill Wine Cellars, we offer a wide range of quality wine refrigerators. Among our selections are EuroCave Wine Cabinets that mimic a wine cellar better than any other wine cooler. You can find wine fridges of all sizes as well as under-the-counter and stand-alone wine coolers on the Rosehill Wine Cellars website. If you grow out of your wine fridge, Rosehill is also the place to call for a custom-built wine cellar.
It’s rarely the wine cellar’s fault, when wine spoils, if you have relied on professionals for construction and lighting.
A custom wine cellar built by experts who specialize in creating the ideal wine environment is often mistaken as being faulty. After all, the purpose of having a wine cellar is to protect and preserve wine so that it can be enjoyed at the point of optimal maturity. Questions arise when a clear percentage of the wine from a cellar is discovered to have gone bad. It’s only natural to wonder if the wine cooling unit or other components of the wine cellar failed, resulting in spoiled wine. The blame for bad wine very rarely lies in the construction or maintenance of a wine cellar, however. Across the wine industry and in wine collections everywhere, it can be expected that about 5% to 10% of the wine will turn out to be undrinkable. This is why waiters at restaurants allow diners to taste their wine and give their approval or send the bottle back. There are four basic reasons that wine goes bad, and they are that the wine is: Oxidized, corked, refermented, or cooked.
Just as air affects a cut apple, turning it brown, too much air has an undesirable effect on wine. One of the reasons corks are ideal for sealing bottles of wine is that the natural material allows in miniscule amounts of oxygen during sometimes years of storage. Wines become oxidized if too much air gets in. For instance, if a cork dries out, which can occur as a direct result of how and where the wine is stored, oxidation ruins the wine. If you have a professionally built wine cellar and use wine racks as recommended by experts, you can typically avoid having any dried out corks.
When a fungal compound called 2,4,6-trichloranisole (TCA), also known as cork taint, gets into cork, a musty odor is imparted into the wine. You can recognize corked wine when the bottle is opened and you smell the contents. The sniffing notes are described as smelling of moldy cardboard, dirty socks that have been left too long in the hamper, or musty basement. TCA is usually caused by problems in the environment of wineries, such as antifungal treatments and moldy cellars.
When yeast and sugar are still in fermented wine, the wine will literally begin fermenting in the bottle again. This causes the wine to be off-flavored and a wee bit bubbly. Spritz is desirable in champagne but not in fine still wine.
When wine has been exposed to excessive heat, such as in bad storage, it becomes baked or maderized. It will literally taste like Madeira, with flavors of candied fruits and almonds. You can sometimes spot cooked wine before opening it because the cork will usually push partly out of the neck, due to expansion.
While it’s true that a faulty wine cellar can be the cause of cooked or oxidized wine, having the guidance of professionals like those at Rosehill Wine Cellars can ensure that it doesn’t happen to you. It’s usually a safe bet that spoiled wine is not the wine cellar’s fault.
Pull your favorite wine from a custom wine cellar by Rosehill Wine Cellars.
It’s thirsty Thursday…only one more day until the weekend..you can almost taste the freedom. You find your mouth begin to water as soon as you notice it’s almost 5 o’clock. Happy hour calls your name! As soon as you walk in the bar, drink specials offend you, with names like Scorpion Pee and Smoker’s Cough. You reluctantly gaze into the wine cooler and see it overstocked with cheap white zinfandel and pink moscato. The bar is already filling up, so you order a half bottle of the house cab and hope to catch some hint of a buzz before you begin to take on the scent of the hipster one stool over. You spend the next hour guzzling a watery red wine while wishing you could take off your shoes and wondering how long it’s going to take the bartender to run your credit card. At the end of the night, you get home with aching feet, 3 sketchy new Facebook friends, and a promise to yourself that you will not do it again.
Happy hour was created to improve the quality of your busy work week! But, these days, happy hour does not mean you have to go into the bar nearest work with the intentions of “waiting out the traffic.” Happy hour is about quenching that insatiable thirst in your most comfortable environment. It’s about opening your favorite bottle of wine, in your favorite room, with your favorite people. Where are you pulling that bottle of wine from? Hopefully from a custom wine cellar or wine cabinet with a reliable wine cooling unit from a top manufacturer like Breezaire, but I digress.
We live in the era of comfort and convenience..where groceries and even fast food are delivered right to your house. You can stream the hottest movies right to your television. Why not customize your happy hour? Say no to wearing uncomfortable clothes while sitting at a bar full of strangers and drinking sub-par beverages. Go home. Get comfortable. Pull out your favorite bottle of red and let it breath…as you breathe in the happiest hour of your day.