The process of aging wine is often complex and delicate. The organic compounds that contribute to your wine’s aroma, flavor and structure can be affected by light, humidity and temperature. Therefore, proper wine storage is key to the aging process. If you are not able to control the temperature of your cellar, closet or other storage area, your wine may age prematurely or quick enough.
Why temperature matters
Bottle aging of wine is a result of chemical reactions taking place. These chemical changes may or may not occur when the wine is too hot or too cold. In one recent study posted on Wineperspective.com, wine aged 1.2 to 1.5 times faster when stored at 59 degrees compared to 55 degrees. When stored at 73 degrees, wine aged eight times faster. Storing wine at 91 degrees for one month is the equivalent of storing wine at 55 degrees for as little as four months or as much as 18 years. As you can see, the aging process becomes more unpredictable at greater temperatures.
Ice will ruin your wine as well
Similarly, storing your wine at too low of temperatures will alter the aging process as well. Many of the chemical reactions necessary for a wine to age properly will not take place if the wine is too cold. Many believe that temperatures as low as 49 degrees can slow down the aging process or even prevent certain important reactions from taking place. The cold can throw off the wine’s evolution and it may never become full flavored.
Finding the ideal temperature
Many wines age differently. Ideally, you want to keep all your wines at a steady temperature that will not speed up or slow down any of their chemical reactions. Many believe that 55 degrees is ideal for the majority of fine wines. Unless you have a very cold cellar, this is certainly colder than you can achieve in your home without some sort of refrigeration.
Where you can store your wine
Your wine will age reasonably well if you keep it in the dark at a stable temperature, but it will age best in a climate controlled unit tailor-made for wine storage. If you don’t have room for a refrigeration unit specifically made for wine, why not consider renting a storage unit? There are climate-controlled wine cellar units to fit collections of all sizes at The Wine Grotto at STORBOX.