Do friends regularly offer you wine that you don't want to consume right away? Would you like to have a few bottles of wine aside for special occasions? Without a cellar, storing wine seems difficult. However, there are simple solutions for storing your wine without a cellar . Let's find out.
How do we store wine?
Before embarking on tips for storing a bottle of wine , it is important to know the optimal conditions for storing wine. These allow the wine to keep all its organoleptic properties for as long as possible.
- Have a dedicated storage space: whether it is a room, a corner of the garage, or a location in the kitchen, all bottles must be stored in the same way, in the conditions closest to ideal;
- Protect the bottles from light : UV rays from light (natural or artificial) accelerate the aging of the wine, which loses intensity and aromas, giving what is called a “taste of light”;
- Avoid temperature variations: high temperature tends to accelerate the aging process of wine, so it should be avoided. Too frequent temperature changes also affect the chemical reactions of the wine, altering its quality. The ideal storage temperature is between 10 and 14°C;
- Protect wine from humidity: The cork stopper on wine bottles is sensitive to humidity. It dries out in dry weather, and oxidizes in humid weather. It is therefore necessary to maintain the humidity level above 70% . Excessive humidity will not really damage the wine, but rather the bottle labels;
- Allow air to circulate: good ventilation of the storage space will prevent odors and mold, elements which can threaten the conservation of the wine;
- Protect the wine from vibrations: the wine aging process can be disrupted by repeated movement (compressor of a device, train passing nearby, etc.), which prevents the sedimentation of tannins.
Aging of wine
The aging of wine, which is also called wine maturation , is a stage which follows the manufacture of wine, and which allows it to flourish, so that its quality reaches its peak.
Maturation through breeding
Wine aging corresponds to a stage of winemaking which prepares the wine for aging. Breeding can be carried out:
- In oak barrel;
- In a stainless steel tank;
- In a bottle.
This stage can last a few weeks or several years, and mainly consists of leaving the wine to rest , avoiding any contact with air as much as possible, to avoid oxidation.
During aging, the wine undergoes organoleptic changes (color, aromas, acidity, tannins, etc.).
Focus on maturation in oak barrels
If the objective of aging wine in vats or bottles is to never let oxygen come into contact with the wine, maturation in wooden barrels is different. In fact, wood is permeable to oxygen, and allows CO2 and wine to come into contact. Oxidation reactions, and therefore aging, therefore take place.
But aging in oak barrels has the advantage above all of letting the wood transmit its substances to the wine, and in particular its tannins, giving this woody character typical of this aging method.
Focus on maturation in the bottle
In the bottle, red wine changes color over time, taking on brick red hues. At the same time, the wine softens and the bouquet develops.
Store your wine in a domestic wine cellar
If you don't have the space to have a wine cellar at home, the ideal is to invest in a domestic wine cellar.
The small electric wine cabinet
The small electric wine cellar can hold 20 to 50 bottles of wine, and allows them to be stored in the best conditions.
However, the aging capacity depends on the type of cellar cabinet. In fact, a single-zone cellar, with a constant identical temperature throughout the cabinet, does not allow wines to be stored for aging, and conservation must be limited to short periods. We then speak of a service cellar .
A multi-zone service wine cellar allows you to store bottles at different temperatures, and thus age wines efficiently.
The compact underground cellar
More sophisticated, the compact buried cellar forms an oval, round or cylindrical box, which is buried under the accommodation. It thus offers the same conservation conditions as a natural cellar.
This type of aging wine cellar allows you to store up to 1,000 bottles of red wine, white wine, rosé wine, and even sparkling wine in excellent conditions.
The mini wine cellar
If you have very little space at home, or your interest in wine is limited, you can invest in a small cabinet with a capacity of 20 bottles maximum. This refrigerated cellar then serves as a serving cellar, and allows you to keep your wine at the ideal serving temperature.
Storing wine without a cellar
If you don't have a cellar, or don't plan to invest in a wine cabinet , it is still possible to store wine without a cellar .
All you need to do is find a ventilated place in your home that will protect the wine as much as possible from light, dryness, temperature variations and vibrations. This could be a place in a garage, a basement or cellar, an unused room, a storage room, etc.
Would you like to store wine for your future guests, or for your personal pleasure? Make a small selection that you can keep at home without any problem. The best thing is to store the wine in a small cellar .