caves à vin de vieillissement

Everything you need to know about aging wine cellars

Wine lovers always appreciate having a good bottle on hand, which they can open for a special occasion, or simply to treat themselves. But to ensure this little happiness, you must be able to store the bottles of wine in the best conditions. The aging cellar then becomes an optimal conservation system.

Aging wine cellar: what is it and how to choose it?

Aging wine cellars are intended, as their name suggests, to keep wine in the best conditions to allow it to age and evolve . Unlike the service cellar, which keeps the bottles at the ideal temperature for immediate or near consumption, the aging cellar provides all the conditions for storing the wine for several years .

This type of cellar then mainly concerns great vintages, exceptional vintages and great wines, which are suitable for aging and will improve with age.

To choose an aging cellar , it is then advisable to take certain criteria into account:

  • A solid door , rather than a glass door, to perfectly protect the wine from light;
  • Optimal air circulation, to ensure a constant and uniform temperature throughout the cellar;
  • An ambient temperature between 10 and 14°C (climate class SN, SN-ST or SN-T), and ideally, an adjustable temperature;
  • Vertical storage of bottles ;
  • Optimal energy consumption (a wine cellar with energy class A+++ consumes on average 20% less electricity than an energy class A++, and 40% less than an A+).

Why invest in an aging cellar?

The wine cellar is initially used to keep wine bottles cool . Simply serve the white wines and rosé wines as is, and remember to take out the red wines a few hours before serving. But the aging cellar has other advantages.

  • Large and organized storage : the objective of this type of solid door cellar is to store your wine in the most optimized way possible. The bottles are kept vertically, on organized shelves. Furthermore, aging cellars can offer a large storage capacity, up to several hundred bottles;
  • Protection against temperature variations : wine does not like temperature changes. So, while the service cellar is intended to be opened regularly, letting in heat or cold, the aging cellar ensures a constant ideal temperature, without any variation;
  • Expand your bottle collection : Wine lovers know how difficult it is to resist a promotional offer on very good wines. Storage is then no longer a hindrance, and allows you to have fun by building a beautiful cellar at a lower cost;
  • Fall for very great wines: before buying a very great wine, you must be able to ensure optimal storage, which is the case with aging cellars, and which allows you to improve the quality of your collection.

Aging of wine: which bottles? For what ? How long ?

Purchasing an aging wine cellar requires asking several questions for optimal use.

Which wines are suitable for aging?

Firstly, it is important to know the bottles which are suitable for aging , and which are worth it, and to distinguish them from those which can remain in your service cellars. But it's difficult to make a precise list of wines that will be better with age. The best thing is to find out about each of your bottles.

In general, we can still note that certain types of wines are suitable for aging depending on their grape variety. So, red wines made from Pinot Noir and Syrah generally taste better with age. Likewise, white wines made from Riesling and Chardonnay are suitable for aging.

But this is not a generality, and it is better to find out about each type of wine.

But why age a wine?

Wine is a living product, which continues to evolve throughout its life, and even after bottling. By ensuring optimal storage conditions, a wine can develop complex aromas and a powerful structure over the years.

On the other hand, this is not the case for all wines, and many deteriorate over time. It is for this reason that it is necessary to carefully choose the wines which will be placed in the cellar for conservation, and those to be drunk young.

How long should wines age?

Once the wine is comfortably placed on its wooden or metal shelves, in ideal storage conditions, the crucial question arises: when is the best time to open a bottle of wine for aging ? How do you know if a wine should be enjoyed after 5 years, 10 years, or even more?

Again, there is no universal answer, as it all depends on the type of wine.

In general, a powerful red wine can be kept for up to 5 years , but this can go up to 10 years for a Burgundy, 15 years for Bordeaux Supérieurs, and even up to 20 years for certain Côtes-du- Rhone.

White wines are more fragile and can be kept for an average of 2 years . But some dry white Bordeaux wines can be stored for up to 10 years.

Are you hesitant to invest in an aging cellar ? If you like good wines that express all their power with age, this purchase can only be interesting. It's then up to you to find the best vintages to build a quality cellar.


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