16 Jan Wine TLC
We all instinctively know that without proper care our bodies do not operate at their best. For this reason we need to treat ourselves to Tender Loving Care, or TLC, with things like getting a good night’s rest, eating healthy, and, hopefully, getting a bit of exercise.
Most of us, however, fail to treat our wine with the same respect. Remember that wine is a living thing that requires proper nurturing, and, without it, the wine will not grow and develop as the winemaker intended.
While most of us have learned how to care for ourselves, our pets, children, or gardens, we get a bit confused with how to care for our wine.
Here are a few tips on how to properly store and care for wine:
- Transportation—When transporting wine from the store, please remember to transfer it to a proper storage location as soon as possible. One wouldn’t leave a pet or child in an unusually hot or cold car, try not to do this with wine either. Wine is susceptible to extreme temperature fluctuations and vibrations. Fluctuations in temperature will cause the wine to prematurely age, and vibrations disturb the flavor compounds. Translation: It won’t taste great when served! Vibration actually disturbs the flavor compounds in the wine. When wines are shipped to the US from Europe, the constant vibration sometimes makes it necessary to have a period of rest before consuming the wine.
- Refrigeration—Do NOT store wine in a refrigerator unless it will be consumed within a few days after purchase. Most refrigerators constantly vibrate and maintain temperatures around 35 degrees with low humidity. These are not ideal conditions for wine. Smells in the refrigerator can also permeate the cork. If a Chardonnay tastes like last week’s Halibut leftovers . . . that’s why! Proper serving temperature of whites is above the temperature in your fridge so you may need to take them out a bit before consuming.
- Storage—Wine should be stored on its side in a cool damp place that is dark and free of vibration. The ideal temperature for storing wine is between 52-57 degrees with an optimal humidity of 70%. Consistency of temperature is as important as the actual temperature. If the basement or closet stays consistently 60 degrees, that’s perfect! The higher the temperature, however, the quicker the wine will age. If the location is too dry, the cork may dry out, which allows oxygen to ruin the wine. If none of these conditions exist, there are plenty of affordable wine refrigerators on the market that can ensure optimal storage.
Hopefully these tips will ensure that your wine tastes great every time. Remember, just like we need a little TLC to feel great, our wine needs TLC to taste great!