Cellaring Wines with 8 KANGAROOS
by ILNAM Estate
Lying Bottles Down
All wines regardless of the closure type will benefit from lying the bottle on the side. Primarily this is to keep the surface of the closure moist to prevent drying and shrinking of the closure allowing the passage of oxygen. Oxidation of wines is both good and bad and will be a story on it’s own. Wines don’t need to be rotated and they just love to lie still
Wines can react badly to loud noises. Never rip the cork out of a well aged wine and make the pop sound as you will have bruised the wine and it will not present as well as it should. I have to say when I first heard of bruising a wine I thought what rubbish but there is science behind it and it can be explained. Part of the ageing process with wines is the linking together of molecules to form mega chains of molecules, polymerisation, poly means many. These mega molecules are what makes the wine appear more viscous and oily. A shock wave will crack and smash these mega molecules, not unlike humpty dumpy falling off the wall, and the wine will present as well as it should. If you have wines delivered in the post or you drive a couple of hundred kilometres to buy them never be in a hurry to open them they will have bruised and will need some weeks of quiet time to recover and have the rough edges mellowed and smoothed
Wines like most thing react poorly to prolonged exposure to ultra violet light. Wines like it dark or soft light from candle or filament bulb lights
Moist air keeps closures supple and therefore the seal between the wine and the atmosphere is kept intact. More critical in cork closure but none the less important for all types of closures. If you have a period of the year where humidity and therefore the moisture in the air is low you will need to keep some open dishes of water around to raise the humidity. In our area the colder months are the driest
The most debated and contentious issue for ageing of wines and everyone has an opinion and it can be costly to maintain a certain temperature. I have read many studies and seen numerous results and as we all know we have lost some great wines and we will curse and blame but there isn’t really enough evidence to really identify the villain.
Regardless of the desired temperature you can or want to achieve the daily temperature changes need to be kept to a minimum. Big fluctuations of daily temperature means the wine is continually expanding and contracting and this will in time weaken the closure and draw in loads of oxygen and the wine will age poorly.
Seasonal fluctuation in temperature is fine and tolerable
If you have no ability to cellar below ground or can’t bare the cost of refrigeration store them in the back of your linen cupboard where they will be insulated from the daily temperature fluctuations. In cellars store the wines in foam blocks or concrete blocks for insulation or coolness