A wine cellar is a room that stores wines in either barrels or bottles or sometimes in plastic containers or amphorae or carboys. There are certain critical components to an active wine cellar and they include humidity and temperature. These factors are maintained by means of a climate control system. On the contrary, a passive wine cellar is not climate controlled and is generally built underground for reducing temperature swings. A wine cellar that is above the ground is referred to as a wine room and a small wine cellar that contains less than 500 bottles is called a wine closet.
Need for wine cellars
Wine cellars help in protecting alcoholic beverages from possible harmful influences and offer constant temperature and darkness. It must be observed that wine is a perishable natural food product. When they are exposed to humidity and temperature fluctuations, vibration or light and heat, these products can be spoilt. On the other hand, when they are maintained and stored properly, they do not just maintain their quality but improve on significant aspects such as complexity, flavor and aroma.
Temperature factor for storing
Temperature is generally the biggest concern when you cellar wines. Homes today are centrally heated and do not offer a conducive environment to storing wines. Room temperatures that are ideal for humans turn out to be lethal for wines. Wines can be stored between 45 and 64 degree Fahrenheit (7 to 18 degree Celsius). Gradual variations are acceptable. Wines usually mature differently and slowly at lower temperatures when compared to such responses at higher temperatures.
Techniques for wine cellaring
Although, there is a popular perception that having a wine cellar is told to only the rich and titled; this is not necessarily the case provided you understand the effective techniques to an ideal wine cellar. With a little ingenuity, it is possible to cellar wine even if you are living in a flat or a semi – detached house. While temperature is one of the most important factors to an ideal wine cellar, vibration, light and humidity are other important components to consider. A cellar that is moderately damp is ideal. The very purpose of humidity is to keep the corks from drying. By keeping the bottles in a horizontal position, the wine will stay in constant contact with its cork.
When a cork is moist, it stays expanded and acts as a good seal. A dark cellar is ideal for storing wines. Any kind of ultraviolet light will spoil wine and therefore wines are traditionally stored in colored glass bottles. Steering away from such light sources is a wise option. Wine needs to take ample rest. Any kind of disturbance at frequent intervals will cause sufficient agitation. This is usually not a substantial problem in today’s modern homes. The occasional and small vibrations that emanate from household equipments and appliances only cause slight problems.
Collecting and storing wines is an excellent hobby but this food product needs proper storage for the purpose of preservation.