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When Good Wine Goes Bad...

Two bottles of wine that have spoiled

Euripides said "Where there is no wine, there is no love!" and that is certainly true in this photo! It is a sad day when wine spoils before it has been enjoyed...a little less love to go around! Not everyone may know the common ways in which wine should be stored, but here are a few general tips for keeping your wine collection in tip top shape:

#1. Proper temperature range: heat is the number one enemy of wine storage, so keep it in a cool, dry place. The ideal storage temperature range is 45°F to 65°F...much hotter and your wine will be "cooked" resulting in flat aromas and flavors. The ideal temperature is 55°F, and best to not have wide temperature swings: the more consistent the temperature can be the better.

#2. Do not store wine in the fridge: long term storage solutions should not be in a standard fridge, where the average temperatures are well below the recommended 45°F for wine. Also, the lack of proper humidity in fridges will dry out the corks, resulting in spoilage from oxidation. Also, many homeowners live places where the garages get too cold as well and may even freeze, resulting in the wine turing to ice and pushing the cork from the bottle.

#3. Wine should be in a dark environment: light (especially sunlight) can pose problems for long-term storage. The sun's UV rays can degrade wine, even through a dark glass bottle. Keep wine in a cool, dark place away from light and moisture.

#4. Humidity plays a factor: the optimal humidity level is 70% to keep the corks moist enough from drying out and letting air into the bottle. More than 70% moisture levels can promote mold growing on the label, and a damaged label devalues the wine considerably. Use a dehumidifier in extremely humid conditions.

#5 Set the bottles sideways: Traditionally, bottles have been stored on their sides in order to keep the wine up against the cork, which in theory should keep the cork from drying out. With alternative closures (the "Stelvin Closure" (the proper name for a screw cap,) glass, or plastic corks) this is not necessary, but storing bottles sideways still is a space saving organizational method and will not harm the wine.

#6. Keep your wines steady: There are theories that vibration could damage wine in the long run by speeding up the chemical reactions in the liquid. Some serious collectors fret about even subtle vibrations, though for most wines unless there is serious jarring on a continual basis this is not an issue. Significant vibrations could possibly disturb the sediment in older wines and keep them from settling, potentially making them unpleasantly gritty.

The ideal senario is a wine fridge, and most all appliance stores carry a wide variety varying in price from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. In this photo, the wine had been unattended for quite some time, and when we alerted the homeowner's they were distraught that the wine had obviously spoiled. Preventing mishaps like this takes dedication to a systematic check of all of the prized collections in a fine home, and that is what Luxury Lifestyle Logistics can help to implement. Had the wine storage area been on a routine check on a maintenance calendar, this would have been far less likely to occur. To set up your residence on a systematic maintenance calendar to protect your investments, contact us for a complementary consultation today.

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