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Storing Wines In Your Home:
If you are storing or cellaring wine, ideal conditions are a dark, stable environment with medium humidity and a stable temperature range somewhere between 14 and 20 °C, with the less variance the better. As a very general rule wine stored at the upper end of this range will develop more quickly, with wines stored at or near the lower limit ageing slowly.
An underground cellar is both romantic and practical for wine storage. Unfortunately, most homes do not have one! As a result most wine ends up being stored in the living quarters. This need not be too detrimental to the wine if care is taken in the choice of location.
Simple storage solutions:
It is possible to maintain a functioning ‘cellar’ in the home without going to huge expense; one just needs to be a little innovative.
Begin by selecting a site in the house that maintains the most stable year round temperature. A central room or cupboard with no external walls is ideal. An understorey garage is another good option. Invest in a double bulb thermometer and do a few trials to find the best spot.
If possible store your wines in their original cartons. This acts as another form of insulation, and also keeps the light out. Purpose made polystyrene cartons available from most good wine stores are also a great option.
Wines under cork should be stored on their side to prevent the cork from drying out. Wines under screwcap may be stored upright or on their sides. Do be careful to ensure there is no pressure on the screwcap closure so the seal is not inadvertently damaged.
Recent years have seen an explosion in the number of temperature controlled wine fridges on the market. Such cabinets are available in a huge range of shapes, sizes and capacities, and competition in this sector means prices are far more reasonable than they were just a few years ago. Most major department stores now offer a range, though for the best advice a specialist wine-store is a good place to start. Our only recommendation would be to purchase the largest one affordable within your price range, as the collection inevitably grows. If space is a factor all capital cities and many regional centres have businesses offering professional storage facilities. Prices vary so be sure to shop around.