Warm­ing to stor­age

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Wine - with John Jens

I KNOW peo­ple who have thrown out tens of dozens of Aus­tralia’s great­est wines solely be­cause they were un­drink­able af­ter warm stor­age.

You must con­sider tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity for wine stor­age.

Heat-af­fected wines have an out-of-bal­ance bit­ter fin­ish and de­posit a fine haze that can be whisked into the wine like a puff of smoke if the bot­tle is shaken.

The tra­di­tion­ally ac­cepted wine stor­age tem­per­a­ture in Europe is ap­prox­i­mately 13C, at which the world’s great wines reach their peak at about 75 years.

As mod­ern wine col­lec­tors pre­fer to drink their prized bot­tles rather than leav­ing them for their grand­chil­dren, ear­lier ma­tu­rity, let’s say at 25 years, is prefer­able.

For this, cel­lar your wines at 15-17C; above that the wines ma­ture more quickly and lose some of their sub­tleties.

By 24-25C the wine be­gins to de­te­ri­o­rate and even a few short pe­ri­ods here change the wine sig­nif­i­cantly.

A sta­ble tem­per­a­ture is ideal, not es­sen­tial. Hugh John­son, the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion’s great wine man, wrote his UK cel­lar tem­per­a­ture var­ied at up to 17C and that the wines re­mained in per­fect con­di­tion.

Hu­mid­ity for much of the year in the Bordeaux re­gions av­er­ages 65-66 per cent and so we know anec­do­tally that this fig­ure is fine.

Perth cel­lars need air­con­di­tion­ing and hu­mid­ity con­trol to keep to be­low 17-18C and above 65 per cent hu­mid­ity.

This is easily achiev­able and if you think a cou­ple of thou­sand dol­lars for the ap­pro­pri­ate sys­tem ex­pen­sive, com­pare it with the cost of al­low­ing just one $1200 case of Cullen Diana Made­line caber­net mer­lot to go off.

If you have a se­ri­ous wine col­lec­tion, you must look af­ter it.

Buy a hy­grom­e­ter (Al­tron­ics in North­bridge have one for $49.95) as these mea­sure and record max­i­mum and min­i­mum tem­per­a­ture and hu­mid­ity and eval­u­ate your cur­rent stor­age fa­cil­ity. Al­ter­na­tively you could move your wine to Winex Stor­age in Os­borne Park.

Stor­age op­tions at Winex Stor­age.

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