Warming to storage
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.