Monitoring wine storage conditions is part of the demanding job of maturing wines. Poorly stored wines may lose their freshness and taste.
Wine is particularly susceptible to fluctuations in environmental conditions like temperature, humidity, and airflow. That’s why it is advisable to keep wines’ steady aging process in a temperature-controlled warehouse or cellar.
Collecting or storing wines is no cheap business or hobby. Stabilizing its storage’s condition is an easy feat if you do it correctly. Here’s a guide for storing wines:
Things to Consider for Wine Storage
In preserving and maturing wines, we need to consider the elements associated with proper wine storage:
- Temperature and Stability
Wine is a complex and fragile balance of chemical compounds such as phenol, alcohol, and water. The ideal temperature for wine storage is between 11°C and 14°C (52°F to 58°F).
Aging wine is a group of reactions that improve the taste and flavor of a wine over time. These reactions are susceptible to physical and chemical changes taking place in the environment—particularly temperature.
Wines stored at very low temperatures will age much slower. Although they may not be as damaging as those stored beyond ideal temperature, these wines are commonly subject to the damaging effects of low humidity levels associated with cold environments. But as long as the humidity is at a standard level to maintain cork integrity and avoid temperature fluctuations, it will not spoil the aging process.
Temperature stability is the “holy grail” of wine storage. Besides humidity, it is one of the essential wine storage requirements. Maintaining constant temperature over time is even more important than the actual average temperature level.
Fluctuations in temperature allow more air to get into the wine. As the environment heats up, the wine and air in the bottle also expand. The only thing that keeps the air inside is the cork. But there are instances when either the cork moves out slightly, or the cork gets too dry and shrunk causing air to seep out. The outside air then can evaporate the wine. This leads to the low fill level observed in older wines.
Monitoring wine storage temperature should be one of the top priorities of wine keepers to produce quality wines. AKCP offers a remote monitoring system that will continuously check and send reports on the conditions in your wine storage. This includes storage’s all the important elements inside, such as temperature, humidity, and water leak detection.
Cork is a natural stopper used to seal wine bottles. Sometimes, it deteriorates with time. The cork will still dry out even when the bottle is placed on its side. That is why humidity levels should be maintained between 50 to 70 percent.
If humidity level exceeds the standard range, it can affect the wine in several ways:
- It will likely cause mold and degradation of labels if the humidity level exceeds 70 percent.
- If the humidity level is below 50 percent, corks will begin to dry out, resulting in loss of liquid in the bottles and degradation of the wine as well.
- Levels above 80% will not damage the cork/wine, but there is a risk of mold or mildew damaging your storage and wine labels.
Although the bottom of the cork is in contact with the wine, the top of the cork is exposed to the air and influenced entirely by the conditions of the air around it. If the air gets too dry, the top of the cork shrinks and allows more air to contact the wine. The problem will be worse if low-level humidity and temperature fluctuations occur concurrently. That is why there must be regular temperature and humidity-level monitoring.
Airflow can help dispel the threat of moisture levels and heat around the wine storage. Devices to measure the presence of airflows can also aid the monitoring control.
The ideal environment or storage for wine must be odor-free. Since some outside air will always get into the wine through the cork, the particles that make up the air around the storage might get into the wine as well. Certain odors are fairly favorable, while some can affect the original flavor and taste of the wines. There are highly gaseous chemical compounds that are particularly harmful. Odors to look out for include:
- Fresh paint
- Cleaning products
- Air Purifiers
- Food products like onions, garlic, etc.
But HVAC systems monitoring, particularly filtration, helps reduce these risks by cleaning and filtering the air inside the storage.
- Exposure to Ultraviolet Rays
Wine should be stored with a moderate amount of light. Avoid exposing your wine to excessive light. Too much light causes light to age faster. And might leave you with poor tasting wines.
The ideal way to store wine should be in a dark and cool environment. As you may have observed, most wines are using dark glass bottles to help protect them from all the negative effects of ultraviolet rays. Light glass bottled wines have a higher probability of being exposed to UV rays. Which in turn, will leave them more susceptible to the heat. Overall, the best recommendation for wine storage is the darker bottle and room.
Minimize natural sunlight in the cellar and be cautious of the kind of lights you use. Avoid fluorescent because they create UV rays that are so dangerous for the wine. Excessive exposure to light draws imbalance and, worse even, damage. It deteriorates the chemicals and molecules needed for the wine to age so delicately. The desired aging process will be easier to reach when observing proper conduct and storage.
Security is an important issue for both in-home and warehouse cellars, security should be one of the things to prioritize in this industry. There is no sense in having a sophisticated cellar if your wine is vulnerable to damage due to fire, theft, or machinery malfunction.
Collectors and enthusiasts invest a lot of time and money in their wines. It is necessary to invest also in a storage facility that can afford security equipment to protect your wines.
As the elements listed above, wines’ primary needs for proper storage are temperature and humidity stability.
But it is also important to have control even when you are not physically near the cellar. This monitoring solution feature may send you a warning even before a disaster like an unexpected power outage or a failure in the cooling system occurs. Allowing you to take necessary precautionary actions.
AKCP wireless remote temperature monitoring solution also offers you access to the system through its user’s interface on your desktop or your mobile phones. It will immediately update you for any changes, fluctuations, or suspicious activities in your cellar by sending you an email or SMS.
Every high-value wine is worth the best storage. Investing in good storage is necessary because here lies both the safety and quality of your wines. A well-established wine storage company or even your small at-home storage must be able to store your wine in at least a decade. Look for a monitoring system like AKCP Monitoring Solution, easy to install and gives you full control of your storage. As it saves your time, cost and operation, it also ensures quality, satisfaction, and profit.
To know more about AKCP Wine Storage Monitoring you may reach them through the links below:
Wine Cellar Monitoring with AKCP