Oops, My Bad!
Have you ever pulled out a forgotten, dusty bottle of wine from the bottom shelf of the wine rack, squinted at the label, and tried to remember when you bought it or who gave it to you? Was it going to be a treasure someday? Or just an everyday wine that fell off the radar?
Wow, it’s 11 years old! I forgot all about it!
Might be great! Or… not so much!
And then the doubts start… Should you save it for a special occasion, share it with your closest friends, or just knock it down with burgers and hope for the best?
You are not alone!
We have this experience far too often.
The last time we went to Charleston, SC with some dear friends, we pulled 5 or 6 of these “mystery bottles,” hoping the aging would have turned them into smooth, luscious, palate-pleasing beauties, the hit of the weekend. Well, not quite. They were drinkable, but some had a distinctly off flavor and none of them garnered that “WOW!” we were hoping for.
We used to think all that stuff about storing wine at the right temperature and humidity was for fanatics. Or people with really, really expensive wine collections.
But as our wine collection aged, we started noticing more and more bottles that had been hanging around for 3 or more years were disappointments, not delights.
Now some of these bottles were simply not meant for long term storage. But that little inner voice wouldn’t stop nagging us – “you’re killing your wine! Stop it!”
Enter Science: Wine Storage Temperature Matters
Now some scientists have proven it. They put 400 bottles of Sangiovese in storage for six months in a typical home environment – between 70F-78F degrees.
Then they compared it with wine aged at 60F degrees in a controlled environment. The “at home” bottles aged four times faster than the ones stored in the wine cellar.
Great! A wine-aging time machine, right? Now we can speed up the maturing process and enjoy wine four times sooner.
Not quite… they added this literally sour note to the picture:
“When tested, wine stored in the domestic room was found to have fewer antioxidants and less red pigmentation, giving it an inferior flavour.”
Bummer. Wine storage temperature does matter. Time to re-assess the wine storage plan!
While the headline says “Wine ages faster if kept at home,” it should really say “wine ages faster if stored too warm.” Slow cooking: great for brisket, not so much for wine.
We can do better. We are determined to do better. What’s the use in buying nice wine if you’re going to turn it into crappy wine before drinking it?
The rest of our wine storage life begins today.
Does Your Wine Collection Need an Intervention?
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