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The do’s and dont’s of wine aging

Whether you are a wine collector or not, here are some tips on storing wine for aging. Remember that poor storage of wine can flaw even the world’s best wine.

Tip number 1: Buy 6 bottles of the same wine. Try to taste a bottle every year as this will indicate to you when the wine is at its best.

Tip number 2: Check your room temperature. We live in the South African sun which tends to be hotter than the average European room temperature and is the biggest mistake most collectors make. Store your wine at an average temperature between 10-15 degrees Celsius. Do not store your wine in the kitchen cupboard next to the oven or on a rack next to the fireplace.

Tip number 3: Make sure the wine is not exposed to sunlight. The darker the room the better. The sun’s UV rays affect the wine by harming the aroma and flavours within the wine.

Tip number 4: For the purists that prefer corked wine, lay your bottles down horizontally ensuring the cork stays wet and keep it from drying out and letting in excessive amounts of oxygen that will spoil your wine. It is not necessary to rotate your bottles.

Tip number 5: Can you age screw cap wines? It is an ongoing debate in the wine world and a fascinating topic. No one has opened a 50-year old screw cap to tell the difference, there isn’t any yet! Screw capped wines, in contrast, do not let air in and the wines are kept much fresher.  For wines that you want to age between 5 to 10 years, a screw cap won’t be any worse and might even be better than a cork for this reason. The best part is the space you save, you can age them standing up.

Tip number 6: Humidity is relatively important as it has a major effect on the cork. It is also a difficult element to control if you do not have a humidifier or the perfect underground cellar. Try to keep the humidity as consistent as possible.

Aging wine can have major benefits for the collector as your wine’s value can increase over time. The contents within the bottle are also protected and allowed to develop optimally for the wine lover to enjoy at its best.