Is a Wine Cellar Necessary?
Updated: Jun 28, 2018
When it comes to purchasing a wine cellar, this question often comes to mind: “Wouldn’t a refrigerator suffice?”
If you would like to have your wine maintain its original structure, then no, a refrigerator is without a doubt not an ideal place for storing wine.
Wine, like any produce or even us humans, react to our surroundings. Whether the reaction is positive or negative depends very much on the conditions it is subject to; a wine could develop more complex flavours or at the other end of the spectrum, ruined.
For wines to age properly, it has to be stored in the following conditions consistently:
1. Non-fluctuating Temperature
The recommended storage temperature for wines to mature and develop fully is different from that of the serving temperature.
More specifically, Red wines at around 63-64 °F (12°C to 19°C ) and the Whites at 8°C to 12°C.
In fact, above 24 °C the aging process is expedited. Therefore, for countries in Asia where it is tropical all year round, we would be “cooking” the wine instead of storing them if we were to leave them on the kitchen top.
While you may think that by achieving the stated recommended temperature would be sufficient, the consistency of the temperature is another vital factor. Any fluctuation of temperature of more than 1.4°C to 2.5°C) could greatly affect a bottle of wine by means of contraction and expansion of the cork. This exposure to change in temperature allows air to enter and oxidise the wine, and over time, you will find that your wine no longer taste the same. For storing quality wines, you would then want no more than 3° of variation in a day and less than 5° over a year.
Just based on temperature as the most important factor, a refrigerator is already a subpar alternative. Having only one temperature setting would refrain you from keeping both reds and whites together. Refrigerators are also designed to blast cold air to the set temperature to cool its insides quickly. This cool blast is halted thereafter and only continued once the temperature rises again. As refrigerators are meant for food, the constant opening and closing of the door adds to the volatile temperature, a definite no for wines.
2. Medium-high Humidity and Odour-free
Corks are an essential part of wines and is required to be kept with just the right amount of moisture to prevent air from seeping into the wine. The space between the cork and the wine bottle is called the ullage. For this ullage to be minimal, 70% humidity is recommended as anything below that may cause the cork to dry up and loose its elasticity thereby allowing air in.
Refrigerators are used to keep food dry and thus has low humidity, this not only dries up the corks but also permits the various smells of the kept food to seep into the wine. This will definitely alter the quality of your wine.
3. Minimal Vibration
One reason why wines have to be stored horizontally is for the sediments to be distributed evenly, apart from keeping the cork moist too. These sediments are to be moved at its own pace for the wine to mature well. Constant vibrations and movements from commercial refrigeration compressors would therefore hinder this sedimentation process.
Therefore, the Riserva collection offers full wooden shelves instead of wire racks to reduce vibrations when the door is being opened or closed.
Delicate liquids like wines are often stored in dark coloured glass bottles, and this is to reduce the amount of light penetrating the bottle to deteriorate the wine. Ultraviolet light, which are emitted even from computer screens, would be able to enter dark coloured glass and affect the flavour of the wines. Nevertheless, in whichever bottle that wines are contained in, they should be kept away from sunlight and fluorescent lights.
At Bodega, we recognise that wine is alive and how it would only thrive in the right consistent environment. Bodega climate-controlled wine cellars are meticulously designed and manufactured in Italy to create the most ideal conditions to preserve your wine’s flavour, colour and consistency.
To combat the aforementioned detrimental light factor, Bodega’s wine cellars are fitted with a three ply UV resistant door and anti UV led lights. In this way, even your clear bottles are protected from the harmful rays and possibility of condensation on the glass door is reduced.
Bodega’s entire lifestyle collection comes with wooden shelves and a compressor mounted on silent motor as they are built to be quiet and to absorb as much vibrations as possible. The steadiness of our cellars would allow your wine to mature properly.
As we know that red and white wines have to be stored in different ranges of temperature, Bodega’s wine cellars have dual zone cooling systems for your reds and whites. A dual zone cooling system allows for different temperature controls to be set, allowing your wine to maintain its structure and flavour, so that you can also enjoy it right away after taking it out from the cellar.
The cork that plays a large part in keeping the wine’s flavour and aroma will also be kept in its optimal condition in our climate controlled wine cellars, where humidity is fixed at the recommended amount.
Carbon filters are added into the wine cellars to remove any extraneous odours as these can enter the wine through the cork and contaminate it. Our wine racks are also made of beechwood, as the aromatics from pine or cedar may destroy the wines.
And lastly, Bodega wine cellars' refined appearance boasts elegance and style, making it a piece of art in your home or office. As the designs are customisable, we are certain that we will bring you the wine cellar of your life.