We like to enjoy a good wine at home, accompanied by family and friends, but we are not always clear about the temperature and conservation of the wine.
Several factors affect the proper conservation of bottled wine in our homes, among which we must highlight the temperature, air, and sunlight.
Does wine evolve over time?
We will answer this question from two topics, usually extended.
Is the wine alive?
It is a very common cliché to affirm that wine is a living being and that it requires adequate conditions to survive.
Of course, wine is not a living being. Still, like other foods, it has a life cycle that makes it change its chemical composition over time, causing important changes in its organoleptic qualities:
The visual appearance of the wine
The wine over time loses the vividness of its color, in reds, it turns to more muted colors, brown tones, and tile; and in whites to more golden tones or even amber.
Aromas of wine
Now, if it is young wines, the passage of time will simply cause those aromas to be lost, so it is convenient to consume them in the year of harvest.
Flavors of wine
As in the aromas, if the wine is aged, its nuances will evolve, but if it is a young wine, it will simply lose them.
All these organoleptic characteristics of the wine are evolving for better or for worse due to various biochemical processes, which are influenced by certain environmental factors that we must take care of if we want an adequate evolution of the wine.
Do wines improve over time?
It is true, but provided that we start from that:
- be a quality product: and that is preserved throughout its years of ageing in optimal conditions
- temperature is one of the main factors, as long as the wine has been properly bottled to preserve it from the oxygen in the air.
Should you buy a wine to store at home?
As for end consumers, we must be very clear that when we purchase a bottled wine, it is ready to be consumed directly. We have paid for a finished product that, if it is an aging wine, the winery has already carried out all this process before putting its product on the market.
We can always carry out a “storage” of the wines we purchase, but always being very clear that time begins to run against the stability of the wine, especially if we do not take care of the storage conditions such as humidity, light, and temperature.
Ideal conditions of light, humidity and temperature to preserve a wine
Once we have wine at home, we will have to think about reproducing the optimal conditions of a winery for its conservation.
As for the light, it is better to stay in the dark, so having a wine rack in the kitchen is not a good option.
If we are looking for a good temperature, the ideal one would be 12º to maintain the optimal conditions of wine, and it is very important not to exceed 20º since its oxidation would accelerate.
It is also important to keep the wine at a constant temperature.
And the ideal humidity would be 70%, to guarantee that the cork does not dry out and avoid evaporation.
White, red, and rosé wines at home
We also have to bear in mind that young white and rosé wines are more transient than red ones and that they require special care to be able to make them last longer and to keep all their qualities alive until the next harvest, at which time they receive the relief of the new wines.
And as in everything, there are exceptions: we can find red wines, whether or not they have been previously aged in barrels, which can be kept for long periods in the bottle as long as the storage as mentioned earlier conditions are optimal that allow a slow evolution.
Are all wines suitable for “aging”?
Not all red wines are valid for “aging”: acidity, alcohol, and polyphenols are intrinsic factors of the wine that allow achieving an adequate evolution that is achieved starting from grapes of certain varieties, harvested at their optimum moment and that has been elaborated in a detailed.
To take an easy-to-see reference, if red wine is young, the ideal way to fully enjoy the wine would be to consume it in the year itself.
Ideal wine storage temperature
High summer temperatures are a handicap for wines: long storage periods with temperatures above 20º and even strong thermal jumps are triggers of processes of alteration of the organoleptic qualities of the wines that cause considerable changes in the quality of the wines.
How to better preserve and store our wines?
Ideally, try to store our wines in a space where there are no thermal fluctuations and with a temperature between 5 and 17ºC.