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Wine Talk: Aging Of Wines – How Is It Done?

Oak Barrels For Aging Wine

We like to drink wine. Some more some less. We have our preferred types of wine and some even have their preferred bottle. But we rarely think about what it takes to make wine and then to expertly age wine.

Oak Barrels For Aging

Many high-quality red wines are ages in oak barrels. They stay in an oak barrel for up to 24 months and absorb some of the aroma from the barrel. However, if the wine is left too long in an oak barrel then the taste of oak will overshadow the fruit aroma.

Oak Barrels For Aging Wine

Oak Barrels For Aging Wine (Source: Jerusalem Post/Carmel Winery)

Don’t run out and start pouring your bottles of wine into an oak barrel as you have to be an expert in aging wine in oak. In new wine, when it gets properly aged, the oak will give the wine a sweet taste. Most people describe it as a vanilla flavor.

The Jerusalem Post has an interesting article written by Adam Montefiore who works for the Carmel Winery in Israel.

The oak barrel is a flavoring agent that enhances a wine. Flavors leached into wine from a barrel may add an extra note to wine, which, after all, is made 100 percent from grapes and nothing else. However, if a chef uses too much of a particular spice in a dish, the balance of the dish may be ruined. Likewise, if a wine is barrel-aged for too long, the oak flavors may mask the fruit. The secret is to find the right balance.

Oak is not sweet, but oak aging does add a noticeable sweet character to a wine. Most will characterize this as vanilla, which is the basic first impression.

Other aromas that come to the fore with the practiced nose are toast, coffee, mocha, cedar, cigar box and tobacco. These secondary flavors provide a certain complexity when supporting the fruity aromas of a wine.

Take a moment to look at the article as it’s quite interesting to find out what’s behind a good wine!

If you don’t have space for a large basement wine cellar to store your wines or just occasionally like your glass of wine with dinner, then check out our wine cooler reviews to find the best wine refrigerator for your home.

The Best Temperature To Store Wine

Wine Storage

Most people think of wine storage when it comes to temperature. While this factor is important when you want to make sure that a bottle of wine won’t go bad, it’s equally important to realize the importance of wine temperature for serving wines. In this following article we look at wine storage. In one of our next posts we will look at the serving conditions of wine.

Wine Storage

Wine Storage

Wine Storage

A lot of wine collections get damaged and need to be disposed because of wrong storage. There’s four factors that impact the quality of the wine during storage:

  • Temperature
    When wine is exposed to high temperatures (> 65°F) then it will age prematurely. It loses its flavor and acidity. The same happens if you store your wines too cold.
  • Humidity
    Humidity is an often overlooked factor that impacts the quality of your wines. High humidity surrounding stored wines can cause mold growth in the corks which eventually can spoil the taste of the wine. If the humidity is too low then the corks might crack and allow air to leak into the bottle. The result is also a ruined wine.
  • Vibrations
    Vibrations can impact the molecular structure of wines. You want to make sure that your wines are stored with the least amount of vibrations possible.
  • Light
    Light can impact the molecular structure of a wine similar to vibrations. Direct sunlight will also cause heat exposure and both factors will negatively impact the quality of your wine.

How Best To Store Your Wines

You want to store your wines in an area that removes exposure from sunlight and vibrations. The area also needs to be humidity and temperature controlled. Wines are best stored at temperatures ranging from 50°F to 55°F for red wines. White wines can be stored at lower temperatures down to 45°F. The humidity levels for storage is around 60% to 75%.

These requirements in regards to optimal wine storage led in the past to people having wine cellars built into their basements. However, in the last few years wine refrigerators have become a lot more common and also do the trick.

Wine Storing Tips

Here’s a few wine storing tips for you:

  • If you are a wine collector and you have a sizable wine collection then you want to make sure you store your wine at the outlined conditions above. It can be a good investment to purchase a wine refrigerator or cooler to create such a perfect storage environment.
  • Always store your wine horizontally. This ensures that the cork stays moist. The cork being moist will prevent it from cracking and make sure that air stays out of the bottle.
  • Never put or leave a wine bottle in your freezer. The wine will lose its aroma and you risk that the bottle explodes.
  • Humid environments will allow mold to grow and can ruin the wine label. If you are a serious collector then you might want to consider putting plastic protectors over the wine labels.

These were a few tips on how to best store your wines. Wine refrigerators are designed to create a favorable environment to store your wines. You can find wine cooler reviews of many of the bestselling brands.