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Storing your wines

By Faeza
07 October 2015

Martin Moore, Durbanville Hills Wines tells us you can store your wine: 

You’ve bought a few bottles of wine worthy of keeping but how do you ensure they will be an investment in a few years time or matured to perfection for that special occassion? It’s all about how and where you store your wine says Durbanville Hills cellar master Martin Moore. Three of his wines recently took double gold at the 2015 Michelangelo International Wine Awards, namely the Rhinfields Sauvignon Blanc 2015, the Rhinofields Noble Late Harvest 2012 and the Durbanville Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.

Wine is one of the very few consumer goods that gets better with time but only when stored correctly. Temperature, humidity and light plays a crucial role when you mature a wine.

The length of time that you can store a wine all depends on the cultivar as well as whether it was made with maturation in mind. Eventhough most wines these days are made to be consumed within 12 months of release there are quite a few wines on the market that will only reach their full potential after a few years. The longer the wine spent in wood as well as its natural tannin structure adds to its potential for maturation. Tannins are found within the skin, seeds and stems of grapes. Due to red wine being fermented with the grapes’ skins and pips the tannin level will be much higher than in a white wine. Tannins give structure to a red wine and you will sense a firmness and richness in the mouth of a well-structured red wine. Wood maturation softens the tannins leaving them silky smooth and coats the inside of your mouth with a soft and linger taste.

As a general guideline you can work on the following: Cabernet Sauvignon (2 to 20 years), Merlot (2 to 10 years), Shiraz (2 to 15 years), Chardonnay (2 to 6 years) and Sauvignon Blanc (2 to 4 years)

The ideal temperature for storing your wines is between 5°C and 18°C but the most important is to refrain from any dramatic temperature changes. Make sure that your storage area is not exposed to fluctuating day/night or summer/winter temperate because this could damage your wines.

Not ready for a cellar yet? Then store your wine in a cool, dark place such as a cupboard under the stairs or against an inside wall, away from direct sunlight. Stay away from the kitchen,  garage or anywhere near heaters or where exposed to direct sunlight. Your wine would like to be left undisturbed so make sure that you don’t store them in an area that you need to access on a regular basis.