Wine Storage and Types to Store - Printable Version

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- team - 10-25-2006 07:35 PM

I would like to know, as a new and up and<BR>coming collector, what is the ideal temperature for storing wine and what types<BR>to start off with? I know its up to the <BR>person but is it ok to go european for <BR>collectable or californian? I would like a <BR>well rounded cellar and I would like to start with a broad rather than a thin selection, although I Know it could take years to develop. Help is appreciated.

- hotwine - 10-26-2006 06:40 AM

Welcome to the board, Stanislo.<P>Long-term wine storage requires the proper environmental conditions for aging. "Ideal" storage is generally considered to have a temperature of 55-57 degrees F, 60-70% relative humidity, and be dark and vibration-free. We can relate all sorts of horror stories about trying to store wines outside those ideal conditions; but in a nutshell, you should make sure you have such storage before attempting to store wiens for long-term aging.<P>About which wines need aging: It has been estimated by members of this board that some 95% of wines available on the market today are ready to be consumed when released by the producer. So it's only the remaining 5% that are candidates for aging. In that group, I place many Bordeaux (but not all), many Burgundy (but not all), Barolo, Brunello, Barbaresco, some white Burgundy, vintage Port, some Spanish, some Portugese.... and some California cabs and blends (and probably others I'm forgetting...). The list can get very long. Suggest you review postings on this board going back at least a couple of years for suggestions.

- Innkeeper - 10-26-2006 07:21 AM

The only reds I would add to this list are those from the Upper Rhone and CDPs from the Lower Rhone, and a very few (and expensive) Australian Shiraz'.<P>There are whites that are candidates from aging. In addition to some White Burgundy, you might consider most white dessert wines (Sauternes, etc), some Loire Whites such as Sancerre and Savennieres (from different grapes), Rielsing from Alsace, Germany, Australia, and even reserve ones from the Finger Lakes. Also Semillon from Australia.<BR>The white table wines here (as opposed to the dessert wines) don't need the time that aging reds do. Usally five or six years from vintage will work.<P>Having said all this the 95% approachable on release figure that hotwine gave you still holds. Don't buy a wine without asing about this if you are not sure. If your retailer can't help, ask us.

- dananne - 10-26-2006 09:24 AM

The above is all good info, and I will only add this:<P>It is impossible to generalize about European or Californian wines as being candidates for aging. Aside from variety differences, you also need to take into consideration producer, style, vintage, etc. For example, I drink a good amount of California Pinot Noir. Some is produced in a style best appreciated upon release, though others need a few years of bottle age to best enjoy. This is true not only between different producers, but also from different vineyards or vintages from the same producer. What I'm saying is that the knowledge of when to cellar and when to drink up comes, in some measure, from experience.<P>Welcome to the board!