INTRODUCTION TO WINE
As is well known, wine will keep for a long time; if kept in a suitable place
white wines will keep for about two years from the date of harvest. Light
red wines can be kept for up to two years although preferably they
should be consumed within a year. While some full-bodied red wines can
keep for ten years and heavy red wines even twenty years. When you
buy a bottle of wine put it in the cellar or another suitable place
immediately. Three factors are vital in the process which starts from the
cultivation of the grape, through to ripening, harvesting and wine making:
light, air humidity and room temperature. If the taste of the wine is to
reach full maturity while maintaining the wine's bouquet, it must be
stored with these three factors in perfect balance.
Not everyone has an underground storage space which can be
used as a cellar. Recently technology has evolved to produce a
suitable substitute for the classic wine cellar. The Wine Cellar
which you have purchased is a special appliance designed to
contain and store wines correctly. It should not be used to store
fruit, vegetables or other food, but only your favourite bottles of
wine. So, without having a cellar area, every type of wine can be
correctly stored, matured and enjoyed.
A vital rule for keeping your favourite bottles is that they should be placed on their sides or inclined so
that the wine bathes the cork. Many people think that this causes the well-known "cork" smell. In reality
contact between the wine and the cork helps the elasticity of the cork so guaranteeing its effectiveness.
Being able to remove the bottles easily avoids accidental shaking which, like vibration, could cause the
sediments to suspend again, so altering the appearance of the wine over time. Move your bottles as little
as possible and let the wine rest. Also avoid letting the bottles come into contact with the bottom wall
because this would not only affect efficient defrosting but could ruin the bottle labels because of the drops
of water collected during defrosting. The shelves on which the bottles are placed are made of wood,
which efficiently absorbs any vibrations and keeps the bottle away from the wall which transmits the cold.
The bottles of wine must also be kept away from substances or places which have a strong smell because
this could easily be transmitted to the wine.
The temperature represents a critical factor which is important throughout the wine's life cycle. It
determines wine's good development while it remains in the bottle to mature. For best storage the
temperature must be kept constant between 8 and 12°C. Rapid and wide changes of temperature must be
avoided: too high a temperature dilates the liquids and speeds up the maturing process, while too low a
temperature (below 4 – 5°C) could cause the precipitation of tartrates, which could affect the wine's
appearance. In extreme cases in which the temperature drops below 0°C, the wine may freeze and cause
the cork to be expelled.
The cork is a fundamental component of a bottle of wine: its quality, chosen by the wine producer, is very
important for the maturation of the wine itself. The perfect condition of the cork, in the bottles which we
buy, depends exclusively on the standards of use and storage used by the producer or bottler.