The manner in which you store your wine is important if you wish to have a selection of wines that can keep for years in our cave, without running the risk of the wine spoiling.
Light, humidity, temperature, vibrations and odours are all factors linked to an ideal storage for wine.
The perfect temperature of a wine cave is between 11 to 15 ºC, but the most important thing is that the caves temperature remains constant. Nothing spoils wine easier than important temperature variations throughout the year. The easiest place to create this stable condition is underground, about 4 m, or equally, dug out direct of a rock face. An artificial cave made from brick or cement can also create this stability as long as it is thermally-isolated.
There should always be some part of a wine cave that does not cover-up the soil, and ideally with the entrance facing north. A concrete floor covering the entire floor area will not permit a natural regulation of humidity levels, which should be around 70%. Not too dry nor too damp. If your entrance faces south, you run the risk of warmer summer afternoon temperatures entering in your cave.
Direct natural sunlight should never reach your bottles, nor should neon lights be used to light the cave. Ultra violet light can oxidise a wine. It is best to use a softer lightbulb such as LED.
It is best not to build a wine cave within the vicinity of vibrating machinery.
In order to avoid smells and flavours penetrating through the corks and spoiling your wine, you should never store items that produce strong odours in the wine cave. For example, like cheese and cold-cuts.
Wood and concrete are both two materials that are well suited for shelving in a wine cave. The most important thing is that your bottles are placed horizontally. The wine should always completely cover the base of the cork so that it doesn’t dry out.
In order to make it easier to find a wine, it is best to place bottles with labels facing upwards. You can always film your labels with kitchen film if you find that your labels start to erode. The film helps to conserve them, but should never be wrapped up over the top of the cork.
The way we can organise wine in a cave vary quite a bit, and it’s all down to personal preference. The traditional way of organising a wine cave is by country, wine region, type of wine, appellation and if needs be by vintage and producer. But why not just by type of wine or wine region? Or why not according to what foods the wines match with, or if the wine is more of a summer wine or a winter wine?
Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have concerning wine storage.