Jun 23 2023

How to Keep Your Wines Cool in Summer

One of the biggest risks to the integrity and quality of wine that has been laid to mature for a period of time is an extreme variation in temperature and environment. If you have invested in a particular year and grape that will only improve with age, then ensuring that you create the perfect wine storage surroundings will help to protect that investment and look after the taste quality for years to come.

That said, even everyday wines that are bought specifically to be enjoyed regularly need to be stored properly, and where you place your wine wall rack will need to be thought out, taking into account the movement and trajectory of the sun as the seasons evolve. What might be a cool, shady place in the winter can become a sun trap during the summer months, so make sure you place your free-standing and wall-mounted wine racks with care.

Protecting Against Extremes of Temperature

England generally has a temperate climate without any extremes of heat. However, as the year turns over, the sun’s rays are filtered through windows and doors. Ideally, your wine should be kept in temperatures of no more than 15 degrees centigrade and no less than 10 degrees centigrade. Humidity should be between 50 to 70% to avoid the cork drying out. Wall-mounted wine racks in UK homes and businesses offer space-saving options, but if installed in the wrong place, they could be in the direct line of sunlight during the hottest summer months, which makes them unsuitable during these months.

For the best option, if space is at a premium, under-stair wine storage is tucked away out of direct sunlight. The stairwell is often the most central part of any building and is protected against the ravages of the summer sun to provide a consistently cool and shady environment in which wine can be stored comfortably.

Even better would be if your property contains a basement or cellar below ground level. With small or no windows and insulated by the building itself, a basement equipped with wooden wine racks, either freestanding or wall mounted, is the ideal dark, dry environment in which to store expensive wine.

Why Your Wooden Wine Rack is Essential to Preserving Quality

Having the right environment is only part of the story. It is not enough to buy a box of wine and store that box somewhere cool and dark. Each bottle needs to be removed and stored horizontally, as this prevents the cork from drying out.

And while screw-cap wines can be stored vertically, the use of space is less efficient in this scenario. Three dozen wines stored in wine racks that are wall-mounted take up considerably less space and are safely tucked away.

Should you Invest in a Wine Refrigerator?

Many newer homes in the UK do not have the benefit of underground storage these days and might be limited in storage space. While it is recommended that wine is not stored in a kitchen as this is often the hottest room in the house, it could be that there is no other suitable space.

Many modern kitchen designs can incorporate dedicated wine refrigerators. If you are particularly passionate about collecting rare and precious wines, then a dedicated wine cooler is an essential part of your kit - particularly for the more valuable bottles. You can rest assured that your bottles are kept in optimal storage conditions, with adjustable temperature settings for complete temperature and humidity control.

Many models also have vibration control to minimise any damage to the wine from external disturbances such as ground movement caused by local traffic or underground trains - vibration which is almost undetectable by humans but can be transmitted through your home’s infrastructure.

Another reason for avoiding the kitchen is the fact that wine should be kept away from excessive odours. If it is kept close to strong smells such as spice, cooking, onions and other strong kitchen aromas, these odours can be absorbed through the cork and into the wine itself, affecting the overall taste and aroma of the wine.

Professional Wine Storage

There may be an argument for the use of a professional wine storage company that is equipped to store your wine at the optimal temperature and humidity level to maintain your wine investment in peak condition for many years to come. This will ensure that your investment is protected against any environmental damage, as well as give you the reassurance of being fully covered by the storage company’s insurance.

For the average wine buff, though, who is looking to create the right environment at home, or for businesses looking to manage their wine inventory cost-effectively, Cranville can advise on both the installation of free-standing wooden wine racks or wall-mounted wine racks, to create the best conditions. For more information on which options may be best suited for your needs, contact the company for further information and advice.