A bottle of red, a bottle of white, whatever kind of mood you're in tonight. Billy Joel said it best, but when you’re in the store and it’s time to make up your mind, it’s hard to choose just one! So, if you’re anything like me, you end up buying a few bottles knowing it will eventually be put to good use. However, until you pop the cork it’s important to keep them stored in the right conditions; you don’t want it too cold or too hot, but just right.
Heat is the number one enemy! Chemical reactions that take place over time in the bottle speed up as the temperature increases, causing undesirable changes. If temperatures are running higher than 70 °F, wine will age faster than usual; any warmer and the wine is literally getting cooked, giving it a flat taste. What’s the best temperature to store wine at you ask? In between 45 °F and 65 °F is the general range, but for those perfectionists out there, the ideal temperature is 55 °F.
If you like your wine cold, fight the urge to store it in the fridge! Although low temperatures are not as damaging as higher temperatures, the lack of humidity associated with cold environments is just as bad. Refrigerator temperatures can easily fall below 45 °F, which could cause the wine to freeze and expand enough to even push the cork out! Once opened, it's okay to refrigerate the corked wine for a few days.
Cold conditions bring us to the importance of humidity and the science behind the cork. Dry air will dry out the top of the cork, causing it to shrink and crack. This allows more air to seep into the bottle, exposing the wine to oxygen, which can ruin its flavor. To prevent the cork from drying out, it’s recommended humidity levels are kept between 60 and 80 percent. Levels above 80 percent can encourage mold and mildew growth. Storing wine bottles on their side can also prevent drying cork. The moisture provided by the wine ensure the cork remains tightly sealed, so no oxygen can penetrate the bottle.
The debate continues over whether vibrations influence wine, but many seem to agree that persistent vibrations could impact the flavor one way or another. Not only can vibration disturb the sediment of older wines, but it can also chemical reactions going on inside the bottle. Some experts say that when a wine bottle shakes it creates kinetic energy, which can cause the wine to become sweet and less aromatic.
From production to transport and storage, data loggers can help ensure the quality of wine is maintained. MadgeTech offers the MircoTemp to monitor the entire wine processing cycle from fermentation to bottling. During transit is when wine may see the worst conditions, so to monitor the priceless cargo MadgeTech has an all-in-one solution. The UltraShock measures and records temperature, humidity and vibrations to confirm the shipment remained safe. MadgeTech’s RFRHTemp2000A wireless data logger is ideal for controlling storage conditions and are equipped with audible alarms that trigger when temperature and humidity levels exceed the safe range.
To view all of the data logging solutions for wine processing and enthusiasts, click here.