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wine storage

5 étapes simples pour votre solution de stockage du vin

If you usually keep more than a couple of bottle of wine, storage can often been an issue. Keeping consistent temperature humidity is a headache and you end up keeping those cases of Chardonnay in your garage where they may or may not be drinkable after a while.

So what's the solution? Which wine storage system is right for you? This quick guide will help you narrow down your choices, and find the right solution for your budget.

1) What kind of wine do tend to buy?

You surely noticed different wine bottles come in different shapes and sizes. If you if you prefer burgundy style wines like Pinot Noir, you have elegant bottles that are about half an inch wider in diameter than the standard Bordeaux style bottles, more associated with Cabernet-Sauvignon and Merlot.

Unfortunately, Bordeaux style bottles are the industry-standard for wine coolers and wine racks. As burgundy style bottles are wider, the capacity of wine cooler will be less than what you might expect. This also goes for champagne bottles or magnum size (1.5 L bottles)

2) Make plan for future purchases

If you're happy with two cases of wine at any time, then a wine storage system with at least 24 bottle capacity is enough. However, collecting wine can become addictive once you know that your bottles can be kept safely. You might soon end up with much more bottles than you planned, and paying for a second wine cooler, not mentioning finding room for it, might not be a nice solution. So think ahead and consider buying a high-capacity wine cooler from the start.

3) Racks material and finishing

Wine racks, standalone or in wine coolers, come in different kind of materials such as pine, redwood, iron, stainless steel, or even plastic.

Redwood is generally the most sought after because it's quite strong, has no odor, resist humidity without the need of sealants or varnish that can be harmful or change the taste of wine.

Pine is very common because it's relatively cheap but tends to wrap in presence of humidity, so it needs to be varnished or sealed. Sealants can release unpleasant odor.

Metal racks tend to use less space than wood racks, and are therefore popular in wine coolers or electric wine cellars. But metal racks can rust in humid conditions, their paint might peel, and for cheaper models, the racks might not be strong enough to supports several bottles without bending.

As for plastic, they are quite popular for low-end racks but again tend to be less strong and more easily broken than other solutions.

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4) Temperature and humidity control

wine must be stored in consistent environments in terms of temperature and humidity. The generally accepted temperature for storing wine is 55° F or 13° C. Electric wine cellars and wine coolers offer precise control over these two parameters.

It is also important to protect your bottles from UV and vibrations. The engines of electric wine cellars must be guaranteed for very low vibration, and keep the wine from constantly shaking.

Some wine coolers offer separate zones for different temperatures. These are generally called dual-zone coolers. A common mistake is to think that each zone is for one type of wine, for example red wine at 13°, and white wines at 8°. Actually all wines must be stored at 13° C or 55° F whether red or white. However the service temperature is indeed different. So dual-zone coolers actually offer one zone for storage and one zone for service.

5) The limits of home storage

Electric wine coolers are made for indoor use, at reasonable external temperatures. If you plan to keep your wine cooler in your garage, make sure it's not exposed to extreme temperatures, hot or cold. Ensure decent ventilation, and avoid running gas engines or storing pungent or volatile substances nearby. Also, always ensure that your main electric wiring respects safety norms, and that the wine cooler's compressor has enough free space around to dissipate heat safely.

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