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Anywhere but the Garage!

I had a long conversation with a potential client who wanted to explore a new avenue to store his wine.  He was a self-admitted, “not really into wine guy” but his father had given him 20 cases, some Bordeaux, Burgundy, California Cabs and Champagne.  Over the past 2 years, the wine has taken up precious space in the garage.  Immediately, I turned the conversation into a 911 phone call from those 20 cases.  Anywhere but the garage!  There are several problems with storing wine in the garage.  First, garage temperatures are in constant fluctuation and in many cases mirror the weather conditions.  Hot summer days followed by cool evenings can cause a temperature change of 20 degrees or greater.  Excessive temperature fluctuation will cause the wine to expand and contract, which will draw in air through the cork and cause oxidation.  The second, garage temperatures often reach extreme high or low temperatures depending on geographical location.  A storage area over 75 degrees is going to cause the wine to slowly bake and below 40 degrees can make the wine become dormant (stopping the aging process). 

A fully constructed, insulated, climate controlled wine room may not be in your future.  You may not need more then a wine rack from your local import store, however, the proper preservation of a good bottle of wine is key.  If you are “newbie” to wine collecting and you may aspire to become a full blown collector one day, start small.  Purchase a wine cabinet or wine refrigerator to protect that next shipment from the wine club.  I just received 6 bottles of Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2005, believe me, I can’t wait to see what it becomes years down the road (properly stored).

  1. Ken Thompson
    October 13th, 2009 at 19:05 | #1

    In mid September I was in Montalcino, Italy and bought several bottles of 2004 Brunello from various houses, along with a case of Rosso di Montalcino of vintage 2004-2006. I would like to preserve and properly age these wines. I’m rather new at this and the Brunellos especially are among the most expensive wines I have ever bought. The number don’t justify a huge cash outlay for a large cellar. All the smaller cooler/cellars have very poor reviews as to their qualities and short lives.
    We live in southeast Texas about an hour west of Houston. Our home temp is a pretty constant 77 degrees in hot months and around mid 60s the rest of the year. The wine racks in the kitchen could get a little warmer at time when we are baking. I’m considering leaving the bottles in the styrofoam shipping container, stored in an out of the way, dark closet, but I am open to suggestions. I have been advised that our 77 degree temps would be okay unless I plan to keep the wine for many, many years. I’ll be drinking the Rossos over the next couple of years but the Brunellos might be kept for a long time.
    Advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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