Has anyone ever called you an oenophile? If someone did, did you know what they meant? An oenophile is someone who loves wine. Wine has been a revered beverage used in religious ceremonies since ancient times. It may have come into being accidentally. Since yeast is everywhere in the world, at some point some of it was bound to end up in some grape juice or other sweet liquid causing fermentation, and wine was born!
Ancient people found that instead of ruining the grape juice, the yeast changed it into an entirely different drink, and one with a kick, because fermentation also changes any sugar present into alcohol. Ancient peoples also decided that this, too, was not such a bad thing, and began to deliberately make juices, mostly grape juices, into wines.
There was a time when wine storage solutions were not much thought about. They used crocks and ewers to store their wine then. With few ways to control the temperature or humidity, no one could ever be certain that the storage of wine would serve to help it to reach the peak of full taste. It was discovered that caves and cellars enhanced the wine, and that is how the first wine cellars started.
Just as they learned that wine needs different conditions to develop and quite another set for aging and storage, modern wine lovers have learned that wine storage solutions need to meet different situations. For modest wines in a home that is kept at a reasonably moderate temperature and humidity, open wine racks provide adequate wine storage for many tastes.
Wine storage coolers can be purchased to control the exact conditions your wine will be stored in. Coolers can be found in a multitude of sizes, ranging from a single bottle cooler, best for individual use, to refrigerated walk-in coolers for extensive collections. An individual’s choice of wine storage solutions will depend on both the size of the collection to be stored and the individual’s budget.
If wine is to remain at it’s peak flavor or to reach it through careful aging, it is fussy. Wine has a very narrow temperature array ranging from 40 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit with as little variation as can be. Temperature variations should occur as infrequently as possible. Under one time per year is recommended, and humidity should be kept at more than fifty per cent as well. A cooler should be free from light or out of direct sunlight that is harmful to wines.
One important factor to consider in a wine storage unit is the angle the bottles will be housed at. Preferably, the bottles should be stored on horizontally on their sides, but can be stored at up to a 45 degree angle. Wine racks are the best storage method, but coolers are also sometimes used to stack bottles. A storage rack should be able to accommodate both standard wine bottles and unique sizes and shapes. A final consideration is appearance, if the storage unit will be on display.
Selecting the best wine storage solutions for your collection will depend on what is being stored, the budget and preferred taste.