a home winery that turns out quite a bit if wine each year, Bayou Lacroix
Vineyards keeps its bottled wines in controlled storage. Although the
conditions are not as perfect as described on area's of this page, they
are controlled and therefore stable. Our conditions are cooled to at least
67 degrees in the summer months, this takes constant vigilance due to the
extreme summer temperatures in south Mississippi. In the winter months the
temperature swings about 4 to 5 degrees between day and night, but this is
not a large swing and the temperature in the cellar remains in the mid
60's. The fluctuation in the bottle is somewhat less, as temperature
changes take awhile to affect wine temperatures in the bottle. Aging is
linear and the wine seems to be happy!!
Wine is best stored at humidity levels of 75 to 80 percent
and while not all of us can afford the high-tech humidification systems
utilized by serious wine collectors a good, damp basement is usually
somewhat humid. Stone or gravel floors are good and an old fashioned root
cellar is great. Don't be afraid of moldy walls because mold thrives in
the same environment that bottled wine likes.
55 degrees Fahrenheit is the best temperature in which to store wine.
Slight temperature fluctuation will be better in the long run than
excessive heat swings in either direction. The idea is to maintain as
constant a temperature as possible. Remember that the worst enemy of wine
is heat above 80 degrees, so if you are plagued by heat waves consider an
air-conditioner for your wine storage area.
Just as people become "star-struck" upon meeting
celebrities, wine becomes "light struck" when exposed to bright
natural or fluorescent light. This is the primary reason to use darker
glass for bottling, and if wine is bottled in clear glass you should
exercise particular caution to keep it out of bright light. A cool room in
your home with heavy drapes, or blacked out windows will be just fine for
the wine. Also keeping red wines in a dark bottle will help to keep it
dark and safe..
There are a good number of storage systems out on the
market today that offer custom insulation, racking and humidification