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Brian K Miller

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Another Noobie Question: Wine Storage

by Brian K Miller » Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:10 am

I have a small wine refrigerator with a digital temp control and everything, and I also have 30 minutes away a small locker at a self storage place in Napa that offers temperature control.

But...convenience and size of my collectioin lead to another new guy's question: inland Northern California gets pretty warm. I will run the AC in my little townhouse on the hottest days, but on slightly cooler days, it's too expensive.

Red wine I'm planning on keeping for a while goes to Napa or the wine refrigerator. But, the shorter term stuff-how quickly will red wine typically go bad if the temp swings up to 85 or so? days, weeks, or months? And-we're not talking about long term temperatures at that high level. We have pretty big diurnal swings (59 degrees to 95, for example)

Another option for wines I don't need to have age any more and won't keepo for ever: the normal (too cold) refrigerator.

Any thoughts?
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
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Howie Hart

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Re: Another Noobie Question: Wine Storage

by Howie Hart » Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:46 am

I'm not sure of your exact situation, but recently I was at another home winemaker's house and he converted an old fruit cellar into a wine cellar by sealing and insulating. During hot days he simply places a few 1-gallon plastic milk jugs full of water, which he froze, in the room. He would exchange them every day with fresh ones from the freezer and the temp in his cellar never went above 63F. Simple, but effective.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Another Noobie Question: Wine Storage

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:46 am

Putting wine in the fridge isn't a problem for the wine. If you have the room to store it there, then that's as safe as you can get. Next best would be the coolest closet in the house. Do you have one that is bounded by interior walls? Those can stay several degrees cooler than the rest of the house. That's how I handled things at my old house and I never had anything bake over a period of months, anyway.

Mike
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OW Holmes

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Re: Another Noobie Question: Wine Storage

by OW Holmes » Fri Sep 01, 2006 10:15 am

I agree that putting wine in a refrigerator is fine for SHORT term storage, say, a few months. I have heard that it is not good for wines long term because of the vibration that occurs when the refrigerator cycles, but I must say I have not noticed that. I found a few bottles of white in a lower drawer of the refrigerator in our garage that had been there for several years, with no ill effects whatsoever.
As for reds, you are going to get all kinds of answers regarding rack storage with occasional bursts to 85 degrees. Given, that is not ideal, but if it doesn't push the cork up, or force wine out around the cork, most red wine is hardy enough to take it without noticeable change over the short term. If that kind of swing has an effect, it is not likely to show up for a while. "Short term" and "a while" will depend on the wine. I left a bottle of young inexpensive bordeaux in a garage with that kind of heat swings, and more, for at least a month, and drank it immediately (well, after cooling it down for a day) and it was fine - though I had no reference point for that wine. It certainly did not taste cooked. Neither did an Edmund St. Johns wine I left in my car too long and it got so hot it forced wine out around the cork. So I would think for sterner reds, a few months should not make a noticeable difference. For wines meant to be consumed immediately, it may make more of a difference.
Sorry I can't go further, but the only wines I have experience with that have been exposed to 85 degrees have been accidents, and they are fortunately few.
I guess I would put most things in storage (or in your wine fridge) unless you were planning on drinking within a month or two. The drive is short enough that there is no good reason to gamble.
-OW
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John Treder

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Re: Another Noobie Question: Wine Storage

by John Treder » Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:04 pm

I live in pretty much the same climate as you do, and for a decade I kept my wine in a closet in the bedroom. I didn't notice any problems with a couple of years in the closet for some bottles, though the wines did mature faster than they do nowadays in the Vinotemp in the garage, which holds pretty close to 58 degrees.

I'm a Philistine when it comes to storage and handling -- I don't worry about it very much.
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Brian K Miller

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Re: Another Noobie Question: Wine Storage

by Brian K Miller » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:20 pm

Thanks, all. I'm a bachelor, so don't typically fill up my refrigerator, anyway. So, the less ageworthy/already aged stuff can go there or the Wine Fridge. Napa's a nice drive, anyway :)
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach

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