The Chinese believe that a bottle of wine has a finite amount of “energy” and many believe wine is a living thing with a soul. Unfortunately, much like every living being on this planet, wine will eventually decline and have lost its reason for being, to bring you joy. But when? Indeed, that is the $50 million question and it’s akin to trying to time the stock market when one lays down a bottle and contemplates when it will have reached its peak. What wine-lover wouldn’t strive for that brief sliver of time when you pour a glass of a well-aged bottle and the heavens open up as your taste buds sing “Hallelujah!”?
If this is the experience you’re looking for then you need to consider proper storage conditions, much like what Transtherm has to offer, to ensure that the optimal ageing potential of your wine is achieved. Sorry, the timer that dings when the bottle has perfectly reached nirvana is not included.
When speaking about the longevity and temperature aspects of wine, it’s helpful to get a basic understanding of the terminology used first.
Preservation – To keep the wine in its current state as long as possible (0 – 3 years). When the wine has already reached its peak, as an example.
Ageing (or Aging) – The process of wine developing and improving with time (10 – 20+ years).
Service – The ideal temperature at which to serve wine such that its phenolic attributes (aromas and flavors) are expressed optimally.
To ensure the optimal ageing of wine, the storage environment should have the following attributes:
- Constant Temperature – Temperature should be constant between 50-57°F (10-14°C)
- Controlled Humidity – The ideal level of humidity should be between 60-70% to preserve cork elasticity
- Air Circulation – Constant air circulation helps reduce odors in the cellar that could be transmitted to the wine as well as potential for mold
- No Vibration – Vibration can slow the process of biochemical development of wine, may accelerate ageing and diffuse oxygen in the wine leading to oxidation, which is not desired in most cases.
- Permanent Darkness – Ultraviolet light degrades wine by irreversibly oxidizing tannins.
- Suitable Design – A good design allows for various bottle sizes, efficient access and reduced footprint.
One of the many cool features of the 3-temperature version of the Prestige models, the Castel, is the separate temperature zones that serve multiple purposes.
- Chilling – For bringing white wines and sparkling wines to their serving temperature, which is approximately 9°F (or 5°C) below the ageing temperature setting
- Room Temperature – To keep red wines at their serving temperature, which is preset at 64-68°F (or 18-20°C)
- Ageing – The central section of the cabinet for the long term development of the wine
Transtherm is Unique
Transtherm prides itself on being one of the quietest around and is one of the few wine cabinets that has a thermadynamic pump system, which is responsible for ensuring constant humidity levels, natural ventilation and constant air circulation. Furthermore, it is one of the few wine cabinets that heats AND cools to ensure a constant temperature. As with any wine cellar, the air temperature may fluctuate a little, but studies have shown that 2 or 3°C difference in air temperature only results in a fluctuation of 0.2°C on the wine, which is negligible for ageing. For more detailed technical information, please click here.
We sincerely hope you reach nirvana with your favorite bottle of wine. To that end we offer the following approach to help determine where your wine peaked and its ageing potential. Start with a half case of wine and drink a bottle now. Then, every 2-3 years, drink another bottle. If you have reached 10 years and it still tastes good, hold that last bottle for another 10 years and see how it turns out. Please be sure to comment below about a well-aged bottle you’ve experienced and the results.