Keeping Your Investment Safe

Basement beats kitchen

Discussions with Bill Williamson

Wine improves with age . . . The older I get, the better I like it.

Wine, like all forms of collecting, can bring a great deal of pleasure and costs much less than collecting works of art.


My grandfather knew the terroir of every bottle in his cellar, quite possibly because he grew the grapes and made the wines, but each was a memory of a time in his past that he found pleasure in reliving when holding a bottle.

Cellar Details

Once bottled, wine should be protected from its greatest enemy, oxygen. As you expect, the ideal place for wine storage is a nice, dark, slightly dank cellar with a single discreet entrance to which only you have the key.

Wine Aging in Cellar

Correctly stored, wines can maintain their quality and in some cases improve in aroma, flavor and complexity as they age. The optimum conditions for wine storage are:

  • Temperature within the range of 55 °F to 58 °F, with no fluctuation.
  • Dark environment, low light or ideally, no light.
  • Free from any vibration or movement.
  • Consistent humidity of 60% to 70% as lower humidity levels can dry corks out over time.
  • Bottles should be stored on their sides or upside down to ensure the cork remains wet.
Temperature should never fall below -4 °C (25 °F), at which wines freeze and can fatally force corks out of bottle, nor should the temperature rise to 30 °C (86 °F), above which a wine's more volatile compounds may be boiled off forever, with the color and clarity harmed.

In an active wine cellar, temperature and humidity are maintained by a climate control system. A passive wine cellar (the cupboard under the stairs) is not climate-controlled, and so must be carefully located.

Wine refrigerators can maintain a constant temperature but their humidity level is too low so they are not optimum for long term wine storage unless fitted with a humidity management system.

Corks can dry out prematurely (and quickly) if the bottles are left in the sun, stored in a hot kitchen or vehicle or allowed to stand upright in a dry environment. If the cork dries out and eventually shrinks so that it no longer acts as an airtight seal, it may start to allow oxygen in to the wine and spoil it.

Transporting Wine

Our wines are shipped in sturdy, temperature restrictive, shock absorbent wine shipping containers enclosed in a cardboard box, all designed to keep the bottles safe and on their sides.

Bottles in Box shipment

If you have doubts about the way the wine was transported or if it seemed abnormally cool or hot, let one of the bottles come up to room temperature and then open and try it. If you ever have a problem with any wine in a shipment we will replace it, no questions, no cost.