A discussion with Bill Williamson.
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.
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.
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. However 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 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.