Celebrating #EnglishWineWeek – Wine Cellar Cooling Systems – Creating the Ideal Temperature for Wine Storage
As the country celebrates English Wine Week with guided tours of vineyards and sampling of fine wines, our latest article looks at the importance of providing the correct temperature for optimum wine storage and how a wine cellar cooling system could provide the ideal solution.
Although many people drink their wine soon after it has been bought, others keep them for a longer period to improve their flavour and value. However, unless wine is kept in the right conditions, it can quickly deteriorate.
Light, humidity and temperature all play an important role in creating the perfect conditions for wine storage.
We are advised to store wine away from direct sunlight as this can damage the wine, altering its taste and lead to it prematurely ageing. Light can also fade the labels on wine making identification purposes more difficult and lowering the resale value.
The cork in a wine bottle is used as a seal to prevent oxygen entering the bottle and causing the wine to spoil. It is important that the atmosphere is not too dry as this would increase the likelihood of the cork drying out and reducing its ability to be an effective seal. On the other hand, with an atmosphere that is too damp, mould can develop. Wine expert Jancis Robinson explained that “75% humidity is often cited as ideal but there is little significant research to definitely establish an optimal range”.
For wine to be stored in optimum conditions, it is crucial that the temperature remains as constant as possible all year round.
Extreme changes in temperature results in expansion and contraction of the liquid, allowing oxygen to be drawn into the bottle, damaging the wine. The cork maybe pushed out and an unpleasant flavour could develop.
Each individual bottle of wine will have its own optimum temperature depending on a variety of factors, but most experts such as Jancis Robinson recommend that “wine be kept at constant temperatures between 50 and 59F (10 and 15C)”. Tom Stevenson suggested that “52F (11 C) maybe the most ideal temperature for storage and ageing”.
Both too high a temperature and too low a temperature can lead the wine to become spoiled.
Wine Cellar Cooling Systems
Unfortunately, the places you may find in your home will not usually provide the correct light, humidity and temperature conditions for optimum wine storage.
Temperatures in a garage or garden shed maybe become too cool during the winter, whilst rooms inside your house maybe come too warm. Wine expert Tom Stevenson recommends that “wine should not be kept in a refrigerator, since the refrigeration process often includes dehumidifying which can quickly dry out corks”.
A wine cellar cooling system can provide the ideal solution as it allows you to provide a controlled temperature on a constant basis. Offering a lower temperature than standard air conditioning units, these systems are designed specifically to maintain the optimum conditions for long term wine storage. There are different systems available from single integrated systems where the compressor and evaporator are in one unit to split systems which have an external condensing system. Under ceiling systems (wall mounted units) can be installed or if space is limited you can install a ducted system where a grille on the inside is connected by ductwork to a unit outside the wine cellar.
It is advisable that you use an FGas certified contractor to carry out any installations and regular maintenance will be essential to prevent breakdowns and ensure that the correct conditions are maintained all year round.
Can We Help?
Mattair is an air conditioning and refrigeration company, specialising in the installation, maintenance and repair of wine cellar cooling systems. Based in Sheffield, we have many customers in Yorkshire as well as London and throughout the UK.
If you would like help with your wine cellar cooling system or indeed any other air conditioning or refrigeration system, please call the Mattair team today on 01246 414922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.