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This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

  1. #1
    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?


    So call me a snob.... I'm into wine.. like decently.
    So much so I'm looking to store my wine in this EuroCave Pure M Wine Cellar (Full Glass Door) - Wine Enthusiast

    but i cant quite swallow the price. Anyone more knowledgeable on this than I ?

    Basic question is..... Do I really need to maintain humidity for storing my wine ( not serving )
    current 100 bottle frig fluctuates between 35-80 RH during the normal defrost cycle

    is that sufficient to age/ store my wine long term or just good enough for serving ( drinking in 1-2 years)

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    hmmmm......

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    There's bound to be somebody here with even more knowledge, but my gut says as long as you have a consistent environment (like a cellar) and the cork doesn't dry out, you're ok.

    I went to wine country on a fluke about 10yrs ago. I've forgotten a lot of the intricacies I picked up while there, but as long as there's some humidity you'll be ok.

    The cork's integrity along with as little temp fluctuation as possible is the real thing here.

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    Lifer snwbrdr435's Avatar
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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    Humidity is important if your trying to keep these wines for longer then 8-10 years. I try to keep it around 70, i'd say less than 50 is probably not great so I'd try and bump that up. If your just keeping em for a year or two then I wouldnt really worry about it. Does your fridge have humidity controls?

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    Last edited by snwbrdr435; 09-18-17 at 08:03 PM.

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    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    so.. I am trying to age the wine..... some should nt be touched for 6-7 years
    40% get drunk in first year
    20% the next year and t
    10% the nextyear

    and 10% shouldnt be touched for 6 years

    its the last 20% i'm concerned about- the link i provided is for humidity and temp control
    There are cheaper models for just temp control. These Euorcavs have a +/_ 1% max temp diff vs the one i have righ tnow has +/_2.5 %
    and fluctuates from 80 to 30% RH with an avg of 60 over a 4-7 hr refrigerant cycle

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    hmmmm......

  5. #5
    Lifer BSR6's Avatar
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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    I work in the wine and spirits industry. Full disclosure...I'm a market analyst, not a rep, so my knowledge isn't exactly expert level. That being said, I pick up on a lot as I do work closely with the reps and attend all of the sales meetings.

    First off...The idea of aging wine is greatly misunderstood. Not all wines age in the bottle. The aging process is primarily about the barrel. Once it's bottled it has a shelf life. The rule of thumb is 2 years for whites and 5 years for reds. Of course there are wines that do indeed age in the bottle but you have to do your research. You need to know what you are buying and how long to age it. I can tell you that in the industry most experts say it's not worth it. Aging may optimize a particular vintage, but that doesn't mean it's any better than other wines out there. It just means that it's better than it would have been if you didn't let it sit for a while.

    I get there is some intrigue behind the process and many do find it fun so for that it's worth it. Since you investing in some equipment I assume you know all of this but I had to throw it out there just in case.

    Now, in regards to your initial question. My understanding is that all variables (temp and humidity) should be kept as consistent as possible so yes you need to control the humidity.

    If you are worried about the cork drying out store the bottles upside down or on it's side so that the wine stays in contact with the cork. Also, most wine companies now take measures to ensure the cork doesn't dry out by sealing it in some way shape or form.

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    Last edited by BSR6; 09-19-17 at 11:21 AM.

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    Lifer BSR6's Avatar
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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    So...The timing of this post is funny because I'm in the office today to attend our monthly meetings. During these meetings, our suppliers present and sample various wines. It's a typical sales thing where we discuss what's hot, what needs to be promoted, etc. Since I'm sitting in a sea of experts, I just took a minute to chat with the guy sitting next to me and got some more specifics.

    To follow up with my point above about aging...His response was the same as mine. In short, it's mostly a bunch of snobbery. Make sure you know what you're doing because otherwise it's a waste of time and frankly even if you do know your stuff it can be a waste of time (unless you enjoy the process of course). He supported this idea more by explaining that since 99.9% of consumers are looking for a wine they can drink within hours or days of buying it, the amount of ageable wines in the market is fading fast. The one's that are ageable are usually wines that were released too early and might be better if allowed to sit for a while in the bottle.

    For the most part, these days the wine makers are doing it for you. In many cases they let product sit bottled in the warehouse for whatever time they think it will take to get to where it needs to be. Interestingly enough, this was discussed in the last presentation I sat through. The wine we sampled just minutes ago sat bottled in a warehouse for 18 months to make sure it was optimal when it shipped to the market. It's not at all a fancy brand at $15 a bottle.

    In regards to the humidity...The main reason behind controlling the humidity is that varying humidity can cause temperature fluctuations. So it's really about keeping things as consistent as possible and since humidity can impact temperature, it should be controlled. The cork is also part of the issue. I was partially wrong about storing it upside down or on it's side. While that may help, the cork can still dry out. Yes, manufacturers will seal them but the seals can fail. Dry corks are extremely unlikely but it's just not worth risking so controlling the humidity is another step to mitigate that risk.

    Another factor he brought up that I forgot to mention is light. Make sure wherever you choose to store/age your wine is dark and keep any light exposure to a minimum.

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    Last edited by BSR6; 09-19-17 at 11:22 AM.

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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    If you are actually going to be holding onto the wine for that long you should invest in a proper storage unit. Try to pick one up from a moving sale, or if you have a space look into building a cellar. Being able to store full cases is really great. Also, go way bigger than you think you need. You'll fill it up, guaranteed.

    If you were to take a look at a cases of wine that were stored in a passive basement cellar (traditional NE style that have perhaps some additional cooling and natural humidity) vs professional or actively controlled storage you'd notice the difference. It's more apparent over time and I'd guestimate that you really start to see it after 20 years not the ~10 you're talking about. What you find is that there is a lot more variation in the bottles in the passive storage, some failed corks (falling in, out, wine leaking heavily or lightly) while the actively stored wine will almost all look perfect. People pay a premium for the actively stored bottles, as they should. Wine quality is always on a bottle by bottle basis (cork taint, storage conditions) so you're just increasing the percentages in your favor. Is that worth the extra investment? I leave that to you and what wines you're buying.

    In regards to the ageability of wines... Most of the wines sold are meant for immediate consumption. That said, there is an impossibly huge market for high end wine that is effectively not worth drinking on release. Much of it will be worth more down the line, much of it will be worth the same, and some will depreciate. Very little of it will be worth the initial cost plus the money you spent storing it though. Trying to invest in wine is extremely difficult, much like any investment, and I'd guess that's what these professionals are saying. If you love it, go for it. If you really know what you're doing there are lots of mid-priced ($20-$40) wines that age beautifully for 5-10 years and then drink way above their price point. Not a good investment though.

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    Grizzly Fuckin Adams dhuze's Avatar
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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    Quote Originally Posted by BSR6 View Post
    ...........To follow up with my point above about aging...His response was the same as mine. In short, it's mostly a bunch of snobbery............
    I realized this while watching an episode of "American Greed". There was a guy who was taking bottles of the most expensive wines, copying the labels then mixing different wines together until they tasted similar. He then auctioned them off. He would hold tastings and even the "connoisseurs" didn't know the difference. That told me they would just agree for fear of being called out. The same thing goes with those who think they know everything about whiskeys.

    I have some good wines that I should be drinking now. When I bought them I still was supposed to wait 6 years before opening them. Well 6 years have passed and I still haven't opened them. I bought them because I have had it and it is delicious,expensive, but delicious.

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    Lifer BSR6's Avatar
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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    I work with individuals who can blind sample a wine then tell you the varietal, region, and vintage. They are dead on almost every time. It's absolutely mind boggling.

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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    I don't want to argue for the sake of arguing but I have to say that aging wine is not for the sake of snobbery. BSR6 is touching on the low end of the market and dhuze the insanely high end. Aged wine is a terrific, and perhaps most importantly unique, experience. There are many types of wine that benefit from aging. It must be made in such a way that makes it suitable for aging though, there are lots of wines that are made for immediate consumption at all different price points so that is not an indication although it can be an indicator. Try to find an aged bottle of Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Barolo/Barbaresco, Riesling, Hermitage/Cote-Rotie, Sauternes, Port, etc, etc and you might just be blown away. Or you may prefer the young stuff. It's personal taste after all.

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    Lifer snwbrdr435's Avatar
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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crimedog View Post
    I don't want to argue for the sake of arguing but I have to say that aging wine is not for the sake of snobbery. BSR6 is touching on the low end of the market and dhuze the insanely high end. Aged wine is a terrific, and perhaps most importantly unique, experience. There are many types of wine that benefit from aging. It must be made in such a way that makes it suitable for aging though, there are lots of wines that are made for immediate consumption at all different price points so that is not an indication although it can be an indicator. Try to find an aged bottle of Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Barolo/Barbaresco, Riesling, Hermitage/Cote-Rotie, Sauternes, Port, etc, etc and you might just be blown away. Or you may prefer the young stuff. It's personal taste after all.

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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    Less than 50% RH is too dry, you can usually fix this by simply putting a small dish of water in the storage unit with your wine. Other than that, your current unit is probably fine for storing wine short term (1-2yrs).

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    Lifer
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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    Quote Originally Posted by dhuze View Post
    I have some good wines that I should be drinking now. When I bought them I still was supposed to wait 6 years before opening them. Well 6 years have passed and I still haven't opened them. I bought them because I have had it and it is delicious,expensive, but delicious.
    Watch out for this because wine definitely has a peak, and won't age indefinitely. Even expensive wine will start losing it's character if past its prime (of course, when that will occur is always a bit of a guessing game but there are lots of resources out there for this). It stinks when you've been sitting on a bottle for years and when you open it your reaction is "meh".

    When my collection hit about 350 bottles I decided enough was enough and that I was spending way too much cash and time on it. So we slowly started drinking all but the most collectible / special occasion stuff. Now I am down to about 60 bottles, with a couple cases of good stuff that I pull out for Christmas, etc.

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    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    I agree.. my frig may be good for shor term storage 1-3 years max.....

    "everyone" says humidity should be more tightly controlled however..... I cant seem to find any data driven conclusions only tribal knowledge/ heresay/ assumptions on the net.

    More than likely we will splurge on the humidity control frig for longer term storage 3-7 years, and save the other wine serving frig for the 1-2 year drink window of the other wines.

    The wines I want to age are indicated by the wineries we purchase from that aging is required ala Opus one, Domonus, Corson, even the Alpha Omega propieatary reds for 40$ tast sooooo much better 2- 3 years later.
    So in a way i want to say i'm in the so called "1%" of wine consumers that age wines and seemingly "know" what they are doing...

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    hmmmm......

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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    "everyone" says humidity should be more tightly controlled however..... I cant seem to find any data driven conclusions only tribal knowledge/ heresay/ assumptions on the net.
    It's hard to prove. You've got liquid in the bottle and you store wine on its side. If it's drier outside the bottle the moisture will make its way out. A dry cork shrinks and creates a passage for liquid and air. A hydrated cork fills the opening better and creates a better seal. The proof is in the pudding for long term storage but it's hard/impossible to put numbers on it. You'll also see variations in the quality of the corks. Italians tend to get shitty corks for instance. Others choose cheaper corks and/or shorter ones.

    I don't think swings in humidity would affect anything like temperature does (another thing that's hard to quantify). The cork is either making a good seal or it isn't, although you could theoretically have a bottle which has experienced both conditions. That's why people look at ullage (fill) and for signs of seepage when analysing older wine.

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    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crimedog View Post
    It's hard to prove. You've got liquid in the bottle and you store wine on its side. If it's drier outside the bottle the moisture will make its way out. A dry cork shrinks and creates a passage for liquid and air. A hydrated cork fills the opening better and creates a better seal. The proof is in the pudding for long term storage but it's hard/impossible to put numbers on it. You'll also see variations in the quality of the corks. Italians tend to get shitty corks for instance. Others choose cheaper corks and/or shorter ones.

    I don't think swings in humidity would affect anything like temperature does (another thing that's hard to quantify). The cork is either making a good seal or it isn't, although you could theoretically have a bottle which has experienced both conditions. That's why people look at ullage (fill) and for signs of seepage when analysing older wine.
    yep hard to prove. i agree.... I'm just looking for someone(s) to say my frig which swing from 35 to 80%RH in 3-5 hours is good enough ( bottle is on its side , no light etc etc...) for "storage" and aging but it looks like no one says that other than thru assumptions ( good assumptions)
    and for me to certain my good bottle age right I need to errr on side of caution and get the humidity controlled frig

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    hmmmm......

  17. #17
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: This board has the oddest knowledge....... Wine?

    So I know shit about wine. I drink a bottle a month on average. But I do temperature and humidity control systems for a living. So I'll tell you what I know from an engineering standpoint.
    Your cycle time between 35-80% is relatively short, and your weighted average is probably around 60% (RH is not a linear thing). I do not see the cork experiencing a long enough drought of humidity to dry out before the inrush of moisture is back upon it. The moisture will not leave the cork instantaneously, there is a lag, just as there is a lag for the moisture to re-enter the cork. So although your RH is fluctuating 35-80%, your cork "RH" may only be experiencing a 10% swing, if that. I don't have the numbers on cork, just using that of wood and it takes wood a while to reach ambient moisture levels to cause swelling. I've noticed many wine bottles now have a synthetic cork stopper instead of the real deal cork. Maybe that is just he cheap ass wine I drink though.
    Personally, I think you would be fine with your set up. But again, I don't know about wine, just looking at it from the physics/engineering side of the equation.

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