Hello, wine lovers! Happy new year! So we meet again with a blank slate ahead of us. You go through so much over the holiday period, don’t you? I was quite emotional, thankful to finally spend quality time with the people I love and with a new passion to keep my head, soul, and palate busy.
In the end, I think that freedom really lies in the things you love the most. We’re happiest when we find things that excite us and speak to who we are. In 2021 I was grateful to have discovered the world of wine and look forward to continuing the love story in 2022. It’s really only just beginning.
Let’s start with the end of 2021. It turns out that the two most popular Argentine wines among my friends over the past year were Lagarde Organic Malbec and Finca la Celia Pioneer Cabernet Franc. I love getting positive feedback from my recommendations!
As you can imagine, December was kind of a marathon when it came to wine drinking and I arrived at every party with a bottle under my arm. How wine has simplified my life! I don’t worry any more about what to bring or give people, I just put my energy into finding the right wine to seduce them into joining me on my adventure.
This party season was kind of an intensive field test to put into practice everything I’ve learned so far: I’ve become kind of a guru to my little group; people have begun to come to me with the same practical queries and doubts that I had when I was starting out. I’m quite proud of myself!
One of the questions that most came up this holiday season was how to store wines. People often buy too much for their gatherings out of fear they’ll run out, and so they’re always left with open and closed wines.
As you know, every wine ages differently – it’s part of the magic of the drink – and the last thing you want to do is ruin it or cut it short. So, how to store wines? What should you do with the quarter left in the bottle? Where should you put all those unopened wines? Read on:
How to store wine: open bottles
You know already that one of my favorite rituals from lock down was to open a bottle for myself. I love to choose a good wine to have with a plate of pasta or pour myself a glass before watching a film, listening to music or having a nice long bath. And, of course, I don’t finish it!
That’s also true when you have a mini tasting at home, and often at gatherings – it’s common not to finish the last bottle of wine you open. Well, in that case, just shove the cork back in the bottle and put it in the fridge. Simple as that. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a white or red, cold temperatures will keep the wine from going off and make it last longer. It’s a universal rule. Although it won’t stay good for longer than a few days.
The ABC to unopened bottles
I have a stock of bottles I bought for my ongoing experimentation with chocolate, and dad gave me one from his own collection, an Achával Ferrer Finca Altamira Malbec – a really good one from Mendoza – to initiate me into the world of cellar wines, but that’s something for another post.
At some point I found that I was accumulating (more like hoarding) wine. I buy everything that seems to merit further study and might be worth comparing with other wines – all for you wine lovers 😀 – I buy wines to surprise the girls when they come round for dinner, to give to my friends, for a cheese fondue I promise I’m going to organize one day for my research team at university… and much more.
But of course they take up space in my little apartment, nothing like the perfectly organized, temperature controlled racks you see in wine stores. I started to worry that my little treasure trove might get tarnished, so I asked my wine guru for a few tips on how to store wine and keep bottles properly when you don’t have your own cellar.
You need to find cool, dark places that aren’t exposed to changes in light or temperature: the most important thing is that they remain consistent. Never leave your bottles in the kitchen close to the oven or near windows because light and heat can accelerate maturation or ruin the balance of the wine. And remember that the days are getting warmer so WATCH OUT: shelves aren’t great either!
The ideal temperature is between 14°C and 16°C, while the humidity should be no less than 70%. Depending on where you live, that might be something you don’t have to worry about but in some places you may have to seek out more humid spots. The backs of wardrobes and basements are excellent places for an improvised cellar.
Upright? To the side?
Bottles should be stored on their side so that the cork is always damp and in contact with the liquid so it stays plump. This ensures that it won’t dry out and let in air, or even leak. Younger wines you’re going to drink soon can stay upright but the rules on darkness and temperature remain the same.
Fortunately, my wines haven’t infringed on the territory of Cookie, the real boss of the house, who just moves from pool of light to pool of light. Tell me about the cellars you’ve set up at home, I look forward to reading about them!