CELLARING: Without getting carried away or spending thousands of dollars in a wine cellar just remember 3 basic rules when it comes to cellaring wine. 1. Keep wines in a cool environment – with little or no fluctuation in moisture or temperature – Reason been, it can affect wine maturity and bottle pressure, hence, if the bottle of wine has a cork it may shift the cork, thus, allowing air to enter the bottle which will oxidise the wine. If the wine has a screwcap it can still affect the wine by the rate of various chemical changes taking place while maturing, which still is the case with wines with cork. 2. Laying down bottles – Reason been, if the wine bottle is stored upright the cork begins to dry out and shrink, hence once again after time air can slip between the neck of the bottle and cork oxidising the wine. If the bottle is stored on its side however, the cork has contact with the wine so it keep moist and stays swollen against the neck of the bottle. 3. No direct sunlight – Sunlight can be harmful to wines due to ultraviolet light in particular causes free radicals to develop in wine, resulting in rapid oxidation.
DECANTING: This involves pouring the clear wine off any sediment that may have precipitated out of it. This is more present in older wines with particles and crusty materials settled on the bottom of the bottle. There’s no real rule to decant apart from separating the sediment from the bottle. Some old wines may not have the same amount of sediment compared to others, but it’s always good practice to aerate into a clean decanter nonetheless and serve after an hour or so.
AERATING: Taking time to breathe if you like. The idea is basically of exposure to air whether you decant it or leave it in the bottle with the cork out of course. It enables the wine to soften and open up over time. This is beneficial for older wines, but hardly needed for young wines as wine in the glass is good enough for aeration.
GLASSWARE: This is a topic which a lot of people take for granted or don’t take enough care with glassware. Let’s break it down: You don’t need to buy riedel glassware for everyday use, but it does help if money is no issue, although I’d rather throw them out afterwards than clean them. Anyway, there is a substantial difference in smelling and tasting wine from a thin lip elegant deep round glass than a goblet. Why? Well for starters you can swirl, stick your nose in and feel that you’re sipping and tasting the wine while gliding into your mouth rather than chewing in on the glass to get the wine. Then, there’s nothing better than holding the stem without putting a thousand fingerprints on the glass witch after a while looks like a cloudy frosted glass on your dinner table not to mention warming the wine with your hands. You must keep glassware odourless, clear and smooth, so that there’s no pre existing odours that may throw you from your tasting. So find the right glass that suits bearing in mind a delicate glass without breaking budgets. You’ll be amazed of the difference in sensory evaluation and enjoyment.