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Hello Y'all,

First, been drinking wine for a few years now but recently wanted to get into the intricacies, different nuanaces and storage of wines so that's what got me to get a wine fridge and what not.

So my question is, mainly for reds, what is the general rule of thumb for serving reds? Room temp correct? But if that is the case, then why store it in a wine fridge? Is it b/c you can ensure the environment w/in the fridge will always be a certain humidity/temp?

I also have about 10 bottles that I want to store so I know that should be kept at roughly 55 degrees w/ 50% humidity. Now can I use my 30 bottle wine fridge to do it all? ie. store the red that I plan to drink up on top where its more warm, keep the long term wines stord in the middle and a few bottles of whites all the way at the bottom? or should I just keep younger reds outside, kept at room temp at all times and the only wines that I should keep in the fridge are the older wines/whites.

FYI, the wines that I want to store are a 1979 Brunello, a 8-10 bottles of a mixture of 1996-1999 Chianti Classico/Vino Nobiles.
Also, what happens if reds are stored too cold, such as 45-50 degress? Not much correct, its just heat that ruins a red.

Kinda long for a first post but THANKS to everyone in advance! =)

~JL
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quote:
Originally posted by Jay El:. . . what is the general rule of thumb for serving reds? Room temp correct? Yes, but "room temperature" means on the cooler side, 60 - 65 degrees for most reds.

But if that is the case, then why store it in a wine fridge? Is it b/c you can ensure the environment w/in the fridge will always be a certain humidity/temp? Yes, although that matters only for long-term storage and aging of wine. Red wines that will be consumed in a reasonable time can be left at normal room temperature with no ill effects.

I also have about 10 bottles that I want to store so I know that should be kept at roughly 55 degrees w/ 50% humidity. Now can I use my 30 bottle wine fridge to do it all? ie. store the red that I plan to drink up on top where its more warm, keep the long term wines stord in the middle and a few bottles of whites all the way at the bottom? or should I just keep younger reds outside, kept at room temp at all times and the only wines that I should keep in the fridge are the older wines/whites. That's going to depend on your storage unit -- is there a significant difference in the temperature between the top and bottom? All should be kept at 55 to 60 degrees for long-term storage and aging, but you'll want to let the reds warm up a bit and put the whites in the refrigerator before drinking.

FYI, the wines that I want to store are a 1979 Brunello, a 8-10 bottles of a mixture of 1996-1999 Chianti Classico/Vino Nobiles. These are all probably be ready to drink.


Also, what happens if reds are stored too cold, such as 45-50 degress? Not much correct, its just heat that ruins a red. Heat is the big problem, along with light. But extremely cold temperatures will prevent red wines from aging, or at least slow the process considerably, and it may cause the wine to throw more sediment in the form of crystals of tartaric acid, which is tasteless but looks and feels like sand.

Kinda long for a first post but THANKS to everyone in advance! =) YW! HTH.

~JL
Jay,

Welcome to the boards. To make a long answer sorta short:

I'm assuming you have one of the cheapie fridges ($200 or so). Use that for short term (no longer than a year) storage. It'll dry out your corks. Some people put a little dish of water in there, but I dont think it'd help much. As far as temp: 45-50 won't hurt them, but will make them age more slowly. 50-60 is a good range. If you want to collect or store long term, think bigger. I have my little 28 bottle Avanti at home, and keep the long termers in offsite storage at a LWS (local wine store). Costs me $15/month for pristine, secure storage, and I'm not tempted to drink them early if they're not at home.

Some folks get really anal about serving temps, but normal room temp is fine with me for reds, especially with heavier bodied wines like Cabernet and Syrah.

And, about that '79 Brunello. Drink that bad boy!
Hey Doug, thanks for the tips! being new, what's "YW! HTH.

B,
The model that I got is a Haier BC112G:
http://www.amazon.com/Haier-BC112G-30-Bottle-Cellar-Con...id=1198039381&sr=8-9

I've been perusing the forums for the last few days so I read about the humidity issue so did put little thing of water in the back rear of the fridge. Tonight, I went and got a hydrometer and while I was putting it in the fridge, I noticed some condensation in the back of the fridge. I didn't think anything of it but after getting the hydrometer in and leaving it there for about an hour and half, the reading says 80%. So now I've taken out the lil cup of water and hope the humidity will go down and it'll balance back out. If not, I can just try keeping the door open and letting the moisture out.

B/c the unit is used, I've been keeping an eye on it and so far, the unit the has been keeping the temp pretty regular. The top of the wine cooler is holding steady around 58 and the bottom @ 50. I guess that is just right for (from top to bottom) reds ready to drink, reds/wines I want to store and the bottom, whites.

As for the Brunello, I wanted to store/keep it as long as I can. Would that be bad?

That brings up another topic, for my other wines, or even the Brunello, is it "bad" to keep it past a certain time. It should only get better with age correct, ie melding of flavors and what not.

Looking forward to your responses! =)

Thanks again!

~JL
It's geek talk:

YW = You're welcome!
HTH = Hope this helps.

High humidity isn't ideal for long-term storage of wine. It can cause labels to become moldy and even fall off the bottles, but I don't think it will damage the wine itself. Not sure about that. Anyway, from what I've read, humidity ideally should be around 60%, +/- 10%.

I'm surprised that the temperature varies that much from top to bottom of your refrigerator, but if that's what the thermometer says, great!

BTW, I noticed one user review on Amazon that said the glass on your unit is not UV resistant. That's a problem for longterm storage of wine -- light can be almost as bad as heat. Think how upholstery and drapers fade in the sunlight. You may want to put the unit in a room that's normally dark, or perhaps get some of that anti-UV film made for windows from your local home improvement store. Aluminum foil would do the trick, too, but it's not as pretty and would block the view of the wine.

As for the 1979 Brunello, whether it's still good or will continue to improve depends on exactly what wine you have -- who made it? 1979 was a good year for Brunello, but not a great year, according to one source in my library.

But contrary to popular belief, wine does NOT improve indefinitely. Except for truly great wines in excellent years, very little red wine lasts more than a decade or two (whites die a much earlier death, but sweet wines may last almost indefinitely). Yes, the flavors marry and mellow and the wine becomes more complex and interesting as it ages, but at the same time the fruit fades, the tannins disappear, the color goes, the nose dies, and eventually all that's left is a dull brown, foul-tasting liquid.

Your bottle of Brunello is already 28 years old, and my guess is that it's unlikely to improve and may in fact be over the hill already. If you have a name, perhaps someone here can provide more information.

HTH, again. Don't hesitate to ask more questions -- wine is nothing without sharing.
Few things:

1)Why would they use glass if they knew the UV would affect the wine i na negative way. I have read things like asthetics, easier to see what you'll be getting and what not but still befuddles me.

2)My humidity gauge says 70%-80%, rather high no? How would I lower this?

3)I noticed some condensation on the back of the fridge and eventually went to go wipe if off and noticed there was a thin layer of frost i nthe back. bad? Should I be worried? How would I combat against this? Lower the temp on the fridge? Instruction manual says 2 inches away from the wall, do I need to make it further/closer to the wall? Is this a result of the humidity too high?

and yes RD, your comments help give some insight into the finer points to wine learning! =)

Thanks!
~JL
quote:
Originally posted by indybob:
I'm wondering if it might be a mute point regarding the glass on front of the unit, regarding the UV permanence. Wouldn't this only be a factor if the the glass gets direct sunlight. In a darkened/shaded room, it would not apply?
You make a good point, but I don't think mine is entirely moot. Light is simply bad for wine, period. BUT, unlike heat, it takes considerable time for light to do its damage. Consequently, the less light, the less of a problem, but total darkness is still ideal for longterm storage. However, in the short run, say a few months or so, I'm sure it's an insignificant problem unless the light is intense (i.e., direct sun).
quote:
Originally posted by Jay El:1)Why would they use glass if they knew the UV would affect the wine i na negative way. I have read things like asthetics, easier to see what you'll be getting and what not but still befuddles me. I think the simple answer is $$$ -- it costs the manufacturer less to use cheaper glass, and UV-resistant glass is more expensive than plain glass. I think it also reflects the intended use of the unit you bought -- most collectors will use a 30-bottle unit just for short-term storage in their home. I suspect that most winos, the sort who are apt to collect a lot of wine and age it for extended periods, usually end up buying a larger unit or use an off-site storage facility. You may want to do the same if the bug bites you as hard as it has most of the folks on these forums.

2)My humidity gauge says 70%-80%, rather high no? How would I lower this? Yes, that's high, but unless it causes problems with the labels, I wouldn't sweat it, so to speak. Cool Anyway, I'm not sure how to lower the humidity in a unit like yours -- perhaps some humidity-absorbing material would help if it does become a problem. Again, it's mostly a problem with longterm storage.

3)I noticed some condensation on the back of the fridge and eventually went to go wipe if off and noticed there was a thin layer of frost i nthe back. bad? Should I be worried? How would I combat against this? Lower the temp on the fridge? Instruction manual says 2 inches away from the wall, do I need to make it further/closer to the wall? Is this a result of the humidity too high?I suspect it's a combination of things. You need to have the unit away from the wall to allow for proper air circulation so the cooling system can work -- it has to be able to dissipate the heat it removes from the inside of the unit. However, that probably wouldn't affect the humidity inside the unit. You might try increasing the temperature a degree or two. But if it's not affecting the wine, say freezing the wine in the part of the bottles nearest the back wall of the refrigerator, I wouldn't worry about it too much. It may come and go as the refrigeration unit cycles on and off.

and yes RD, your comments help give some insight into the finer points to wine learning! =) Thanks for the kind words!

Thanks!
~JL

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