You may collect wine as a hobby, for personal use or as an investment. Either way, wine is finicky and needs a certain amount of care to age well. Here are five quick tips to help you protect your fine wines:
Make sure you document.
Keep your original receipts, detailed descriptions and photos of wine bottle, and an updated and complete inventory, including storage locations. That way, if anything happens, you’ll know what you have – or what’s missing.
Know what it’s worth.
Markets can be volatile, so routinely have your collection professionally appraised, and keep a running record of appraised values. Work closely with your insurance agent to make sure your collection is protected, based on current market values.
Make sure the climate is correct.
Wine should be stored at a consistent temperature of between 55 and 60 degrees F (13-15 degrees C). Avoid exposure to extreme temperature changes, especially heat, which can flatten the wine’s aroma and flavor. Wine is mostly water, so it will freeze at between 15 and 20 degrees F. Humidity should also be constant, at 50 to 80 percent to keep the corks healthy and sealed.
Store it properly.
The best wine cellars are detached, well insulated and secure. You may want to store your wine in a specialty wine storage facility or in your own cellar, insulated with fiberglass to regulate temperature. Using redwood or mahogany is a good choice, as they do not rot in humidity. An electric wine cooler will also work well, especially if you have a back-up generator.
Transport it safely.
Once your wine is in storage, try not to move it, unless absolutely necessary. If you have to move it, do so carefully. Pack each bottle in a two-piece, molded polystyrene foam mailer and place in a double wall container to ensure that it will get to its location safe and sound.