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What is the key to wine storage?
How do you store wine?
What are principles of wine storage?
What have red wine studies found?
What's in Red Wine that is good for the heart?
What are most important wine storage factors?
Why is red wine red?
How are red wines classified?
What are key red wine varietals?


What is the key to wine storage?
Key to wine storage is proper wine storage. Wine composition is diverse and complex and it can be extremely difficult to predict the end result that aging will have on any particular brand. There are no guarantees when it comes to aging wine.

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How do you store wine?
Wine cellar cabinets available to keep wine away from direct sunlight, temperature controls between 4 Celsius and 18 Celsius (40 F and 65 F) with humidity levels greater than 50%. Vino Doctor's storage facility maintains wine temperatures between 13 and 14 Celsius (55F to 57F). Please note that bottles stored to peak quality at higher than proper cellar temperatures will always be inferior to a bottle stored to peak at the correct temperature.

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What are principles of wine storage?
For any wine lover, storing wine well is very important. There are a few simple principles that need to be understood in order to select proper wine storage conditions. We can logically break down the process into just 3 categories: storing wine for the short haul, storing wine for long term aging and storing (or saving) wines that have already been opened. Short Term Storage: This is wine you will consume within 6 months. These may be bottles that are just home from the store and destined to be consumed shortly or bottles that have been pulled from longer storage to be accessible for spur of the moment consumption. Long Term Storage: This is wine that you will keep for more than 6 months before consumption. A good storage location for wine is generally dark, is free of vibration, has high humidity and has a low stable temperature. Generally accepted 'ideal' conditions are 50 to 55 degrees farenheight and 70 percent humidity or higher. The high humidity is important because it keeps the corks from drying and minimizes evaporation. The only problem with even higher levels of humidity is that it brings on growth of mold on the labels or the loosening of labels that have water soluble glue. Temperatures lower than 55 degrees only slow the aging of the wines. There have been wines found in very cold cellars of castles in Scotland that are perfectly sound and are much less developed that those kept at 'normal' cellar temperature. A near constant temperature is preferable to one that fluctuates. Storage after opening: This is storage for bottles of table wine that have been opened but not completely consumed. There are many methods for prolonging the life of opened table wines but even the best can only slow the degradation of the wine. These methods are for still table wines. Sparkling wines and fortified dessert wines have different characteristics and requirements. Gas Systems: Sparging the bottle with a gas (nitrogen or argon) can be very effective but it is expensive and I've never known anyone who actually used a gas system over a long period of time. They just seem to ultimately be more trouble than they are worth. If you do elect to try such a system, stay away from carbon dioxide since it will mix into solution with the wine. Vacu-vin: An item came on the market a few years ago called a Vacu-vin. This consists of rubber bottle stoppers that hold a weak vacuum created by a hand pump that comes with the system. While some people swear by them, there is a consistent complaint that wines treated with a Vacu-vin seem 'stripped' of aromas and flavor. They actually create a lower pressure environment instead of an actual vacuum. This means they don't remove all the oxygen and oxidation of the wine will still occur. Half bottles, marbles and progressive carafes: These are all ways of limiting the amount of air in contact with the wine. The concept is good if you move quickly and refrigerate the remaining wine.

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What have red wine studies found?
The cell and animal studies of red wine have examined effects in several cancers including leukemia, skin , breast, and prostate cancers . Scientists are studying resveratrol to learn more about its cancer preventive activities. Recent evidence from animal studies suggests this anti-inflammatory compound may be an effective chemopreventive agent in three stages of the cancer process: initiation, promotion, and progression. However, studies of the association between red wine consumption and cancer in humans are in their initial stages. Although consumption of large amounts of alcoholic beverages may increase the risk of some cancers, there is growing evidence that the health benefits of red wine are related to its nonalcoholic components.

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What's in Red Wine that is good for the heart?
Red wine is a particularly rich source of antioxidants flavonoid phenolics, so many studies to uncover a cause for red wine's effects have focused on its phenolic constituents, particularly resveratrol and the flavonoids. Resveratrol, found in grape skins and seeds, increases HDL cholesterol and prevent blood clotting. Flavonoids, on the other hand, exhibit antioxidant properties helping prevent blood clots and plaques formation in arteries. Red wine is a rich source of biologically active phytochemicals, chemicals found in plants. Particular compounds called polyphenols found in red wine, such as catechins and resveratrol, are thought to have anti oxidant or anti cancer properties

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What are most important wine storage factors?
TEMPERATURE - Temperature is the most important factor and the factor that should be sought after above all others. The optimum temperature is 50 to 55F (10-12C). However, any constant temperature within 40-65F (5-18C) will do. More important than the actual temperature you will be able to achieve, is the degree and rapidity of fluctuation the wine is subjected to. A slow change of temperature of ten or so degrees between winter and summer is not a big problem. But this kind of fluctuation on a daily or weekly basis will cause damage to your wines and age them prematurely. You will notice damage of this nature from the sticky deposit that often forms around the capsule. In time, as the wine expands and contracts, it will damage the integrity of the cork. When this happens minute quantities of wine may make its way alongside the cork possibly even allowing oxygen to seep back in. Wines kept at too high a temperature will age faster than wines kept at a cold temperature. Theoretically, wines kept at 68F will age twice as fast as those kept at 50F. At 55F (12C) wines will age so slowly with ultimately greater complexity that you will never have to worry about them. This is not to say the colder the better. Wine that is stored too cold can develop deposits or other suspensions in the wine. Finally, keep in mind that white wines are affected far more by temperature problems than red wines.

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Why is red wine red?
First things first, red wine is wellred, but why? It's color can be derived from a vast assortment of grape varietals ranging from grapes that are reddish, deep purple, and even a beautiful blue on the color scale. These grapes give rise to a wine that is color classified with such descriptors as garnet, almost black, dark red, light red, ruby red, opaque purple, deep violet, maroon and the list goes on. It is the grapeskins that are responsible for the red wines distinct color spectrum. The skins are in contact with the grapes juice during the fermentation process, allowing the dispersion of both color and tannins. The individual wines particular red hue depends on the grape type used in the process and the length of time the skins pigmentation is in contact with juice.

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How are red wines classified?
As with all wines, the particular winemaker will have adequate say in the style of wine he will produce. That said, red wines are often classified by body-type. For example, one might say that a certain red wine is light-bodied referring to the mouth-feel and tannin structure. A light-bodied wine will have fewer tannins present and less presence on the palate. These are wines that are often less demanding partners with flavor-filled foods. An example of a light-bodied red wine would be one derived from the Gamay grape varietal, such as Frances famed young red wine: Beaujolais Nouveau. A medium-bodied red wine will contain more tannins than the above Beaujolais Nouveau, but will not have near the pucker power of a high-powered California Cabernet Sauvignon or an Italian Super Tuscan. Typical examples of medium-bodied red wines include: Merlot, Shiraz or a Chianti. Full-bodied red wines boast the highest tannin (and often alcohol) content. Prime examples of full-bodied reds are Frances esteemed Bordeaux wines, Californias key Cabs and Italys sizzling Super Tuscans. In general, Light-bodied wines tend to feel more like water in the mouth. In contrast, full-bodied wines feel heavier, more like milk, this effect is due in large part to the higher tannin (and again, alcohol) content.

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What are key red wine varietals?
The top red wine varietals that you are likely to encounter are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, , Cabernet Franc, Chianti, Barolo, Barberesco, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Shiraz, Sangiovese, Malbec,Grenache, Bordeaux, and Côtes du Rhône.

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Last Updated: 25 Apr 2007 10:40:22 PDT home  |  about  |  terms  |  contact
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