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The Do's and Don'ts of Good Wine Storage

The wines you receive from us at Wine Selectors are perfect to enjoy right now. Tasting Panellist and wine show judge, Adam Walls, talks us through how to keep them in their prime at home.

FOUR ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR GOOD WINE STORAGE

When storing wine there are four essential points to remember.

How to store wine infographic

TEMPERATURE

The ideal temperature is between 12˚C to 14˚C with this maintained at a constant all year round. Don’t store in hot places like an uninsulated shed or garage, near a fire place, or on top of a cabinet where it will be exposed to hot, rising air. Heat damage often compromises the seal of the bottle, especially if it is under cork. The expansion from hot air pushes the cork out, so it can be become oxidized. Regardless if the wine is under cork or screw cap, hot temperatures also “cook” the wine, resulting in it losing freshness.

HUMIDITY

For wines that are sealed with a cork, ensure the storage location maintains a level of about 50% humidity – it can’t be too damp or too dry. If the cork dries out it can shrink, and the wine can become oxidized. White wines are much more susceptible to oxidization than reds, because red wines have a higher tannin level that act as a buffer. High humidity levels will help keep the cork from drying out. Humidity below about 50% is getting too dry. Levels above 50% will not damage the cork/wine, but you run the risk of mould or mildew damaging your storage area and your wine.

VIBRATION

Avoid storing near appliances like washing machines, clothes driers, dish washers, fridges and other sources of vibration and heat. Vibration can cause a chemical imbalance in a wine. For short term storage, vibration is not really the most important factor, however, if you’re storing wine over several years, this can have a huge effect on the quality, flavours, aromas, and texture.

LIGHT

Wine should not be subjected to excessive amounts of light. Wines store best in a dark spot, so do not store then on the window sills, bench tops or in racks that receive full light. Instead, look for darker areas like the bottom of a linen closet, the bottom of a wardrobe, under the house (but make sure it’s not too damp or too dry), under internal staircases, or on the floor and lower shelves of a walk-in pantry. Storing wine, particularly white wine, where the bottles are exposed to sunlight or UV causes light strike. It occurs more commonly in delicate white wines like ChampagnePinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc.

PUTTING THESE WINE STORAGE TIPS TO GOOD USE

If you've had a look around your house and still can't find a suitable location, don't stress too much. The above tips are to keep wines in their absolute prime, particularly if you wish to store them for some time or you are interested in cellaring your wine so that it matures over many years. In the short term, under most normal conditions your wine will be perfectly fine for a several months. But, if you still can't find a suitable location, and you feel your conditions are not ideal, you could always ask a family member or friend to store it for you.

If you’re looking to cellar wines long-term there are some great wine cabinets on the market, plus there’s a number of professional, purpose built wine storage facilities.

We hope you’ve found these handy tips helpful.

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Food and Wine Matching 101
Create inspiring food and wine matches Follow the helpful tips below to ensure that at your next dinner party you impress your guests with your pairing prowess. Acid + acid If your food is high in acid – think tomatoes or a squeeze of lemon – you’ll need a wine that’s high in acid too. Riesling is the most obvious white choice, while Italian style reds will balance tomatoes and cut through olive oil.  Same + same Brings together complementary flavours – light-bodied wine + light dish, full-bodied wine + heavy dish and so on. Also pair similar textures and flavours – earthy wine + earthy food, citrussy wine + fruity dish, etc.  Opposite + opposite Try a fresh, crisp Chardonnay with a creamy pasta dish, or consider a clean, dry Riesling with a spicy chilli-filled Asian dish. Or if you’re serving a dish with very simple flavours, a complex wine can enhance the experience. Heat + sweet For spicy dishes, red wines high in alcohol and tannins are a no-no as the alcohol intensifies the heat. Choose sweeter whites such as off-dry Gewürztraminers or Rieslings .   Sweet + sweeter If your dish is sweet, the wine should be sweeter. Think milk and dark chocolate desserts with Tawnies and Muscats , while white chocolate pairs with Prosecco and lemon flavours are perfect with Botrytis Riesling . Tannins + fat This pairing is all about balance. Fat serves to even out tannin intensity, resulting in a smoother, softer red.  Wine styles Try these suggestions to match with your favourite wine styles. Fuller bodied red wines Wines: Cabernet , Shiraz , Malbec , Durif Food matches: Their robust structure makes these an ideal partner to hard cheeses and fattier cuts of meat. Medium bodied red wines Wines: Merlot & Blends, Tempranillo , Barbera , Sangiovese Food matches: To match the moderate density tannins go for slow-cooked or rustic style dishes like pasta, Mediterranean fare, tapas. Lighter bodied red wines Wines: Pinot Noir , Grenache & blends, Nero d’Avola   Food matches: With the finer styles, go for gamey, earthy foods like duck, while styles with higher acidity can take richer, spicier dishes. Rosé Wines: Dry, off-dry Food matches: For drier styles, go for salads, charcuterie and antipasto. For off-dry styles, try spicy food or fruit-based dishes. Fuller-bodied white wines Wines: Chardonnay , Verdelho , Viognier Food matches: A richer texture makes these fuller varieties a great match for poultry, pork, rich seafood, cream or cheese-based pastas. Medium-bodied white wines Wines: Arneis , Pinot G , Fiano , Vermentino , Marsanne Food matches: Zesty acidity makes these styles perfect with lighter flavours like tapas, pasta and salads. Lighter-bodied and aromatic white wines Wines: Sauvignon Blanc & blends, Semillon , Riesling , Gewürztraminer Food matches: The high acidity inherent in these varieties makes them ideal for fried food, raw seafood, delicate Asian dishes, and simple Mediterranean food. Champagne, Sparkling and Prosecco Wines: Champagne , Sparkling & Prosecco Food matches: With the richer styles, choose seafood and richer canapés, while lighter styles suit antipasto, fried foods and fresh fruit. Dessert and Fortified wines Wines: Botrytis , Tawny , Muscat/Topaque  Food matches: Botrytis: Cream or fruit-based desserts, pâté. Tawny: Cheddar & blue cheese, dried & fresh fruit, nuts. Topaque: Caramel-based desserts. Muscat: Chocolate-based desserts, dates & dried figs, ice cream.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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