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Stone cellars, or simple house storage spaces can become the shelter in which we can raise our favorite wines.
Not all wines age. However, the one's that have been vinified in such way that can be aged, may evolve into real diamonds over time. It's worth the effort to invest in fresh and affordable wines, that we will take care of and “raise” under the appropriate circumstances, in order to enjoy them at the height of their lives after a few years.
Temperature, light and standing are the wine's worst enemies, while humidity's fluctuations, smells and vibrations are following. As you can tell, wine is very spoiled, since it's a living organism that gets born, grows, ages and dies as well. Northern cupboards, underground storage spaces, or an old fridge are the simplest and most affordable solutions. For a short storage period (2-3 yars) the wines can be preserved just fine in such places. There are places in a house that due to their conditions, are ideal for storage for even a longer period (4-5 years). The cupboard underneath the kitchen sink is one such place. One more secure case is our old fridge, that still works.If all of the above, don't manage to keep the wine in temperatures between 11-15 oC and under controlled humidity, they don't fulfill the specifications to age wine, but just to preserve it.
For deep aging (over 10 years) a more complex process is needed. The temperatures we already mentioned, must not only be applied, but must be kept stable as well, without any vicissitudes throughout the year. When the wine stays in lower temperatures the whole aging process stops, but when kept in higher temperatures, the aging process rate gets higher. Whoever ownes a cellar or an underground storage space should feel lucky. They have all the credentials to become succesful wine growers. However, there are some requirements that should be met by the space. A main factor is that it should be placed away from radiator piping, boilers and fireplaces in general, but also away from places that have strong scents or even vibration and bright light. In order to ensure the temperature's stability, we can just insulate the space. However, it's very important to use a hygrometer in order to check the space's humidity and it shouldn't flee the limits of 60 oC to 90 oC degrees. The cellar also needs to be aired in order to prevent musty odors. So make sure there is an opening somewhere in that space so that air renewal is possible but that will also, keep away liquid, light, insects or rodents from getting in. We can achieve that by installing a fine screen over the small opening.
Finally, we hang a “Don Not Disturb” sign in order to prevent our cellar from becoming an inbound center.
If we are willing to spend a little more, investing in a wine preserver, things are becoming very simple, since wine preservers are made to meet all the requirements we mentioned above. In general, good wine preservers are a bit high in their prices starting from 600 to 700 euros, while we can find more simple and affordable ones at the price of 200 euros. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and brands in home electrical supply stores or specialty stores with wine accessories.
In any case be sure to update your cellar's diary: what comes in and what comes out of it. This will prevent you from looking for what you want in between the bottles amongst which are bottles that require their peacefullness (“Do Not disturb” label is always valid).