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Tips for keeping your wine protected in summer

There are 3 essential elements to keeping your wine in the best condition through the summer and throughout the year. 

1. Maintain your wine at a constant temperature. 

The fluctuation of temperature can cause damage to your wine collection that can not be rectified. A variable temperature range will stimulate the chemical reactions within a sealed bottle of wine. This will cause the complex flavours within the wine to subdue and extreme heat will cause the wine to spoil. If you have a large collection of wine then an Insulated and temperature controlled wine cellar will be the best way to protect your investment. An underground wine cellar or understair cellar can also function as a wine cellar. I climate controlled house with an internal wine cellar will prevent the wine from reaching extreme temperatures, although the ideal temperature for red wine storage is between 14-16 degrees celsius, temperature conditions outside of that will increase the rate of maturation for higher temperatures or reduce the rate of maturation for lower temperatures. 

2. Sunlight will damage your wine collection. 

Direct sunlight will adversely affect wine. UV light will stimulate the chemical reactions with in wines. Light at short wavelengths that is found  in the ultraviolet and blue end of the spectrum will stimulate chemical reactions within the wines which produce unpleasantly tasting and smelling compounds. Although the majority of wine bottles are manufactured with a tint to reduce the penetration of UV light, wine should be stored out of direct sunlight. LED lighting does not contain the same short wavelengths that stimulate the chemical reactions within wine.  

3. Humidity can be a significant issue in wine storage.

Humidity in cellars that are not climate controlled can lead to the ruin of fine wine. Although non conditioned cellars in cities such as Melbourne or Sydney will not experience extreme humidity fluctuations, other cities can have a wide humidity range. The cork on fine wine is susceptible to both mould as well as drying and cracking. The deterioration of the cork will result in the ruin of wine. The advent of screw caps, or stelvin tops, has reduced the incidents of wine corking, however the screw cap wine seal is still designed with a permeable membrane, so a damp environment can still lead to the deterioration of fine wine. 

Depending on the size and value of a wine collection, the storage requirements will vary.  A small collection that is regularly consumed and restocked will not require the facilities of a collection that will mature and appreciate. Regardless of the size or value of a wine collection it should be stored in a manner that maintains or improves the wine.

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