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Smart storage: Manor Estate’s Peter Cap weighs in on wine storage
Once they see themselves as budding experts or just people who appreciate good wine, the question of storage, and perhaps even the notion of starting a wine collection, arises for many. people. Peter Cap, McLaren Vale winemaker behind several award-winning wines under the Manor Estate (ME) brand, speaks out on the dos and don’ts of wine storage and the possibility of doing so mature in a home wine cellar.
Peter Focus on aging wine at home
“A lot of people think that aging wine after buying it will improve it,” says Peter Cap, “but it assumes that wine will only improve with age. Most people will have seen the old movie script of a precious bottle of wine, perhaps hundreds of years old, being opened, only for those who taste it to find that it has turned into vinegar. While this is an extreme example, understanding how the best wines are made and why they are bottled and sold on a certain date will support the conclusion that it is simply not worth trying to age wine at the same time. House.
“At Manor Estate, we age our wine naturally. During this time, the winemaker will test the wine at regular intervals to determine when it has reached its peak. When that day comes, it’s time to bottle the wine and sell it. It is possible to age a wine to its peak, and also to bottle it too young, when a few weeks, months or even years of fermentation would have benefited. It is the winemaker’s job to use his skills and experience to choose the perfect moment.
“As a result, good wine is at its best when you buy it, and for a while provided it’s in a sealed bottle – one of the reasons porous corks are largely out of date these days and sealed, screwed. cap closures are preferable. “
“Regardless of which closure is used, keeping a wine to age after reaching its peak will generally not improve it. Even if the wine is young, mimicking the wine cellar conditions of a wine cellar would be expensive, and monitoring the wines inside the bottles is impossible. Better to buy a good wine and drink it within 12 months than to try to store it for years in the hope that it will improve. It probably won’t.
Keep the wine until you are ready to enjoy it
With perfect temperature and humidity, excluding light and eliminating vibration being among the prerequisites for a proper wine cellar, emulating its conditions would be difficult or costly for the average owner. At the same time, it’s good to have a selection of your favorite wines on hand so that the one deemed appropriate for a specific occasion can be selected.
“Choose a cool place that is not exposed to direct sunlight. A cabinet is good, but if you want your wine selection to be on display, keep it away from windows, bright lighting and anything that gives off heat, ”says Peter.
“One of the advantages of screw-top wines is that the freshness is sealed. When you open the bottle, the wine can be as good as it was the day the winemaker decided the wine had reached perfection. You can also store wine in an upright position, which saves space. Wines with corks, on the other hand, should be stored lying down, which allows the wine to keep the cork moistened. If the corks dry too much, they can crack and the wine can oxidize, or the cork breaks in half or crumbles during the opening process. “
Finally, Peter notes that wines without additives are more delicate than those preserved with sulphites. “Unless they have been carefully crafted and stored under controlled conditions, wines without additives should be consumed fairly soon after purchase,” advises Peter. “Three months would be a prudent guideline for wines like this.”
Wine is an investment in pleasure
“Wine is made for short-term enjoyment, not long-term storage,” concludes Peter. “The idea of storing wine for decades to increase its value still exists, but most winemakers would agree that keeping a wine in the bottle for that long means it’s not really drinkable. It may be of historical interest or have sentimental value, but opening it up and tasting it probably won’t be the fun most people seem to think it will be. Invest in the fun. Buy wine with the intention of drinking it. “
The mansion offers wine events, a romantic wedding venue and luxury accommodation in McLaren Vale. For more information, or join their wine club, visit the Manor Estate Wines website or call their team of experts at (08) 8383 7300.
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