Wine Questionary:

Cellaring ageworthy wines

Storage conditions are important for the long-term storage of fine wines. The optimal environment for cellaring is a constant 55F (13C), which unfortunately is too cool for air conditioning but not cold enough for the refrigerator; so to be very serious about collecting, you may need to invest in a temperature-controlled cellar unit, which isn't cheap.

But sturdier reds, at least, can be kept quite well for 10 years or so at cool room temperature, as long as you can keep them as close to 70F (21C) as possible.

For more detailed advice about the ageworthiness of specific wines, I strongly recommend investing in Hugh Johnson's little Pocket Encyclopedia of Wine, which costs only about $13 and lists maturity and vintage information for literally thousands of wines.

Our "Cellar Builder" features hints from the experts on starting and housing a wine collection, with articles on building your own cellar, converting a refrigerator into a cellar unit or buying, installing and using a commercial unit.

Also online: Bob Ross's free Cellar Spreadsheet, an easy, fast way to track your wine collection.

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