Vintage wine: you have heard the term, but perhaps it remains unclear what it actually means. After all, isn’t wine just...wine? Well, you would be surprised just how much variety there is in the wine world, and how much there is to learn.
But don’t worry - here at Wine Stash, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about what Vintage Wine is, as well as how to store vintage wine.
What Makes a Vintage Wine?
Vintage Wine is wine is made up of grapes primarily grown - and picked - in the same year. When someone refers to a wine’s vintage, they’re talking about the year the wine was harvested. For example, a bottle of Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2016 would have the vintage of 2016.
Vintage - from the French word ‘vin’ which means ‘wine’, is often used in a wine’s name and label as a way of identifying it. Knowing a wine’s vintage is important, especially when a specific year produced an exceptional harvest of grapes. This is because, in a single year, the conditions for producing quality wine may have been superior to other years.
There is such thing as a bad or inferior vintage because the micro-climate (regional weather conditions) on that year may not have been up to scratch compared to other years. The best conditions for a good vintage is consistent sunny weather, allowing the grapes to achieve full maturity and optimum levels of ripeness.
To learn more about aging wine, check out our blog here.
Vintage Wine Vs Non-Vintage Wine
Although many countries allow a little ‘spillover’ between vintages, you will also find wines classified as non-vintage. These wines don’t feature a vintage on their label.
So what is non-vintage wine? Non-vintage wine is created by blending multiple years together. These wines have the reputation of being consistent in flavour, whatever year they were bottled.
How to Store Vintage Wine?
Storing Vintage Wine is the same as storing other wine: it should be put somewhere dark, or away from daylight. It helps to have wine racks, a wine room where there are no windows or a wine cabinet. Check out our premium collection of wine racks here.
The optimal temperature is generally between 12-16 degrees celsius. However, just as important is a consistent temperature. It’s better to have a wine temperature slightly above or below the optimal range than expose it to fluctuations between 12 and 20 degrees.
The ideal humidity for storing wine is 60%, though between 50%-70% humidity is considered adequate. This is why wine cellars have been the perfect way to keep your wine cool, humid and in the dark throughout history.
Vibrations can disrupt the delicate aging process of wine, so you want to store your wine somewhere consistently still. This means away from washing machines, stovetops and areas that receive a lot of movement. You can use wine cubes to reduce vibrations.
Generally, wine should be stored sideways. This prevents the cork from drying out, causing bacteria to get in. However, if your wine is screw-capped, this isn’t really a problem. Wine Stash has a fantastic range of bespoke wine racks to store your wine in a way that suits you.
How to Choose the Perfect Wine Racks to Store Vintage Wine
To store your vintage wine properly means using high-quality wine storage systems. This means wine storage that is reliable, consistent and designed to give your wine the best chances for great taste and quality. These include wine racks, wine cabinets, wine fridges and wine cellars.
At Wine Stash, it’s our goal to provide these Wine Storage solutions for every wine fan - whether you’re a casual fan, a wine connoisseur or a restaurant owner.
Check out Wine Stash’s online store today to build your dream wine collection.