Advice from your Climadiff expert
- The golden rules of aging
- The tasting
- Tips and tricks for using your aging cellar
- What wine, what temperature?
- How to choose a wine cellar? The questions to ask
The golden rules of agingAn electric wine cellar must offer the best storage conditions to your bottles, closer to those of a real underground natural cellar. The appreciation of a "good" wine cellar is often subjective and depends primarily on the expectations you have. What we can guarantee you is the quality of the products that we market. Each of our cellars is equipped with technical specificities, in answer to specific needs. All are designed with a specific purpose in mind: preserve all the taste and olfactory qualities of the wine that you will place in our cellars. For this, it is commonly accepted to respect the following 5 golden rules .
Vibrations, even slight ones, can “disturb” a wine.
They disrupt the slow process by which sediment forms, and tend to keep particles suspended in the wine.
While young wines are more resistant to such effects, older wines, which are often the most valuable, can be irretrievably damaged. This is obviously inconceivable for anyone investing in a wine cellar with the aim of ensuring that their bottles are stored in the best possible conditions.
A really good wine cellar should not disturb the wine in any way at all. The bottles should be stored on extremely stable shelves, free of any vibration. For this reason, our cellars are equipped with an efficient absorption system to ensure that no vibrations are passed on to the bottles. If choosing a Climadiff cellar that will be dedicated exclusively to ageing wines, preference should be given to static rather than fan-assisted cooling, so as to reduce vibrations.
Protection against light
Exposure to light increases the reduction potential of a wine: it changes and can harm the wine’s structure.
This is why the bottles for most cellaring wines are made of dark glass. Beware though, that this is not enough to stop all the harmful UV rays present in light, so Climadiff storage cellars are equipped with glass doors with UV filters. A cellar for long-term wine ageing should provide total darkness, and for that, nothing can beat a solid door.
If you opt for a glass-fronted model to store your wine, make sure it has been manufactured with an effective anti-UV treatment. Interior refrigerator-style lighting or any kind of fluorescent lighting should be avoided at all costs. However, LED lighting is acceptable.
Healthy, odour-free air
The effectiveness of many corks decreases as the years pass. To prevent odours finding their way through the cork, an electric wine cellar must provide a perfectly clean, healthy environment for the bottles.
Cellars used to store wines for extended periods should be fitted with an activated charcoal filter to enable light, odour-free ventilation, and also to regulate the humidity.
An appropriate level of humidity
The wine’s bouquet develops through a process of reduction in an oxygen-free environment, which requires the cork to be as airtight as possible. To keep the cork airtight, the bottle should be laid down so the cork remains in contact with the wine and the atmospheric humidity should be kept above 50%.
If the humidity drops below this level for extended periods, the cork risks drying out, allowing oxygen to penetrate, ultimately resulting in oxidation of the wine. A much higher humidity level, over 80% for instance, will not harm the wine, but may cause the labels to peel off or rot. A wine cellar should therefore be designed to ensure an average humidity of between 50% and 75%, while also avoiding any stagnant water collecting, that could enable bacteria and unpleasant odours to develop.
Ideally, the temperature of a wine cellar should be constant at around 12° or 13°C. In a cooler cellar, the complex process of ageing slows down; eventually the wine contracts, and ageing stops altogether.
At higher temperatures, the opposite is true and the process accelerates. Ultimately, the wine will spoil without ever attaining its full potential.
Even more important than the temperature, is that the latter remains constant and stable. Significant and repeated fluctuations can “tire out” a wine, leaving it flat and lifeless.
The tastingFor a successful wine tasting , there are secrets to know, habits to take, and others to give up. If we had to focus only on the most important criterion, it would undoubtedly be the temperature of service . It is imperative to respect a certain temperature to fully enjoy all the aromas of your wine, its original bouquet. Served too hot, the alcohol will take the step in bitterness, served too cold it will be closed because anesthetized.
Respecting the correct serving temperature
A wine must be served at the right temperature for its full potential to be appreciated.
This is an absolute rule, if the wine’s full bouquet and all of its characteristics on the palate are to be enjoyed. Served too warm, the wine’s alcohol will come to the fore and it will taste bitter; too cold and it can anaesthetise the palate and prevent the aromas developing.
The right glass to enhance the tasting experience
You have no doubt seen pictures of wine enthusiasts or professionals tasting wines. You will have noticed that each tasting is carried out with great care. Sometimes, it almost seems like a ceremony.
The vintage is first poured into a wine glass, usually generously proportioned and made of perfectly transparent glass. The taster then takes the glass by its stem and examines the wine’s clarity, colour and fluidity. Next the precious liquid’s aromas are analysed, before it is finally tasted and reveals all of its delicate secrets.
The palate and the importance of taste
The palate should be clean when tasting wine. Like the cheesemonger who advises you to taste cheeses starting with the mildest and then progressing to the strongest (it would be a shame to taste a powerful Roquefort with a delicate fresh goat’s cheese!), wine requires your taste buds and your palate to be free of other flavours.
Avoid consuming foods or drinks that can taint your palate (such as tea, coffee, mint, or tobacco) before enthusiastically embarking on a tasting of fine wines. Keep yourself pure – even a chocolate could spoil your palate!
A pleasant, odour-free environment
Ideally, wines should be tasted in a bright, airy environment, free from any smells that could interfere with the bouquet. For example, put out any scented candles, and be sure not to wear any perfume (or at least very little).
Taste is very much related to smell. As such, no aromas other than those emanating from your glass will affect your tasting experience.
Tips and tricks for using your aging cellarThe aging cellar Climadiff aging is designed to bring you for many years the unique happiness of preserving and blooming your bottles of wine in the best conditions. The good management of your cellar will optimize your pleasure and will offer you a tasting of the most qualified.
Selecting the right location
Climadiff wine cellars offer complete freedom of choice when it comes to location.
However, be aware that the room where you choose to install it constitutes a factor in determining your choice of cellar. Aesthetic design, solid or glass door, frost protection system for rooms subject to ambient temperatures below 10°C (but not freezing), etc.
There are cellars for almost any location; however, you should avoid exposure to the sun, proximity to cars, boilers, and smells of heating oil or paint. These are all elements that can affect your wine.
The impact of temperature on wine-ageing
For the most demanding connoisseurs: the variation in temperature by level inside a cellar (multi-purpose or service) enables precise management of ageing according to the scheduled tasting. Whereas the 10 to 14°C range reproduces the stabilised temperature of the best underground cellars, ageing is accelerated when a bottle is placed in a warmer environment, i.e. a temperature above 12°C.
Conversely, it is slowed down when the temperature is below 12°C.
Keeping a cellar inventory: your cellar’s memory
Over the months and years, you may purchase and drink hundreds of bottles (for the largest cellars). Keeping and maintaining a record is essential. Some Climadiff cellars with solid doors incorporate an inventory on the other side of the door (especially designed by Climadiff). Otherwise, you will need a cellar book.
The inventory or cellar book ideally contains several pieces of information about each wine, such as the date of entry, the number of bottles, the vintage, the estimated best date for consumption, possibly the purchase price and, of course, its location on the shelves. You may also want to add your personal tasting notes.
What wine, what temperature?As a general rule, the more rich and tannic a wine is, the higher its serving temperature will be. On the contrary, the more light and fruity a wine , the cooler its service temperature will be. To note: when it is in the glass, the wine warms up quickly because the temperature of your house is generally higher than the ideal temperature of tasting. In summer, it may be wise to serve the wine at 1 or 2 ° C less than this ideal temperature: it will reach it after only a few moments. The hand is at the temperature of the human body and therefore warms the wine too. That is why it is better to hold the glass by its foot.
What temperatures should wines be served at?
Each type of wine has an optimal drinking temperature. Respect for the right serving temperature enables the alcohol to develop all of its aromas and to offer its full bouquet. The role of Climadiff’s service cellars and, in part, the multi-purpose cellars, is thus to bring each wine to this perfect serving temperature.
So what temperatures should wines be served at?
This really is a crucial question if ever there was one: here is a brief summary of the generally accepted optimal serving temperatures:
- Bordeaux: 17° to 18°C ;
- Red Burgundy: 15° to 16°C ;
- Light red wines and Alsace wines: 10° to 14°C ;
- High quality champagnes and rich, full-bodied white wines: 10° to 12°C ;
- Rosés and light, dry white wines: 8° to 10°C ;
- Sweet white wines and dessert wines: 7° to 9°C.
How to choose a wine cellar? The questions to askAre you actively looking for a wine cellar to benefit from optimal tasting conditions ? It's all to your credit. How to choose the ideal cellar ? How to decide and choose between cellar aging, conservation or cellar service?
How will you use your cellar?
The right choice of wine cellar essentially depends on how you intend to use it.
Of course, the aesthetic style and design of the cellar play a role, but before these are even considered, there are several other factors that need to be taken into account.
So what do you want from your wine cellar?
Is it for laying down fine wines? For ageing your wines in the best possible conditions? In this case, we would recommend looking at ageing cellars that reproduce the optimal conditions offered by underground cellars.
If you want long-term storage for your bottles while also displaying them in your living room and protecting them from UV light, then choose a storage cellar with an attractive anti-UV glass door. On the other hand, perhaps ageing wines is not your main objective and you simply want to have a range of wines always ready for drinking? In this case, you should consider a multi-purpose cellar that will store wines at an appropriate temperature for immediate drinking.
How many bottles would you like to store in your cellar?
This a key issue, especially if you want to age your wines. Ageing is a long-term project and it is to be assumed that your collection of bottles will increase over the years. You therefore need to choose a model whose capacity matches your current requirements, and, just as importantly, those in the longer term, i.e. in 2, 5 or even 10 years.
As you can see, the question of the cellar’s capacity is not a decision to be taken lightly and needs to be carefully considered. The capacities in terms of bottles listed on our site are based on traditional 75 cl Bordeaux bottles, and a minimum number of shelves.
For a collection that includes different styles or sizes of bottle, the capacity will be around 20% less. Additional shelves are available in the Accessories section.
Note: adding extra shelves slightly reduces your cellar’s storage capacity (by the equivalent of one row of bottles).
Location Where is the best place to install your wine cellar?
Another key factor in your choice of wine cellar is where you are going to put it.
You can install a cellar almost anywhere in your home:
- in the living room,
- in the garage,
- or as part of a fitted kitchen, but in each case the technical characteristics of your cellar will be different.
For a free-standing installation in a garage or basement, make sure that the cellar you select has a frost protection system.
For an installation that will be in full view, Climadiff offers a very wide range of dimensions, designs and finishes, colours, etc.
Solid or glass door ; free-standing, under-counter, or built-in, there is something for every taste and style!
What budget is necessary to buy a wine cellar?
Here again, there is no such thing as an ideal budget.
The right budget for a wine cellar is the amount that you are willing to invest to benefit from all the features and technical characteristics of a specialised wine cellar, in accordance with your specific requirements.
Climadiff has a wide range of products.
Each type of cellar corresponds to a strict set of specifications and meets demanding quality requirements. Prices not only change with capacity, but also depending on the technological features that have been installed in order to store your bottles of wine, such as the range of A+ energy class cellars.
As an indication, by way of comparison, you can make a quick calculation of the price per bottle stored.
To carry out this calculation, we recommend proceeding as follows:
Sales price inc VAT of the cellar / capacity in number of bottles = price per bottle.
You will then also be able to see that for the same technical characteristics, the price per bottle of a specialist wine cellar is sometimes less than that of a lesser known brand.