Old vintages : How to store and consume them?
You have a few old bottles and you want to store them properly so you can enjoy them for special events? If you don't want to have unpleasant surprises during the tasting, it is essential to respect certain rules. This applies both to the conservation of your grand crus and to the opening of the bottles.
How to store old bottles properly?Not easy to control, temperature is often neglected and yet it plays a decisive role in the conservation of. Indeed, too high a temperature can accelerate the ageing of the wine and alter the bouquet and aromas. Therefore, it is recommended to store the bottles at a temperature between 10 and 14 °C. If this seems complicated, try to find a place where the temperature is constant all year round.
Also remember to protect your bottles from sunlight. Ultraviolet tends to cause wine to oxidize. To light your cellar, choose sodium lamps that have the advantage of releasing little heat and avoid neon lights at all costs. Beware of unpleasant odours that can affect the wine when passing through the cork. Avoid placing your old bottles near a poorly adjusted boiler or near smelly foods such as cheese or onions.
And finally, as far as placing the bottle vertically or horizontally is concerned, it depends on the cork. Old vintages with a cork stopper can be kept lying down. Indeed, the cap must be moist to avoid oxidation caused by the penetration of air through the dry cap. However, make sure that the humidity level does not exceed 80% to avoid mould. In the case of bottles closed with screw caps, they can be kept upright.
How to taste your old bottle?
Since old bottles are often stored horizontally, it is strongly recommended to gently straighten your bottle the day before and let it rest in peace before tasting. This will allow the deposit to accumulate well at the bottom of the bottle. Uncork your old wine 4 to 5 hours before tasting in order to aerate it. This slow oxygenation will allow your vintage to flourish well, but also to eliminate the wrong molecules.
Also be careful when opening your bottle. Avoid pushing the twist too deeply to avoid cork deposits in your old vintage. For a smooth uncorking, it is preferable to use a corkscrew with blades. In any case, remember to wipe the neck well with a clean cloth before serving.
And since we are talking about service, it is recommended to serve an old bottle at a temperature between 16 and 18 °C if it is a red wine and 10 to 12 °C for a white wine. This allows the old wine to preserve its flavour. To do this, consider using an ice bucket when serving at the table. All that remains is to wish you a good tasting!
You can also store your bottles thanks to our specially dedicated racks that you can find here.