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The Seven Sins of Wine Cellaring


A world wide survey to discover what wine enthusiasts thought were the seven worst sins in Wine Cellaring resulted in the final list.

1. Not having a cellar at all.

Young wine can be delicious, but mature, well-cellared treasures offer wine's greatest delights. A simple cellar makes it possible for any wine lover to enjoy mature wines; without a cellar, you simply can't do it. What's more, even a modest collection spares you having to rush to the wine shop if guests arrive unexpectedly.

2. Storing wine in a warm or bright place.

Bright light and especially heat are the enemies of wine in storage. Extreme heat will "cook" your wine and ruin it in short order. Even slightly elevated temperatures will push it to age quickly but not well. For optimal storage, a constant temperature is best and a good cellar will ensure this happy environment.

3. Failing to derive the maximum pleasure from cellared wine.

Like everything else, wine has a finite lifespan. Mature wine is a delight. Wine held too long is wasted. If you choose to cellar wine, you owe it to yourself to keep track of your collection. It is a shame to devote years of effort to cellaring only to have your wine die in the bottle because you didn't enjoy it when it was ready.

4. Failing to maintain an accurate record of wine held.

A lost bottle is a bottle not enjoyed. It's not that difficult to keep track of your collection - Inventory management software such as The Uncorked Cellar are just about foolproof. Keeping things organized will pay dividends in the enjoyment of your wines.

5. Keeping a narrow range of values, varieties and vintages

One of the greatest pleasures of wine is its infinite variety. Each of the world's many wine regions offers its own special pleasures, as do the wondrous array of wine grapes and the subtle variations that each year's differing climate brings. To focus your collection too narrowly would be like building an art collection of paintings all in one color.

6. Owning an over-aged wine or opening an under-aged one

Every ageworthy wine shows an evolutionary profile: Youthful fruit, charming if simple, followed by a quiet period in which the nuances of bottle age develop. It reaches a peak, then holds on a plateau for some time before gradually declining and eventually dying. If you choose to collect wine, it simply makes sense to enjoy your wines at their peak of maturity.

7. Failing to share your cellar treasures with others

It is hard to think of a sadder sight than a wine "scrooge" quietly and selfishly enjoying his wine alone. Wine is a social beverage, meant to be shared. A great part of the enjoyment of a fine, perfectly matured wine lies in sharing it with friends and loved ones.

8. Dying with wine still in your cellar!

This is the eighth sin, avoided if Sin number 7 us adhered to.


* Adapted with permission from James Wilson



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