How to Care for Your Fine Wine Collection
Wine collections are growing, and so are their value, in many cases. Indeed, based on the results of a recent Sotheby's wine auction, held in Hong Kong in early October, the prices of collectible wines are breaking records.
One imperial (six litres) of Château Pétrus 1982 realized a world auction record price of $93,077, while a case (12 bottles) of Château Pétrus 2000 sold for $55,846. Three bottles of a 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, a winery in Oakville, California, sold for $27,923.
If you have a wine collection, or if you are thinking of building one, here's how to care for your collection, according to the experts at Fireman's Fund Insurance Company's Wine Collector Management Services.
Keep an eye on your climate control
A temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 60% to 65% are ideal for long term wine storage. The cool temperature slows the aging process, while the humidity prevents moisture inside the wine bottle from moving into the cork and eventually evaporating into the air. Keep in mind that ideal temperatures do vary somewhat depending on the type of wine you are storing. Attics and garages are not ideal places to store wine, as temperatures can fluctuate greatly in these locations.
Limit your collection's exposure to light sources
A dark room is best for wine storage. Fluorescent light is not believed to be harmful.
Wines should be kept in a stable environment
Vibration is harmful to wine, as it disturbs the sediment. Keep the bottles in a horizontal position.
Back up your power supply
Your wine collection could be at risk during a sustained power outage. A permanent back-up generator will help protect your investment.
Consider renting a storage space
If you lack adequate space to store your collection, professional wine storage facilities are available in most major cities.