Wine Storage

Is wine better or worse with a synthetic cork instead of a natural cork?

QUESTION: Is wine better or worse with a synthetic cork instead of a natural cork? I hate synthetic corks and love natural cork or Stelvin screw tops. Synthetic corks are often very difficult to pull out of the bottle. They haven’t yet convinced me that a wine can age as well with a synthetic cork as they can with natural cork or even screw top. To me, synthetic cork indicates cheap wine or a wine that is unlikely to be made in a natural way.
Corks

Do screw caps on wine bottles indicate a cheap wine?

QUESTION: Do screw caps on wine bottles indicate a cheap wine? No. Cheap wine indicates cheap wine . There is an issue with corks as a small percentage of them will cause a problem with the wine in the bottle. The most famous of these is TCA which is a bacterium that, while harmless, can cause a wine to smell and taste muted at best or like wet cardboard at worse. Other issues are imperfect seals which cause a wine to age prematurely.

Should wine be stored flat like in wine racks? Or, is it ok to have it standing up like in most supermarkets?

QUESTION: Should wine be stored flat like in wine racks? Or, is it ok to have it standing up like in most supermarkets? Madeira is the only wine that should be stored standing up. If the cork fails and falls into the bottle, it will still survive. Any other wine should be stored lying down in a cool, dark, humid environment, away from vibration and fluctuations in temperature. Supermarket shelves have a high turnover, so there is no danger of the wine being stored long enough to have the fact that it is standing have any impact.

What is the shelf life of wine after the bottle is opened? How long will the wine be drinkable?

QUESTION: What is the shelf life of wine after the bottle is opened? How long will the wine be drinkable? This will vary based on the grape(s) used and the age of the wine. Once a cork is pulled (or cap unscrewed), the wine will start to react to the oxygen. To slow this process, the only good home solution is to reduce that process. This can be done by transferring the wine to a smaller bottle that has less oxygen contact, but the best thing is to put the wine in a refrigerator which will slow the process down.

How long should you age a wine?

QUESTION: HOW LONG SHOULD A WINE AGE? There is no clear answer to this . Some people simply don’t like or understand old wine. What is dead to one person is just coming into its prime to another. Some say “if you can taste the fruit in a wine, it isn’t ready for drinking”, others think “if you can’t taste the fruit, the wine is dead”. Old wine can be an acquired taste. If you buy a wine, such as Chateau Lafite, and you drink it early, you are wasting your money because a wine like that is completely designed to be at its best when it is several decades old. However, most wines don’t age well and should be drunk immediately. The standard reference book, on which wines can be aged, is “Michael Broadbent Vintage Wine” or his “Pocket Vintage Wine Companion”. A nice cellar should include wines that are ageing and some that are ready for immediate drinking. If you do not have sufficiently good conditions for ageing wine, you should not age it. You can buy aged wines and drink them immediately. - Bartholomew Broadbent , CEO of Broadbent Selections

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