WHAT IS FINE WINE ?
Contrary to popular belief, fine wine can be from anywhere. It is a term used to describe any wine of a superior quality and structure that may improve with a little bottle age. Most wines over £10 will fall into this category, and you may even find a few below that price, too.
HOW SHOULD I STORE MY WINE ?
Wine is extremely sensitive to temperature and light. It should therefore be stored in the dark at a constant low temperature of 13°C. Humidity is also important. Damp cellars are excellent for ensuring the cork stays expanded and airtight, though your labels won’t stay on the bottle very long.
WHERE SHOULD I STORE MY WINE ?
Underground cellars are ideal. Unfortunately, these are less and less common in houses and therefore alternatives are needed. The modern solution is a wine cooler, such as the LG Wine Cellar, which reproduces the ideal storage conditions of a real cellar. The last resort is a cupboard under the stairs, but the temperature will need to be constant if the wine isn’t to perish.
WHERE SHOULD I BUY FINE WINE ?
The more direct the route is from the vineyard to your cellar, the better. Poor handling and storage en route can result in a sub-standard bottle of wine. Buy from a reputable merchant who only transports wine in the cooler months and has a temperature-controlled warehouse. Be wary of buying any wine over £20 from the shelf. These wines sell slowly and it is likely it has been kept in unsuitable conditions for months.
WHAT SHOULD I BUY ?
This all depends on budget, space and, of course, your own personal taste. If you have room, you can invest in wines that may take years to reach their potential. However, if you want to buy, try and taste as often as possible, then do some research. Take advice from your merchant, read the reviews in the press, and browse the internet.
WHY DO YOU MATURE WINE ?
Until a few years ago, wines needed a lengthy stint in the cellar to make them drinkable. Wine develop inside the bottle as a result of a series of chemical reactions that occur due to the presence of dissolved oxygen. Modern wine-production and vine-growing methods mean that most young wines are well-balanced and very drinkable. However, some ageing is beneficial in order to add depth and soften the wine.