Whether it’s the burst of ripening strawberries with hints of lychee and vanilla from a French rosé, notes of gooseberry from a New Zealand Sauvignon, or a Spanish Rioja’s dark chocolate aroma, storing wine in its optimum conditions will give the best possible results for a fine-tasting experience. Temperature, humidity, darkness and even the angle at which the bottles are stored will all have an impact on the taste and nose of wine. Here’s a guide on the best ways to store wine in order to give you the best possible drinking experience.
Two of wine’s biggest enemies are heat and sunlight, as UV rays can cause premature ageing. This is why it is important to choose a wine conditioning unit that comes with a tinted glass door as well as energy-efficient LED lighting that won’t heat surrounding air. A standard fridge just doesn’t cut the mustard, as wine needs a variety of storage conditions to allow it to mature fully. A model with two or even three independently controlled temperature zones allows you to store white, red and sparkling in their own optimum conditions. Miele wine conditioning units offer a DynaCool system to ensure cold air circulates continuously to maintain a uniform temperature while keeping humidity at 70% to prevent corks from drying out. Wine should be stored between 6˚C and 18˚C for best results. If whites and red are in the same zone, choose a temperature between 12˚C and 14˚C, as this is suitable for both. Anything over 22˚C will cause wines to mature too quickly, while anything below 5˚C won’t allow them to fully mature.
Additional features to look out for in a wine conditioning unit include filters to keep the air around the bottles clean and prevent unwanted odours from permeating the corks, as well as anti-vibration technology that stops sediments from being disturbed while the wine is maturing.
Bottles should be stored horizontally, as this helps keep the cork moist and is ideal for long-term storage. Cork is traditionally used as it expands in the neck of the bottle, protecting the wine from oxygen. If the cork dries out, it lets air inside, causing premature oxidation, which makes wines to lose their freshness and taste flat.
Another aspect to consider is the size of wine conditioning unit that will suit your needs. This is often determined by the space available in your kitchen or utility room and there are varying styles to choose from. Integrated, freestanding, built-under, compact and handleless designs all complement different kitchen styles and storage requirements. Before you buy, check there is enough room to open the door fully for easy access and that there is some space for the wine conditioning unit to ventilate. As well as front ventilation, you need to ensure that side ventilation won’t be blocked, which can cause over-heating, especially for built-in models.
Miele offers 11 different wine conditioning units, each with its own range of features and functions.
Every product includes all the must-have wine-preserving technology that will store your collection in optimum conditions for as long as needed.
For something neat and compact for a contemporary kitchen, the KWT 7112 iG is a built-in design with Push2open technology, perfect for modern, handleless kitchens. Simply press the front of the door and it opens – no fuss, no hassle. FlexiFrame Plus is ideal for storing larger bottles, as individual slats can be rearranged in two directions to accommodate larger diameters. Odourless refrigeration is easy with Active AirClean Filters, a combination of active charcoal and chitosan, while a flush-fit LED lighting strip is energy efficient, temperature neutral and the perfect way to present your wine. UV filters in the tinted glass door also provide optimum protection from sunlight.
One of the biggest kitchen trends is for housing cooking and cooling appliances within an island unit. Having a built-under wine conditioning unit such as the KWT 6322 UG installed into one allows convenient access. Separate temperature zones enable you to store three different types of wine while FlexiFrame and Push2open features offer added versatility. Once again, you’ll also benefit from Active AirClean filters, LED lighting, a tinted glass door and pull-out racks.
When you want a freestanding wine conditioning unit for a larger collection, the KWT 6834 SGS not only comes with beech wood FlexiFrame racks for Magnums and larger bottles, three separate temperature zones, Active AirClean filters, LED lighting and a tinted glass door, but it also includes the SommelierSet.
This innovative accessory comprises a glass holder and two decanting racks, perfect for chilling glasses before serving, preparing wine for decanting and conditioning open bottles for best results.
Miele’s top of the range freestanding KWT 2671 ViS wine conditioning unit, meanwhile, combines high-end design and wine preserving technology. Along with a SommelierSet, three temperature zones, FlexiFrame racks and Push2open, this model also comes with a Selector Presenter that enables a prized vintage to be slightly raised under soft light.
Selecting the perfect wine conditioning unit for your collection not only gives your kitchen an on-trend designer look but it also keeps your bottles in optimum condition. Whether it’s only for a few days or longer term, saved for a special occasion, storing wine in this way gives it the care and attention it deserves.
This a guest post by Richard Treffler of Miele GB