Spring cleaning…YOUR WINE CELLAR!
My wine cellar is the only room in my house that I DO NOT DUST! Simply because the dust makes my wine seem so much older than it really is.
However, here are some “SPRING CLEANING/MAINTENANCE TIPS” that I apply to my ‘Salle du Vin’.
1. Make sure you have some variety. Just like a garden, you don’t want all the your flowers to be the same colour. Share a wine selection with a friend or family member and increase your selection. And, it is not carved in stone that all your wines have to be ‘personally made’. Stock a few of your favourite commercial wines as well. I certainly do!
2. Check to ensure your wine area or cellar is at a constant temperature. Temperauture fluctuations can be the worst enemy of your wine! The contraction and expansion of wine in the bottle can ever so slightly move the cork thus breaking the seal and letting air in. This can, over time, oxidize the wine. Put a thermometer on the wall of your wine room or wine area and moniter the temperature to see if there are changes. Adjust accordingly.
3. Rotate your older wines to the forefront or more accessable parts of your racks. And move your younger or newer wines to the back or less accesssible areas of your racks to age further. Out of sight…out of mind. It works for me.
4. Keep your whites closer to the floor of your cellar but never right on it. There is generally a 5°F difference between the ceiling and floor in any room in the the house. The lower, the cooler, and in the warmer weather it is the difference between waiting that extra 10 minutes for your whites to chill. A little too much time on my hands…I love my job.
5. Inspect and organize your empties. Have them ready for your next bottling. If there are some that need cleaning because of shedding or residue from heavier red wines, put them aside and use ‘Craig’s Pink Stuff’ (click here). Keep your ‘ready to fill’ clean bottles in an area you can easily access for your next bottling sesssion.
6. Considering building that wine cellar. There’s no time like the present. Call me if you need free advice.
7. Keep collecting wine bottles. You generously give a lot of wine away but you never get the bottles back. And when you do, they’re never as clean as you want them.
TIP: Teach people to rinse them before they return them. If they don’t do so become the Seinfeld ‘Wine Nazi’ and tell them…”NO MORE WINE FOR YOU TODAY”! It works for me…except Mom, she’s exempt!