The term ageing is usually used in reference to wine being bottle aged at the winery before shipping so I use the term cellaring in reference to wine being stored after sale.
It’s commonly stated that only 1% of all the wine produced in the world is meant for the cellar. A wine can start to deteriorate and lose many of its qualities if left in a cellar for too long; regardless of cellar conditions.
However, for those who can’t resist the allure, in this blog we will answer the two most common cellaring questions. What are the ideal wine cellar conditions? And how long can I cellar my wine for?
What are the ideal wine cellar conditions?
A wine cellar should be dark. Ensure there is no natural or ultraviolet light as light will prematurely age a bottle of wine.
Temperature should be 12-16 degrees Centigrade and should be as stable as possible.
Humidity should be 60-70%.
Ensure that bottles are lying down. And don’t disturb the bottles – there’s no need to turn them.
Lastly, a wine cellar should be clean and odour free. It should be well ventilated to avoid mold. And don’t store food, chemicals or other items in a wine cellar!
How long can I cellar my wine for?
Certain wines will get better with age. The aging of a wine helps create hidden flavours and textures. Here’s a guide to how long you can cellar common categories and varieties for:
Shiraz – Typically 5 to 10 years but up to 15 years
Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre – Typically 5 to 8 years but up to 12 years
Cabernet Sauvignon – Typically 5 to 10 years but up to 20 years
Merlot – Typically 3 to 5 years but up to 10 years
Pinot Noir – Typically 2 to 5 years
Chardonnay – Typically 1 to 5 years
Riesling – Typically 3 to 5 years but up to 20 years
Semillon – Typically 3 to 5 years but up to 15 years
Sauvignon Blanc – Typically drink now but up to 3 years
Pinot Gris – Typically drink now but up to 3 years
Rosé – Typically 1 to 5 years but up to 8 years
Sparkling – Typically 1 to 5 years
How long can you keep Preservative Free wine for?
Preservative Free wine is not for the cellar – drink it now. But it can typically be consumed up to 3 years after release and even up to 5 years after release for some Preservative Free red wines.
At The Organic Wine Cellar, every wine listed on our website includes a Drinking Window under the Additional Info tab so you will know when’s best to consume that wine and if it has cellaring potential.