If you’re a true connoisseur, you’ll know wine is a passion, not just a drink. You’ll also know a good wine needs to be stored and served perfectly if it is to achieve its full potential, and there are several things which can be invested in to make that happen.
An aerator is designed to more effectively expose an open bottle to oxygen, with a number of benefits. Perhaps most importantly, some wines offer very little aroma or flavour when first opened, but aeration enables them to become more expressive. At the same time, other wines might possess an overbearing flavour, which an aerator can help soften.
Finally, well-aged wines might contain gas with a slightly off-putting aroma, which can be expelled when you use an aerator.
Decanting refers to the act of transferring wine from the bottle to a separate container prior to serving. Using a decanter enables an older wine to separate from its sediment, and it also boasts some of the same benefits as the previously discussed aerator, especially for younger vintages.
If a wine is less than ten years old, decanting it around 8-12 hours before consumption can drastically shorten the aeration process, resulting in a fuller, fruitier bouquet when you come to drink it.
- A wine cellar
Wine needs to be kept in a cool, dry environment, away from any temperature changes and moisture. It also needs to be protected from damage.
This is why a wine cellar has become the distinguishing mark of a true connoisseur. Having a space to store a vast selection means always having the right type of wine for every single occasion, and provides a place tailor-made to allow your wine to age to perfection. Typically seen as too expensive for most wine-lovers, the recent popularity of concrete tank wine cellars has made them far more attainable.
- A filter
A filter helps to achieve a level of sterility in the bottle – essentially removing any contaminants that might alter fermentation – while also helping the wine to achieve a greater level of clarity.
This is something particularly important for white wine. Whilst a red will usually appear slightly cloudy when a light is shined through it, such an appearance is generally unappealing for a white wine. Red wine should only be filtered for clarity when absolutely necessary, but a filter can be incredibly beneficial for a white.
- A wine thermometer
The temperature at which a wine should be stored and aged is one thing, but the temperature at which it should be consumed is quite another. This doesn’t just mean allowing a red to achieve room temperature whilst cooling your white in the fridge, ideal serving temperatures even differ between grapes and regions.
Traditional stick thermometers are placed directly in the wine, whilst many modern models wrap around the bottle. Either one will keep your Burgundy from getting too cold or your Sauvignon from getting too warm.
Even if you already have a wine cellar, a wine cooler is vital to provide temporary storage prior to pouring. Most will have different zones for white and red, and will offer an ideal temperature level compared to your fridge, so it’s well worth investing in one if you want your wine to taste its absolute best.
Great wine is temperamental; it needs to be treated with constant respect to avoid getting spoiled. That’s why every wine-enthusiast knows the value of these six things.
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