Wine Storage Advice - Cellaring your wine
What happens when wine ages?
The more fruit, acid and phenolics that go into a bottle of wine at the beginning, the more complex interactions there can be between all these compounds and the more rewarding it can be to age that bottle. Tannins and colouring matter known as anthocyanins are the most obvious types of phenolics and what preserves red wine as these interactions occur. So as good quality, concentrated red wine ages it becomes paler and softer to taste, while gaining considerably in the range of flavours it presents.
Light - Strong, direct sunlight or incandescent light can adversely react with phenolic compounds in wine and create potential wine faults.
Humidity - Some degree of humidity is required in order to keep wines with cork enclosures from drying out. Even when wine bottles are stored on their sides, one side of the cork is still exposed to air. If the cork begins to dry out, it can allow oxygen to enter the bottle, filling the ullage space and possibly causing the wine to spoil or oxidize.
Temperature - Wine is very susceptible to changes in temperature, with temperature control being an important consideration in wine storage. If the wine is exposed to too high a temperature (in excess of 25 °C) for long periods of time, it may become spoilt or “cooked” and develop off flavors. Most experts recommend that wine be kept at constant temperatures between 10 and 15 °C.