Your cellar, your way
Do you want building up your own cellar with Loire Valley Wines? We give you all the informations to store them well and to develop your future cellar.
Storing bottles in the cellar
Remove bottles from their cases straight away. Prolonged contact with cardboard may taint the taste of your wine.
Stand the bottle up, or lie it down? Bottles should be stored horizontally, keeping the cork in contact with the wine to prevent it from drying out.
How do I store a small amount of wine at home?
It’s fine to store a case or two at home for a short period. The ambient temperature will have no ill effects – but store it in a fairly cool place away from light and safe from vibrations. You could either leave the wine in its case, or wrap bottles in aluminium foil to protect them from light.
Choosing a wine cabinet
There are various different brands of cabinet on the market, each offering products to suit different needs and budgets. Storage capacity ranges from 50 bottles to 500. It is advisable to remove your wine from the cabinet – especially a good, well-aged wine - a few days before serving, allowing it time to soften and open up.
How to lay out your wine cellar
To develop well, wine needs to be stored under very specific conditions. The ideal cellar is hard to find, but with a few adjustments, most wine-storage spaces can be perfectly satisfactory.
- A good cellar should be well-ventilated enough to inhibit the formation of mould, but not so open that there are fluctuations in temperature.
- It should be dark, as bright light can affect wine.
- Vibration should be avoided as it may disturb any sediment present in the wine, or even “tire” your wine, rendering it dull and lacklustre.
- The cellar should be clean and should never be used to store strong-smelling products or any product which may ferment. Don’t use your cellar to store onions – or your DIY materials!
- The ideal temperature for your cellar is between 9° and 14°C. Using a thermometer will help you check for temperature fluctuations so you can make the changes needed to keep your wine in peak condition.
- Avoid thermal shock (from central heating pipes etc.)
- Controlling humidity is as important as controlling temperature. The ideal humidity level is between 70 and 80%, and can be measured by installing a hygrometer. Compacted earth makes a good floor when insulated with a layer of sand or gravel. If the cellar is too dry, try increasing humidity by placing a bowl containing water and charcoal by your wine rack. It is better to have high humidity and good ventilation than air that is too dry.
Which Loire Valley wines should I put in my cellar?
The value of a cellar is not necessarily measured by the money taken to stock it; it should be a reflection of the owner’s spirit of adventure. A good cellar will have something for every occasion.
Before you start building up your cellar, take a look at how and what you drink
- How much do you normally drink?
- What are your favourites?
- What foods do you like to pair them your wine?
- When do you usually drink wine?
Think about it carefully.
Then update your cellar, expand your selection and be sure to store a minimum number of bottles to cope with every eventuality.
The Loire Valley range is unique. There is a wine for every need, for every occasion. Make sure you always have a few bottles to hand, for example:
- Wines for everyday drinking: Touraine, Muscadet, Saumur-Champigny or St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil. These are simple, authentic, vibrant wines, and not too expensive. They come in white, red and and rosé, and all give a good reflection of their terroir.
- Summer wines: Cabernet D’Anjou, Anjou Rouge, Touraine-Oisly or Rosé-de-Loire. Look for coolness of temperature and freshness of flavour; choose lively, light, delicate wines, and serve chilled.
- Weekend wines: Savennières, Anjou-Blanc or Chinon: Not rare, expensive wines, but wines that are flavoursome, elegant and full of life, from a cuvée printanière to a powerful, long-lived wine.
- Celebration wines: Crémant-de-Loire, Saumur-Brut, Vouvray or Muscadet Sèvre-Et-Maine Sur Lie. For special occasions, reunions, friendships begging to be toasted with a good, well-aged wine kept just for such an occasion, or a wine with a delicate mousse and a fine bead, exuding freshness and joie de vivre.