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Lake Wine Services Ltd

Central Otago
Cellaring wine
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Cellaring Wine

With statistics showing that the average bottle of wine is consumed very soon after purchase, it is no wonder that most wines have little cellaring potential. The very components that give a wine it's ability to age also tend to be perceived as "unpleasant" to the tastebuds and require time to mellow. Not all wines should be cellared before drinking and in some cases (i.e. Champagne) the wines have been matured by the producer and are intended to be consumed immediately. Price is usually a good indication of cellaring potential but be careful to get advice from your wine retailer when making a major purchase.


Wine should be stored at a constant temperature (around 14 C), at a humidity that ensures the cork will not dry and shrink (75 percent), in a dark place with no vibration. High temperatures change the rate of chemical reactions associated with maturation and fluctuations in temperature cause the cork seal to weaken due to the expanding and contracting of the wine. Changes in temperature affect the humidity that can cause the cork to shrink and expand, again weakening the seal. Humidity's less than 65 percent will cause the cork the “dry out” allowing the wine to seep out of the bottle.


While temperature and humidity are the most important factors, keeping your wine away from sunlight and vibration is also important as these factor too influence the way in which wine matures. When designing a wine cellar each of these factors should be considered; starting with temperature and humidity and then vibration and light.