Keeping It Cool


Right now daytime temperatures in areas close to our Cape coastline average around 26°, so imagine what those temps are like further inland.  The question then begs, is it necessary to have a wine fridge or professional cellar or is that taking your love of wine too far? 

The most important reason one would decide to cellar wine is to ensure a constant temperature so as to preserve the condition of the wine.  Wine is after all about chemistry and like most things in life if the chemistry is not right, it just will not last!  A quiet area, out of direct sunlight is a good start.  Forget about storing your wine next to or near your music system – those good vibrations are good for a party, but not your wine.  

You have now covered the basic requirements, but what about the ambient temperature?  If you do not have the space or money for a cellar, then what options exist?  Statistically, most wine purchases are consumed within 48 hours so this would reduce your need for a cellar or wine fridge.  However, what if you are serious about starting a collection OR want to ensure the wine is at its best drinking condition?  Perhaps it is time to invest in a wine fridge or put it on your wish list.  An example of an entry level wine cooler/fridge that offers red and white wine storage ranging from 7° – 18° is the Samsung Wine Refrigerator which retails at R3,500.00. 

“I am very lucky in that I have the space at home to have a refrigeration unit in a separate room that acts as my cellar.  However, in my holiday flat, which is situated in Durban, and I do not have the space, I would love to have a wine fridge.  It takes up less space and does not have the vibrations that a “normal” fridge has.”  Marilyn Cooper, Principal of CWA

“Our house retains heat in the summer and we needed to store our wines someplace with good temperature control. The wine fridge was the perfect solution. Fits around 24 to 30 bottles, and stays at a fixed temperature, so we have both reds and whites in our fridge.” Melanie Moorhouse, Vineyard Connection

“For us as winemakers it is obviously important that once we have put our efforts into bottling the finest product, to know that the wine is then stored well and eventually served at the desired temperature. For wine storage wines should be able to be kept cool, not cold necessarily.
The most important though is to keep the bottles at constant temperature.  What wines do not like is temperature fluctuation, to be at 14 degrees the one day and 20 degrees the next.”
Philip Jonker, Winemaker at  Weltevrede Estate.


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