There are many reasons to age wine. Cellaring your wine allows all the elements in a wine (fruit, acid, oak, and tannins) to integrate and develop a delicate balance, and optimize the wine’s aging potential.
Here are some tips to cellar your wines well:
Constant exposure to light produces chemical reactions in wine that cause it to deteriorate. White wines and champagnes are the most vulnerable. Try to keep the cellar dark when not in use.
A relative humidity of 50-70% is the acceptable range. Insufficient humidity may cause corks to dry out and lose their elasticity which lets air get into the bottle. Too much humidity (over 70%) can cause mold to grow on corks.
A temperature of 10-15°C (53-60° F) is ideal for allowing the wine to age steadily without risking premature aging or oxidation.
Synthetic corks are great for long-term storage (1-5 years). They eliminate problems such as leakage and random oxidation. Agglomerated corks are suitable for aging wines for up to one year.
Sulphites help to preserve the wine from spoilage and oxidation. TIP: If aging beyond 6 months, add ¼ tsp of extra sulphite. Sulphite dissipates with age and is important for the long-term health of the wine.
It’s natural for wines (especially high-end heavy reds) to shed some tannin during aging. Vibrations can cause bottle sediment to stay suspended, creating either a haze or “floaties”.