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Advice on cellaring wines

We recommend that all wines bought or held for investment be professionally cellared.  Increasingly, serious collectors are looking for wines with perfect provenance, stored in ideal conditions.  Removing wines from bonded storage reduces options for re-sale and hence can reduce the market value, often 10 to 20% or more.  Bonded storage also gives an assurance of temperature and humidity-controlled conditions.  We store with London City Bond, one of the largest bonded warehouse operations in the UK.  See our information on storage for current pricing.

For wines for drinking, the decision whether to store at home or in bond is a more personal one.  With cellarage costs of £11.80 ex VAT per dozen per annum, it may not be financially sound to store (for instance) Cru Bourgeois clarets worth £100-200 for five or seven years, if you have the means to store them at home. 

An ideal storage temperature would be between 10 and 15 °C, but temperatures of up to 20 °C will do little harm.  Rapid fluctuations and extremes are more of an issue.  If the temperature changes rapidly, the glass bottle and cork may expand and contract at different rates, allowing oxygen in and causing seepage, which can result in microbial contamination from acetobacter (acetifying the wine). 

Temperatures over 26 °C for even a few hours can cause excessive maderisation.  This is particularly worth remembering if transporting wine in a car in summer.  If you are not fortunate enough to have a cool cellar at home and are faced with a heat-wave, we would recommend temporarily transferring any treasured bottles to a fridge.  Opinions vary on how freezing affects fine wine, but obviously, there is a risk of bottles breaking or at the very least of corks being raised, again allowing premature oxidation.

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