The 4 Best Basic Steps to Cellaring Wine by Tessera Wines Australian Wine Producer

The Four Best Basic Steps To Cellaring Wine

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is, “How long do your wines cellar for?” Good question, and important to know. Thicker skinned grape varieties like Shiraz and Cabernet tend to do well lying down up to ten years. Our first Shiraz, Chaste is still drinking beautifully nine years on, so it will be interesting to see how it goes because we feel it’s definitely hanging in there quite nicely and we could get to twelve or more. We cellar a couple of dozen of each of our reds vintages and selected white varietals each year so we can keep a close eye on how they are developing and suggest you do this too. Cellaring is a great way to watch over your favourite wine purchases and participate along with their ageing journey!

One: Finding A Space For Your Wine

You’ve returned from a visit to the wine country and never thought you would buy so much amazing wines, but here we are. Quality wine is an investment and calls for proper storage and care, but where to start? Fear not, in just a few key steps we can get you on track with your foray into wine cellaring.

The good news is that you don’t need a fancy, expensive cellar or wine fridge to store your precious collection effectively. The rule is to store in a space where there is a consistent temperature and heat – so don’t put it in a sunny spot. Find a space under the stairs, preferably in a dark spot and voila, you’re on the road to cellaring excellence. Temperatures needs to be relatively consistent around 12 to 18 degrees Celsius. There is nothing worse than investing in some decent boutique wines, only to find that the heat or sun exposure has turned them bad. If storing with corks be sure to lay the wines down, keeping the cork hydrated and avoiding dry out and the inevitable oxidisation. Screw caps or stelvins have revolutionised wine quality and consistency of longevity. Cork is romantic, however being a natural product it has its flaws, whereby the efficiency and consistency of screw caps means peace of mind for you the consumer and the lifespan of your wines.

Two: Wine Selection

Now the best bit, starting your wine collection.

Stock up on the varietals that you love. Keep in mind that although you love a good Cabernet now, your tastes can change over time, so be sure to include other red varietals that age well, such as Shiraz, Mourvèdre and Barolo. Riesling and Chardonnay also age well, with a quality drop at their best at 3 to 7 years old.  Our latest release, 2023 Straw Boss Riesling, is drinking beautifully now, but for example has the potential for cellaring up to ten years, but time will tell. As our 2022 Monarch Chardonnay is Oak Aged, it also has the potential as well for drinking up to ten years. Again, this is a classic example of storing your favourite wines and dusting off a bottle every year to see how it’s travelling. There is nothing worse than waiting too long only to find your wine has gone past the point of no return!

Keep in mind most other White wines and Rosé don’t necessarily benefit from age and should be consumed within 1-2 years. Reds age well, lasting over 3-10 years. Our Stompa Sauvignon Blanc for example is meant to be drunk young and fresh!

Three: Organisation

Some key points we go by for organisation are,

  • We recommend stacking and storing the wines that you wish to age and mature at the back of the shelf and wines you like to have handy for a Friday afternoon quaffing at the front.
  • Keep your wines in groupings per region and vineyard.
  • Consider purchasing a Wine Journal, where you can record cellaring and tasting notes, plus there is a space for preserving wine labels. This is the absolute ultimate in keeping organised.
  • If journalling isn’t your thing, another good way is using an app, therefore you always have on you what is in your cellar and can easily see what is ready to be drank. One app that we favour is ViVino.

Four: Wine is an investment

Your wine will definitely respond to being treated well. Stick to the basics of consistent cool temperatures and laying down for corks, upright for screw caps. Life is too short to drink bad wines, so be sure to treat yourself every now and then with a bottle of something special that you have set aside from the back of your collection. Share it with a friend. Take the time to read the labels. With a bottle of quality wine, there is most usually a story to be told that really will transport you back to the vineyard.

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