There is so much more to wine that putting the bottle of white out on fish nights and the bottle of red out on beef nights. Wine is at the heart of a culture and those who belong to that culture are on intimate terms with its history, which they find every bit as interesting as wine tasting.
And a big part of the history of wine is the history of wine storage. Knowing what has been understood as successful wine storage in the past may shed some light on present and future effective wine storage techniques. Wine storage, it seems, has changed surprisingly little over the millennia.
In The Middle Ages
Wine storage techniques were developed in medieval times in order to ensure a steady supply of wine during times of war, siege, and famine. Wine, in those times, was not only a beverage; both wine and beer provided dietary nutrients to those whose diets were often lacking them.
The first wine storage containers were “wineskins”, made of animal hides and bladders. They were followed by clay pottery; Greek and Jewish potters produced “amphoras” capable of storing several liters of wine. The amphora was ideal for wine storage, as it prevented both light and heat from reaching and destroying the wine, and is still used for wine storage in many areas of the world.
The First Bottles
When glass began to be produced efficiently and economically, it was not long before wine, in keeping with its elegant mystique, was bottled in crystal, glass, or porcelain. It was some time before those materials were available to anyone but the privileged class.
Today vineyards bottle their wines in glass, which is the predominant medium for of wine storage [http://www.winestoragerating.com/Articles/Wine_Storage_Tips.php]. There are, of course, six packs of wine, and some cheap win is sold in plastic containers, but plastic is neither eye-pleasing nor suitable for protecting wine from light and heat. Those who buy wine in plastic bottles, however, are probably not the same people who keep it stored for years and the wine in the bottles is likely released shortly after purchase.
Wine Storage Today
Today wine storage can involve the use of intelligent wine storage units, with different compartments the temperature and humidity of which can be adjusted to suit the needs of different wines. Wine storage techniques also has evolved to adapt to the use of cork sealed bottles, which must be stored on their sides in suitably humid environments, so that the corks stay moist and do not shrink.
But the knowledge that heat and light are the enemies of wine has been around for thousands of years, and remains the basis for all wine storage systems even today. portland or wine tours