Fine Wine information
Cellaring your wine with Davy's
In our traditional Victorian wine cellars in Greenwich we have been looking after our customers wines for generations. As the cellars are located below ground level fluctuations in temperature are minimal, there is no natural light and no vibrations from adjoining buildings. Monitored for humidity and temperature your collection will be maintained in optimum conditions. We appraise your cellar on a yearly basis offering recommendations and professional advice.
If you would like to know more about starting a cellar or charges related to this please contact us and a member of the team will be pleased to help 020 8858 6011.
Should you prefer to store your wines at home please read through the ‘How to Store your wine’ section below so that your wines are kept at their best.
How to store your wine
Wine should be stored correctly to keep it at its optimum.
For long term storage wines should be kept in a consistently cool temperature, ideally between 10°C and 15°C.
Wines should be stored on their side to ensure that the cork remains in contact with the wine. If the cork dries out, air may get in and oxidise the wine.
Wines should be stored in dark cool conditions with no vibrations to agitate the wine.
Wines should also be kept away from any vibrations and stored as still as possible.
Decanting your wine
Many wines bought today are designed for early consumption and might not need decanting however may still benefit from the aeration decanting provides. The primary function of decanting is to allow the wine to be separated from any sediment that may be present but also for it to come into contact with the air which releases aromas and encourages the wine to ‘open up’ which means all of the flavours and aromas can be appreciated.
Vintage ports and older red wines will be most likely to throw some sediment. It is extremely important to store your wines undisturbed and in a cool dark environment. Prior to decanting your chosen wine should be placed upright for several hours, ideally overnight, this will allow as much of the sediment to filter down to the base of the bottle making the decanting process more effective.
If you wish to decant a wine you do not necessarily need a decanter. Wine can be poured into any vessel, then carefully rinse out the original bottle with water and then pour the wine back in, minus the sediment. Some people prefer this method as serving a very old wine from its original bottle is part of the charm. White wines can also benefit from decanting but it is much more rare to see it done.
How to decant your wine
Preparation is key when decanting, make sure the wine has been standing upright for several hours, ideally over night, before you begin.
A clean suitably large vessel will be needed to decant the wine into, a jug, decanter or another clean bottle.
Remove the capsule and dust away any stray bits of cork.
Using a good corkscrew (one with a long worm is best) remove the cork.
If you are opening a very old bottle of wine the cork may be very crumbly. If this is the case simply push the cork into the bottle rather than pulling small fragments of cork out.
If decanting a Vintage port the glass can be almost black and very hard to see through. It is recommended that a candle is placed parallel to the neck of the bottle so that you can see through the neck and tell when the sediment starts to escape as you pour off the wine (a good torch will also do).
Once the cork has been removed carefully begin to pour in a slow steady motion. A funnel may be useful. When nearing the end of the bottle sediment may begin to appear this is when you should stop pouring.
Once decanted pour off a sample to taste and check the wine. It will be interesting to see how the wine changes while airing before it is drunk.
Leave the decanted wine to breathe prior to serving.
If you are decanting a number of wines it can be useful to label the wines so that they can be easily identified later on.
Always check the wine to see that it is not corked. Avoid pouring more than one bottle into each decanter as there is often bottle variation in older wines. Worse still you may pour corked wine over good wine.