Mairead Robinson on how to get the best from your wine and new marketing initiatives
While most of us, to be honest, do not store the wine that we buy for some special date in the future, there is a case for laying down bottles that will improve with aging. However, it seems that many of us get this wrong. According to a recent article, Richard Vayda, the director of wine studies at the Institute of Culinary Education, states that ‘aging’ that special bottle might not be the best idea. ‘Holding on to wines too long would be the most common mistake I see people making,’ he says. ‘There is this idea that wines are mostly better aged, when in reality only a small percentage of wines are meant to be held for any length of time. Most wines available are pretty ready to drink when purchased.’ I would certainly agree with him on that point.
So if you do want to store wines in your own home, the next question to address is whether to invest in a proper wine fridge. ‘Certainly, if the plan is to store a number of age-able wines for a length of time, this would be a wise idea,’ Vayda says. Generally, these coolers are designed to store any type of wine in better holding conditions. They control ambient temperature inside the cooler to maintain ‘cellar temperature’ (which typically means under 60˚F). Better models will feature lower vibration and humidity control.
According to Vayda, we should always avoid storing wine for any length of time in standard refrigerators—even white and sparkling wines. ‘They’re OK for bringing wine down to service temperature (i.e., before serving), but not good for product quality for long-term storage,” he says. “Rather, look for a location in your home that has the best conditions available.’ His key factors are as follows:
- No direct sunlight
- As cool and stable temperature as possible
- Low vibration
‘In my own apartment, I have a wine cooler for better bottles, but a majority of my wines are kept on racks in a dark foyer and they live just fine,’ he says.
It isn’t just the inside of the fridge you should avoid—it’s the outside, too. ‘Keeping wine bottles or racks above your refrigerator is not a good idea, as the heat given off to cool the inside often makes this one of the warmest places in the home,’ Vayda says. When it comes to wine, the bar cart next to the window is not a good idea due to the area’s frequently fluctuating light and temperature. ‘For most homes, a dark basement space or a closet usually makes for a good location to hold all wines.’ Think of it as a makeshift wine cellar. ‘Then, adjust the temperature as desired—meani’Vayda says. The last piece of advice is to keep wines with natural corks stored on their side to maintain the cork’s integrity. So in light of Yayda’s recommendations, I would suggest drinking and enjoying your wine right now!
But getting back to enjoying wine now, it has been a challenge for many people to get out and about to choose wines to enjoy at home during these days of lockdown. So an innovative new company, boxofwine.ie is Ireland’s first ‘tailored to your taste’ wine subscription company and was set up in 2020 by Conor Duggan, Neil O’Reilly & Conor Mulligan who had to quickly turn their hands and expert noses for wine to something else after the hospitality sector and their livelihoods got pounded by the pandemic.
Boxofwine.ie provides a bespoke wine offering, tailored to individual tastes and is conveniently and safely delivered straight to the door in a beautifully presented box – the ultimate treat! So this is an excellent gift idea for the wine lover in your life. The innovation that sets Boxofwine.ie apart is a quick online questionnaire and a clever algorithm which provides the experts and sommeliers at boxofwine.ie with a guideline on various taste preferences. This allows them to curate a personalised box of three bottles of top quality, highly regarded wine each month.
The convenient and clever concept is contactless and at €49 per month, the unique approach will ensure that wine lovers are surprised with new wines each month including a mix of old favourites and exciting newcomers – all wines they are sure to love. The box also contains Boxofwine.ie tasting cards with intriguing information on vineyards, family run wine businesses, food pairing suggestions and flavours in the wine to identify. It is a great way to learn about a world of wines not available in supermarkets and local stores. Simply log on to www.boxofwine.ie and fill in the quiz questions, then the company will come back to you with recommendations based on your taste and preference profile. Conor Duggan explains:-
‘Our business model is based around mystery and exploring the world of wine, we want to encourage people to try new wines, something that if they had a list to choose from they may not do.
‘We carry a pretty extensive list so as to cater to each flavour profile, any list we put together would be out of date by the following month.
‘The wines are selected based on a flavour profile that I make for each customer. The introduction to this is our online quiz. Then, each month I reach out to every customer and request feedback and use said feedback to adjust my model.’
So if you would like a box of surprise wines delivered to your home each month, tailored to your preferences as chosen by a wine expert, simply log on to www.boxofwine.ie and fill in the questionnaire. Cheers!