Badly kept wine ‘ages’ four times faster

Wine that has been stored in a dark room at home ‘ages’ significantly faster than when stored in a professional cellar, research has found.

Doing it right: The wine cellar at Jesus College Oxford, where wine is stored at a steady, cool temperature (Photo: Wiki)

Doing it right: The wine cellar at Jesus College Oxford, where wine is stored at a steady cool temperature (Photo: Wiki)

Scientists placed 400 ­bottles of Sangiovese wine ­in both a professional working wine cellar with a strictly regulated temperature of 15-16C and another collection in conditions mimicking a normal home environment. The “at home” room was warmer overall, and importantly, its temperature varied between 20C and 26C.

Lead researcher Fulvio Mattivi, from the Fondazione Edmund Mach institute in San Michele all’Adige, Italy, said: “We discovered that a relatively small difference in the temperature speeds up several chemical reactions associated with wine ageing and even promotes new reactions that are not observed at lower temperatures.

“After six months under domestic conditions, the wine in the bottle was approximately as ‘old’ as a bottle… stored for two years under cellar conditions. The house-stored wine was ageing approximately four times faster.”

However, when tested, the wine stored in the domestic room was found to have fewer antioxidants and less red colouration, giving it an inferior flavour.

The research formed part of a symposium on wine at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in San Francisco.

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