The correct storage of wine is extremely important in order to protect the wine from dangers such as fluctuating, temperatures, UV rays, and low humidity. In addition to these dangers, is the risk of vibration, which is why you will often see many good wine coolers claiming to be ‘vibration-free’. When wine is stored in wine cellars, it remains undisturbed for long periods of time. Once the wine is laid down, it should remain in that position until it is opened. A built in wine cooler, should work to mimic these conditions as closely as possible, and to do this, they must ensure that the bottles are completely protected from any movement or impact.
Wine experts and researchers have debated the relationship between vibrations and wine for decades. According to theory, there are several reasons why the vibrations have such a negative impact on the wine’s ageing process. One of these reasons is to do with the wine’s sediment. Sediment is the naturally occurring heterogeneous matter that is typically found at the bottom of the wine bottle. When wine is exposed to vibrations, the sediment will essentially mix in with the liquid and when this happens, the flavour of the wine will alter.
Another way in which vibrations can be harmful to wine is through chemical reactions. When a bottle experiences such movement, kinetic energy is formed and this is what ultimately causes the chemicals to react. One of these reactions is to do with the tartaric and succinic acid in wine. Tartaric acid is the primary acid that is found in grapes, and when it reacts with succinic acid and various other molecules, esters are formed. Esters are what are commonly attributed to imparting a sweet, fruity taste to wines. When wine is disrupted by vibrations, there will be a reduction in the amount of tartaric acid, and hence, esters. If this happens, the wine will both taste and look dull. Vibrations can also cause an increase in propanol which will result in a higher refractive index and cause the wine to become too sweet.
Luckily, there are several ways that you can ensure that your wine is protected from these vibrations. You will need to make sure that your wine cooler is not positioned in direct proximity to appliances such as tumble dryers or washing machines. It should be placed in a room that is away from high-foot traffic and it is placed away from the door. When you store your bottles, you should avoid stacking them on top of each other as this will keep you from having to disturb the bottles when trying to get to the one you want. You should remove the bottle slowly and carefully from the cooler and close the door as gently as you can. You will see that the compressor your wine cooler is mounted on top of some sort of rubber or silicone. This is to reduce the vibrations it produces when running. If you find that your wine cooler is experiencing unnecessary vibrations or emitting a significant amount of noise, you may want to check that the compressor hasn’t fallen off its mountings.
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