The necessary conditions for the wine conservation are, in order of importance :
The temperature of the storage area should be between 10°C and 16°C. Whether the temperature is low or high within this range is of little importance, although the ideal temperature is 12°C. What is important is to avoid temperature variations: not slow seasonal variations, but above all daily variations. It is better to have a warm cellar (but not above 17°C) with a stable temperature than a cellar that goes from 12°C at night to 16°C during the day: in such a cellar, the wine gets tired quickly.
The hygrometry of the area area must be at least 70%. In fact, below 60% the corks dry out and allow air to pass through.
The lighting of the room: the wines (even more whites than the reds) are sensitive to light. It acts as a catalyst for certain chemical reactions that break down the colorings. Highly actinic lights such as neon lights are the most harmful. The tinted glass of the bottle, however, ensures better conservation.
The absence of vibrations: vibrations disturb the wine’s ageing process because they have the effect of re-suspending the deposits. In addition, they can sometimes activate bacteria that will be harmful to the wine or eve sometimes dissolve the tannins present. Thus, one must be vigilant, especially in Parisian cellars due to the frequent vibrations of the metro.
The absence of odours (fuel, oil, fruit, etc.): in order to preserve the wine well, it is necessary to avoid odours as they could infiltrate through the cork also allow the formation of mould which will deteriorate the corks and labels.
The above conditions relate to the storage area. As far as the bottles are concerned, they must of course remain lying down in order to provide the cork with the humidity that needs to fulfil its role.
A good solution for anyone who cannot meet all these requirements: the purchase of a wine cabinet. Increasingly sophisticated, they are ideal for storing wine in flats or houses that do not have cellars suitable for storing wine.