PHENOL : (fe – nôl’) organic compounds that affect the taste, color and mouth feel of wine as it ages.
55 : the temperature in Fahrenheit at which wine has the greatest potential to develop complexity and a more aromatic bouquet as it ages.
PHENOL55 is a wine cellar in the truest sense of the word cellar. We provide a cool, dark, secure place for your wine to age while allowing convenient access to and information about your collection from anywhere. Unlike self-storage, we handle your wine for you.
WHY CELLAR CONDITIONS MATTER
Wine is unique to most other consumable goods in that there is the potential for wine to improve over time. And yet when considering cellar conditions, there are three primary needs to be met for the appreciation of fine wine: darkness, a high relative humidity and a cool stable temperature.
Ultraviolet light damages wine by causing otherwise stable organic compounds found in wine to degrade. With no windows, our cellar is naturally a dark place. Light-proof boxes add protection against the small amount of UV light emitted by the fluorescent bulbs used to light the cellar when we are working there. The UV light produced by fluorescent light bulbs is far less than the amount produced by natural daylight.
Relative humid cellaring conditions keep the cork closures in bottles from drying out. A dry cork can exasperate the rate of evaporation of the wine from the bottle. We maintain our cellar at 60% -70% RH by integrating a humidifier into our air circulation and refrigeration system.
Temperature is the most important condition of the three for the long-term appreciation of wine. Many experts believe 55 degrees is the ideal temperature to cellar wine, and it is no coincidence that 55 degrees is the prevailing temperature found in many natural caves used to store wine in France. Wine generally matures differently and more slowly at lower temperatures than it does at higher temperatures. Higher temperatures accelerate the aging process dramatically. For example, wine at 59 degrees ages 20% – 50% faster than wine at 55 degrees+. In addition, faster aging increases the rate of undesirable chemical reactions which can produce compounds that negatively impact the bouquet and taste of wine. Lastly, when temperature swings are significant, 14 degrees or more, it will cause the wine to breathe through the cork, which also significantly speeds up the aging process. We have a sophisticated refrigeration system that maintains the cellar at 55 degrees + or – 2 degrees.
+ See Alexander J. Pandell, Ph.D. scientific analysis on this topic titled “How temperature affects the aging of wine.”