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Sunlight and Wine Storage

July 9, 2012
Question by: Pedro, Oeiras, Portugal

Q:

Hello there! First off, you were kind enough to answer my first question in May regarding the effect of temperature on wine. After some consideration, I bought a wine cooler in order to keep temperatures in check (I figured that with global warming, things will only get worse on my non-AC apartment :) ). My question is, I have the wine cooler (transparent double glass, but non-UV filter) in the kitchen, where there is ambient light from the windows. Although there is no direct sunlight hitting the wine cooler, should I consider some sort of film darkening the inside of the cooler?

A:

Hello again Pedro, For this, you might want to consult the manufacturer directly for advice.  Light, even a low level, over an extended period of time, can affect wine quality, notably breaking down colour compounds prematurely.  If you are storing wines for relatively short term consumption - within the next few years - it may not be an issue, but you do have some younger Vintages, and if you were planning to store them for a decade or more... we might be concerned.  If only a few of the bottles are for longer term storage, you could just group them together and cover them with a towel or sheet of newspaper for a little more light protection.

One other thing - you say there is no direct sunlight hitting the cooler - but watch that over the course of the year, that could change as the sun will be generally lower in the sky come autumn and winter, and also more to the south than it is now.  My own kitchen gets no direct sunlight except from the first week of May until mid August, when the sun rises directly opposite my window - that makes a big difference in the temperature of the whole room, as well as the light.



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