A wine cellar can be an ideal low-cost way to store a large collection of wines. But sometimes reaching the ideal conditions for storing various different kinds of wines can prove difficult. After all, a suitable space should be easy to access, dark, well ventilated, free from vibration, and able to maintain ideal temperature and humidity. Wine fridges are a great trouble-free alternative and many of them come equipped with full monitoring to ensure your wine is stored in ideal conditions. Modern beacon technology, such as the RuuviTag Bluetooth sensor, can further help fight the troubles by providing real-time monitoring directly on a mobile device.
Measuring wine storage conditions
Modern, specially built spaces are able to accommodate a collection of various different types of wines. These spaces are typically well-thought out including energy consumption, insulation, accessibility and furniture, and can easily store a sizeable collection with practically zero headaches. More traditional wine cellars, on the other hand, might have their unique charm and history embedded in generations of wine making tradition, yet they might still require some fine-tuning to meet the modern day standards.
Different types of wines require specific temperature ranges to be used for optimal storage, while temperature fluctuations can lead to damaged wine and reduce shelf-life of any bottled wine. Bad ventilation can lead to high humidity and in cellar conditions this could mean problems with fungus, mould and musty odours…all of these challenges are real for both serious businesses as well as the modest wine enthusiast: converting a simple cabinet or storage space into a reasonably safe wine room can quickly turn into a daunting task.
Luckily, we are blessed with modern technology. All the necessary measurements can be done effortlessly by using digital thermometers or humidity meters — or with a specialised sensor beacon, such as RuuviTag. This Bluetooth beacon is equipped with a very precise and powerful Bosch BME 280 sensor, which provides real-time information about the surrounding temperature, relative air humidity and air pressure. Its data can be easily collected with any mobile device via the provided Ruuvi Station app, or any compatible 3rd party app. Ruuvi Station can be set to alert when any limits are met and all collected sensor data can be viewed in real-time directly on your mobile device.
Ideal temperature and humidity
Not all wines are created equal: inexpensive red wines can be typically stored for 2–10 years, while inexpensive white wines can be expected to last for 2–3 years in ideal conditions. Some chardonnays are quite happy on the shelf for even up to 20 years, while the worlds finest wines may handle storage for even 100 years, if the conditions are right!
British wine rack and accessory manufacturer Wineware has listed ideal temperature ranges for storing various types of wines in their wine storage temperature guide:
Sparkling wines and sweet wines 5–8˚C
Dry white wines 8–12˚C
Light-to-medium-bodied red wines 12–16˚C
Full-bodied red wines 17–19˚C
(Download full PDF here)
Storage temperature should never reach or go beyond 24˚C. This will prevent wines from browning, which is a sign of oxidation caused by excessive heat.
It has been suggested that humidity levels inside the storage space should be kept below 70%, primarily because of the use of the traditional cork seal, which can be sensitive to tainting, a chemical process, that can spoil the taste and smell of bottled wine. Their modern alternatives, synthetic corks, are designed to look and function like natural corks, while reducing the possibility of tainting or cork shrinking. Storing wine in bottles is a step in the wine ageing process, and many modern wine makers still consider traditional or synthetic cork to be the number one option to use as wine bottle closure, regardless of their sensitivity.
Adaptive monitoring from storage to vineyard
Bluetooth sensor beacons are relatively trouble-free to set up: they fit in small spaces and operate happily with their own battery-power. These types of sensors can be easily tucked away on a wine rack, shelf, or secured inside the fridge door, where it can be kept safely. RuuviTag devices are guaranteed to operate in a wide temperature range and are resistant to humidity, when kept inside its weather-proof enclosure.
Furthermore, collected RuuviTag data can be sent to an external Gateway by using a simple configuration in Ruuvi Station app, which makes RuuviTag a complete solution for professional wineries: monitoring can be extended to cover vineyards, laboratories, bottling lines, tank farms and dedicated storage facilities with minimum effort.
The Open Source philosophy behind RuuviTag also enables the device to be used in a whole variety of special use cases. One such application would be tracking vibration using the device’s LIS2DH12 accelerometer chip. Ruuvi’s active community offers a wide range of ideas and support to bring any project to life.
Securing your wine collection with real-time monitoring could not get any easier with RuuviTag: it’s suitable for the modest wine enthusiast as well as professional wine collector and even professional wineries.
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RuuviTag is a Bluetooth sensor that sends temperature, relative air humidity, air pressure and motion information directly to your mobile phone. Read more