No restaurant or hotel menu is ever complete without a wine list. Vino simply is a necessity for commercial establishments that serve food. After all, it is always a good feeling to sip on some good wine while savouring a sumptuous entrée.
Much has been said about the wines restaurants should serve their guests. Coming up with a selection of vino is not that hard either. Where many trip up is in wine storage.
There is a surprising number of hotels and restaurants that make mistakes in storing their vino. These establishments end up serving their guests with sub-par wine – and that is something no respectable restaurateur or hotelier would want.
Given this reason, it is important to point out some not-so-well-known facts about wine storage so establishments can get it right. Let Singapore Wine Vault walk you through these interesting pieces of information.
Different Wines, Different Temperatures
Each type of wine has its own ideal temperature. Before you stash all the bottles in a single wine storage facility, understand which bottles need to be stored at a low or at a high temperature. Doing so helps prevent spoilage and ensures the quality of the wine you will serve your guests.
Sweet and sparkling wines are best stored in lower temperatures, around 7°C. Rosé and dry white wines are a little more sensitive to temperature, so the ideal is 9°C.
Light-bodied wines should be at 12°C, whilst medium and full-bodied reds must be at an ideal temperature of 16°C. In the case of fortified wines, the wine cellar should be at a decent 17°C temperature.
The temperature of the wine cellar should be set according to the wines in storage. But if you have varying types, keep the temperature between 5 to 18°C. Note that a refrigerator does not provide the same effect as a wine cellar. Refrigerators tend to remove humidity inside it, thus drying out corks and letting air seep into the wine.
Of course, the colder you set it, the easier it is to deal with temperature requirements. Just be mindful of when you should chill and let the wines rest before serving so as to keep the aroma, flavour, and body intact. Keep track of the time in letting the wine adjust to a certain temperature.
Vibrations Ruin Wines
Given how busy restaurants and hotels are on a daily basis, it comes as no shock if business owners decide to store their vino in-house. While this is a generally accepted practice, it opens the possibility of a terrible mistake: letting vibrations ruin the wine.
Every single shake and bump makes it more difficult for the wine to settle, especially the reds. If you’re planning to store vino within your premises, make sure it is in an area with little to no vibration. This could be tricky for hotels, but this is important to ensure the customers never get to drink spoiled wine.
Wine and Ageing
Some restaurants and hotels invest in high-end, luxury wines and age these in their establishments. There is nothing wrong with the practice, as there are customers who are willing to pay a sizable amount if that means they can enjoy great wine with their meals. But what many do not know is that not all types of wine are fit for ageing.
As a matter of fact, only a very small percentage of wines (1%) is ideal for ageing. Everything else should be consumed after a certain time. Hotels and restaurants can consume most of the bottles they have, but it would be better to know which wines get better with age and otherwise. This makes it easy for you to get the most value out of these bottles. Doing so also avoids spoilage.
It is not enough to take care of lighting, temperature, and humidity when it comes to wine warehousing and storage. Just as you would monitor these three factors, it is also important to keep an eye out on the overall ventilation of the cellar.
Ventilation is important because wines absorb odour rather quickly. In a hotel or a restaurant setting where the scent of food is pretty strong, the odour could seep into the wine and ruin your entire stock. So, if you want to be sure that the vino you serve is of top quality, ensure that it would not be able to absorb odours from outside the cellar.
Hotels and restaurants prioritise good service over anything else – and that should include the way you serve food and wine to your guests. It is one thing to prepare exquisite meals; but it is a whole different level to bring your A-game to the table with excellent wine. This can only be possible if you perfect the art of storing wine.