The world of refrigerated and cooled storage can be complicated. If you're interested in wine and you want some basic knowledge on how to store and preserve your favorite bottles, it's essential to know some of the key terms involved with refrigeration and storage. The glossary below is designed to help.
A barrel used to age wine or distilled spirits.
A Spanish cellar. Also refers to a seller of alcoholic beverages.
Also referred to as bottle-sickness, bottle shock is a temporary condition that occurs immediately after a wine is bottled. It is characterized by a disjointed fruity flavor. May also occur when more fragile types are jostled during transport. This condition usually goes away after a few days of proper storage.
A process used for making wine, where it is refrigerated at almost-freezing temperatures for a time period of several weeks, thus encouraging the formation of tartrate crystals.
Dual zone wine coolers have two independent cooling compartments, each with its own thermostat or divider. Dual Zone coolers are recommended when storing both red wine and white wine.
The amount of wetness in the atmosphere. In storage, the wine cooler or refrigerator should be set to around 70% humidity, or in the range of 55-75% depending on the type being stored.
Used by wine tasters, this term refers to one that has been over-exposed to ultraviolet light, resulting in a taste similar to that of wet cardboard. Can be prevented by use of a properly-sealed wine cabinet or refrigerator.
Another wine-tasting term, evidence of oxidation taking place in a bottle that has been stored past its prime.
A more modern alternative to cork sealers, screwcaps feature a metal cap that threads onto the bottle. Ideal for use in refrigerators where it is stored on its side. Once a bottle has been opened, a screwcap can be replaced, and the bottle can be put back into storage for about three days.
A container, such as an ice-filled bucket or chest, or a refrigerator, designed for cooling wine. Nowadays this term also refers to a sweet drink made from wine, fruit juice and carbonated water.
Also called a wine cooler, a refrigerator is designed to chill bottles to the ideal temperature for serving and consumption. Ideal for those who want to preserve their wines without investing in cellars.