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Wine Storage: 3rd of 6 key factors: The effect of light on wine

Wine Storage: 3rd of 6 key factors: The effect of light on wine

How often do we see wine ‘exhibited’ in living rooms, restaurants, hotels or even wine shops! In bright daylight. In the shop window. Often in direct sunlight. Often for months, if not years. If you examine a bottle like this, it will be evident that the fluid has become clearer, more transparent, and that even its colour has changed.

Why doesn’t wine like light? This is essentially all down to UV radiation, which causes chemical reactions in wine that change its structure.

An important and often underestimated factor for the shelf life of wine is how much light it absorbs during storage. The more UV radiation the wine is exposed to, the shorter its shelf life. That is also why red wine is rarely offered in clear glass bottles: Stained glass (green or brown) keeps out substantially more UV rays, but cannot completely prevent its negative impact. Therefore, wine should only be stored in a dark place. For example, in the pantry, basement, or specially rented warehouses. If cold storage wine cabinets are used for storage, it should be ensured that glass doors are equipped with UV filters.

Another indicator is the labels. If they are yellowed or faded, don’t buy the wine.