Moving With Wine

By now you might be thinking, why has it been so quiet and where are those pictures she promised on London last week. Well, to be honest, they are still safely in my camera, which has been packed away with all my other stuff. It has been moving-week, and that has taken more energy than I originally thought. Perhaps, as we decided to move all of the wines ourselves in mistrust of moving companies. 

We only moved 100m, to the house next door. However that 100m can feel like a long distance when you have close to a hundred boxes to carry. While we were in the heat of the manual labor, I kept thinking why on earth are we doing this. What could we do better than professional movers? Is the wine actually affected with the changes in position, temperature and light? So now that everything is almost done, I sat down to review what damage might have been done with a bit rougher treatment. It all comes down to the instructions on how to store wine properly and how fast can it be affected by change in conditions.

When wine is in transit, it experiences changes in temperature, light and position/vibration. Temperature fluctuation is the most serious hazard for wine storage, although the cooler wine is kept, the slower, and very possibly more interestingly, it will develop. The warmer it is stored, the faster it will mature. As we just pushed the wine over the street, its time in the close to zero degrees weather was less than five minutes. However, if we would have let the moving company take them, they would have easily stood hours and hours in freezing weather. Wine does not freeze easily, but dramatic changes in temperature can cause adverse chemical reactions leading to a variety of wine faults.

Wine dislikes light as well as heat. Strong light can adversely affect the taste of wine, particularly sparkling wine, and particularly if the bottles are made from clear or pale glass. This is why wine is sold increasingly in almost black bottles, and why champagne is often wrapped in tissue paper or a special light-proof cellophane. Now to be honest, we have very little light here in Sweden at the moment. The sun is setting already in the afternoon, and most days are gloomy and rainy. I doubt light would have been our worst enemy, even with the movers having wine boxes standing outside.

Last but not least, we moved our wines with the ambition to have as little vibration as possible. There is a clear connection to wines with a sediment, although this widespread belief is based more on hunch than hard evidence. Some studies say, vibrations of different frequencies have been shown to have their own distinct effect on the chemistry of the wine and lead to negative effects in wine quality. So perhaps it is better to be safe than sorry; we handled our wine boxes with care and love, sliding them over the street instead of lifting up and down to a truck.

To be honest, I doubt there was much of a threat to our wines, even if we would have left them to the caring hands of our movers. However, now we minimized the risk and I did not really have to go to the gym after hours and hours of manual labor. Zero broken bottles is also a nice achievement. So my apelogies for the quiet week. Hopefully I will be unpacked and back on track with writing by next week. And tomorrow, I promise to have a go at those London pictures.

xx Soile

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