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How to properly store wine on a yacht

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Storing wine on a constantly moving yacht or superyacht presents unique challenges. This makes it crucial to consider and maintain specific storage conditions to ensure your wines stay at their best on board. 

When it comes to wine storage on a yacht, it’s also important to consider the varying sensitivity of different wine types. Heavier red wines tend to be less affected by heat and light compared to lighter whites and rosé wines. Delicately flavoured wines like Provence rosé, Pinot Grigio, and light-bodied aromatic whites are particularly vulnerable to high temperatures.

On the other hand, robust young red wines with ample tannins and fruit concentration, such as top-quality Bordeaux, are generally more resilient in such conditions.

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Top tips for wine storage on a superyacht

Here are some essential tips to help you create the ultimate on-board wine cellar:

Optimal storage conditions

Wine is delicate and requires careful handling. Shield your wines from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Aim for a temperature range of 12 to 16 degrees Celsius (54 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit), usually found in the coolest part of the boat below the waterline.

Maintain humidity between 60% and 70% to prevent corks from drying out and compromising the wine.

Customised racking and shelving

Invest in durable, custom-built wine racks and shelving suitable for the marine environment. Stainless steel or wood are excellent options. Optimise vertical and horizontal storage to maximise space and ease of access.

In addition, it’s crucial to maintain the proper humidity level to prevent the cork from drying out. To achieve this, storing wine bottles on their sides is recommended. This positioning ensures that the wine stays in contact with the cork, keeping it moist and preventing it from drying out. A dried-out cork can become hardened and compromised, potentially leading to oxidation and diminished wine quality.

Organisation and labelling

Organise your wine collection categorically, such as by region, grape variety, or aging potential. Label each bottle to easily identify the perfect wine for any occasion, minimising unnecessary handling that may disturb sediment in aged wines.

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Minimising movement

Restrict wine movement as much as possible, ideally storing bottles closer to the centre plane of the boat to reduce agitation. If you plan to store wine for an extended period, opt for younger, less expensive wines as boat movement can accelerate aging, although it may enhance the development of certain young, tannic, and well-filtered red wines.

Mindful of light

Protect your wines from excessive light exposure. Fine wine bottles are often dark-coloured to limit light penetration. Consider keeping your cellar as dark as possible, especially as light can speed up chemical reactions and compromise wine quality. Be cautious with yacht display facilities with bright lighting; it’s best to turn off the lights when guests are not aboard.

By implementing these top tips, you can master the art of storing wine on your yacht. Craft the ultimate on-board wine cellar to ensure the owner and/or guests enjoy the pleasure of well-preserved wines while cruising/sailing the open seas.

Cheers to a voyage filled with exceptional wine experiences.