When it comes to storing bottles of wine, it’s crucial that they are under the correct conditions in order for them to retain that perfect first taste. You may have heard of the saying ‘ageing like a fine wine’ but wine storage is one of the important aspects in making sure that your bottle of wine keeps its taste and aromas.
A factor that you may have not considered when thinking about wine is lighting. One of the main aspects of wine storage is finding the ideal lighting that won’t damage your bottle of wine. Light has the ability to rearrange your wine's chemical compounds, such as oxygen, which can later make it undrinkable.
The term to describe this unfortunate process is ‘light-strike’. You will notice if your wine is light struck if its overall taste, colour and aroma feel as though it’s changed.
The reason why light is able to affect your wine in such a way is because of sulphurous compounds. Many ‘light-struck’ wines have been described to give off a taste similar to a rotten egg, which isn’t desirable at all. A bad-tasting wine can ruin your whole experience, especially if you’ve paid a lot of money for the bottle.
One of the biggest questions that we get asked when dealing with wine collections is ‘does LED lighting really affect the quality of your wine?’. The short answer would be no, it doesn’t. LED lighting doesn’t emit harmful UV rays or give off heat, making it the ideal lighting solution to have in wine coolers.
We’ve written this article today to help give you a better insight into how different types of lighting can affect your bottle of wine and why LED lighting is great lighting for wine collections.
What Type of Lighting Can be Bad for Wine?
The main type of lighting that can seriously affect and damage your wine is direct sunlight, fluorescent lighting and UV lighting. Direct sunlight has been found to be the number one cause of damage when it comes to bottles of wine, but there have been more people finding out about how UV and fluorescent lighting is harmful to wine in recent years.
Exposure should be one of the four main components that you’ll need to focus on for the correct wine storage - the other three are temperature, humidity and vibration.
You may have discovered that your wine bottle is in tinted glass, if this is the case, then it’s done on purpose to protect against light. Red wine is often stored in a much darker glass because it helps give more protection from harmful UV.
Fluorescent light can be very harmful to wine bottles, they are mostly found in general shops where wine is sold. There’s a high chance that your wine will become light-struck when under fluorescent lights, as they emit harmful UV which can damage your wine the most.
What Wines are Most Affected Due to Lighting?
No matter the type of wine, all of the variations can be affected by lighting. The lighter your wine is, then the more likely it is to be affected by harmful light exposure.
Red wines are traditionally known to absorb more radiation from UV light exposure, which can affect them massively. Thankfully, red wine has a higher concentration of tannins that helps reduce the impact of lighting exposure.
The bottle can often be some protection to the bottle of wine, the darker the bottle the better. The shape of your bottle can even have an effect too. When lit from above, long-necked bottles that have a shallow angle on the bottle shoulder have been found to be more effective in protecting your bottle from light-struck faults.
What Lighting is Best for Wine?
The best option for lighting is LED lighting. Many high-quality wine coolers will have LED lighting integrated, purely because of how safe it is for wine bottles.
LED lighting doesn’t harm the content of your wine and can’t alter the flavour or taste. The reason why wine coolers come with LED lighting is due to the fact that they don’t give off any heat.
If you use non-LED lights even if they aren’t in direct contact with your bottles of wine they can give off heat that over time will change your wine storage and essentially ‘cook’ the wine which is the term that is said when describing heat-related incidents about bottles of wine.
How to Protect My Wine Collection From Harmful Light Exposure?
The best way to protect your wine collection away from potentially harmful light exposure is by storing it in a dark and temperature-controlled environment. If you’re a wine connoisseur who has many bottles of wine, we suggest you take the time to invest in a high-quality wine cooler to keep them safe.
Wine coolers are specifically designed to store your bottles of wine at the correct temperature. All our wine cooler products have the correct lighting for wine storage, meaning your wine can age accordingly.
We recommend that you avoid storing your wine collection in direct sunlight and constant light. Your wine will keep better when it’s inside a cool, dry place that offers the correct temperature. When you store your wine correctly, you’ll find that you get a longer lifespan.
Storing your wine in a cooler can help enhance the taste and aromas of your wine, meaning you get to experience the best taste possible when you decide to crack your bottle open.
If you want to hear more about our wine cooler products, then speak to our friendly support team who can give you more information. The experts at Elite Wine Refrigeration are on hand to help with any queries you may have - we look forward to welcoming new customers.