Wine kept in a dark room at home ages faster than when stored in a professional cellar, scientists have found.
Researchers placed 400 bottles of Sangiovese wine either in a professional wine cellar with a strictly-regulated temperature of 15C-16C or in conditions mimicking a home environment.
The “at home” room had a warmer temperature that seasonally varied between 20C and 26C.
Lead researcher Fulvio Mattivi, from the Fondazione Edmund Mach institute in San Michele all’Adige, Italy, said: “We discovered that a relatively small difference in the temperature speeds up several chemical reactions associated with wine ageing and even promotes new reactions that are not observed at lower temperatures.
“After six months under domestic conditions, the wine in the bottle was approximately as ‘old’ as a bottle from the same producer and lot stored for two years under cellar conditions. The house-stored wine was ageing approximately four times faster.”
When tested, wine stored in the domestic room was found to have fewer antioxidants and less red pigmentation, giving it an inferior flavour.