Sunlight will damage your wine

Most wine enthusiasts know that sunlight during the storage of wines is not a good thing, but few of us really understand why.

Why does sunlight damage wine?

Sunlight damages wine through a process known as photodegradation, which involves the interaction of light with the chemical compounds in wine. This process will usually lead to undesirable changes in the wine’s flavour, aroma, and overall quality.

How does sunlight damage wine?

Sunlight can damages wine in four ways, UV light damage, the creation of free radicals, oxidation of the wine and the breakdown of sulphur.

1. Ultraviolet (UV) Light Interaction

  • UV Light Exposure: Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) light, which is high-energy radiation that can penetrate the wine bottle, especially if the bottle is clear or lightly tinted.
  • Excitation of Molecules: UV light can excite certain molecules in the wine, particularly phenolic compounds (such as tannins and flavonoids), leading to chemical reactions.

2. Formation of Free Radicals

  • Radical Formation: When UV light excites these molecules, it can cause the formation of free radicals—highly reactive species with unpaired electrons.
  • Oxidative Reactions: Free radicals can react with other molecules in the wine, such as oxygen. This can initiate a chain reaction of oxidative processes.

3. Oxidation of Wine Components

  • Oxidation of Phenolics: The phenolic compounds in wine, which contribute to its color and flavor, can be oxidized, leading to the formation of quinones. Quinones can polymerize, causing a loss of color and changes in flavor.
  • Degradation of Aromatic Compounds: Aromatic compounds responsible for the wine’s bouquet can be degraded or transformed into unpleasant-smelling aldehydes and ketones.

4. Sulfur Compounds and Lightstruck Flavor

  • Lightstruck Flavor: One of the most notable effects of light exposure is the development of “lightstruck” flavor, which is particularly common in white and sparkling wines.
  • Sulfur Compounds: Light exposure can cause the breakdown of sulfur-containing compounds, such as thiols, leading to the production of undesirable sulfur compounds like hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and mercaptans.
  • Off-flavors: These sulfur compounds can impart off-flavors reminiscent of wet cardboard, cooked cabbage, or skunk, significantly diminishing the wine’s quality.

How to Prevent Sunlight damage to wine

  • Dark Bottles: Using dark-colored bottles (green or amber) can help filter out UV light and reduce the risk of photodegradation.
  • Storage Conditions: Storing wine in dark, cool environments minimizes exposure to both light and heat, further protecting it from photodegradation.
  • UV Filters: Some wine producers use UV filters in the glass to provide additional protection against UV light.

For more help and knowledge on the proper storage of wine, and protective measures please contact our team of experts: Tel: 0115 9441434

Posted in Wine Facts

Recent Trends in Wine

Over the past two years, we have a seen some change in the wine drinking trends in the UK, be it socio-economic factors, consumer preferences, or changes in our cultural attitudes.

Key words for those interested in wine trends are innovation, sustainability, and a return to quality over quantity.

1. Growth of English Wines:
English wines, particularly sparkling varieties, have seen tremendous growth, doubling in sales over the past two years. We think this is partly due to increased consumer interest in locally produced goods, but also the impression we get it that English wines are improving in quality. Of those notable Chardonnay and Pinot Noir appear to be popular varieties, reflecting a growing recognition of England as a credible wine-producing region.

2. Sustainability and Alternative Packaging:
Sustainability is a factor for UK wine drinkers, with a preference environmentally practices that does not cause long term harm to the planet. Surprisingly for connoisseurs, is the trend of canned wines. We have been told that younger consumers, in particular, are driving this trend, with a significant increase in the purchase of canned wines. This trend is expected to continue as sustainability pressures grow, influencing both trade and consumer behaviours.

3. Quality Over Quantity:
A significant trend is the shift towards drinking less but better-quality wine. Consumers are opting for premium wines, reflecting a desire for better wine experiences rather than higher consumption volumes. This is also a response to the cost of living crisis, where consumers prefer to invest in higher-quality products when they choose to spend on wine. This trend has been observed across various segments, including still wines and grower Champagnes, which emphasize terroir and organic farming methods.

4. Rise of Indigenous and Lesser-Known Varieties:
There is a growing interest in indigenous grape varieties and wines from lesser-known regions. Consumers are becoming more adventurous, seeking unique and diverse flavors. Varieties such as Godello from Spain, Furmint from Hungary, and Grillo from Italy are gaining popularity. This trend is partly driven by a desire for novelty and a willingness to explore wines beyond the traditional favorites.

5. Champagne and Sparkling Wine:
Champagne has regained its sparkle in the UK, with sales rebounding strongly post-pandemic. The demand for grower and neo-négociant Champagnes, which offer diverse styles and flavours, is increasing. Additionally, traditional method sparkling wines from regions outside Champagne, such as Crémant and English sparkling wines, are gaining traction due to their excellent quality and value. Call our wine rack design team if you need champagne racks.

6. Moderation and Low/No Alcohol Wines:
The trend towards alcohol moderation is growing, with many consumers adopting a “damp” lifestyle, which involves reducing alcohol intake rather than eliminating it completely. This has led to increased interest in low and no-alcohol wine alternatives, catering to those who want to enjoy the social aspects of wine drinking without the full alcohol content. This trend is particularly popular among younger demographics and is expected to grow further.

How to store non-alcoholic wine?

You need to store non-alcoholic wine exactly the same way that you store normal wine. That is, you needs to be stored in the right wine environment, wine storage temperature, zero sunlight, and perfectly balanced humidity. This is because alcohol-free wine is the same as wine, just with the ethanol removed.

We hope you enjoyed our insights, and if you need storage for your new wines you know who to call!

Posted in Wine Facts

Wine Racks According to Artificial Intelligence

I have been fortunate to have been able to spend a little bit of time chatting to one the world’s leading AI chatbot about wine racks, and I have to say I was very impressed (if not a little perturbed!).

This AI not only has amazing programming, but it is constantly ‘trained’ by individuals, much in the way I did. You ask a question and, like a pupil at school, you mark the response and I think it scored very well.

Here are its thoughts on Wine Racks. What do you think of the answers?

My AI conversation about Wine Racks

I am interested in wine racks


Wine racks are storage systems for wine bottles.

They can be made from a variety of materials such as wood and metal wine racks, or even plastic, and come in a range of styles and sizes to suit different needs and preferences. Some popular types of wine racks include freestanding wine racks, wall-mounted wine racks, and modular wine racks.

They can be used to store a few bottles or several hundred, depending on the size and design of the rack. Wine racks can also be used as decorative pieces, adding a stylish touch to any room in your home. You can find them in many home goods stores or online.

Do you know the biggest wine rack in the world?


I don’t have the most recent information, but as of my knowledge cut off in 2021, the largest wine rack in the world is located in the E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, California, USA.

The rack system, which is made of steel, holds an estimated 3.5 million bottles and covers an area of over 843,000 square feet.

The rack is used to store and age wine, as well as to facilitate the bottling and shipping process.

The rack system is not open to the public but it’s considered one of the most impressive and innovative wine storage facilities in the world.

Do wine bottles need to be stored on their side?


Yes, it is generally recommended to store wine bottles on their side. This is because the cork, which is the natural barrier that keeps air out of the bottle, needs to remain moist in order to maintain its seal. When a bottle is stored upright, the cork can dry out, which can lead to spoilage of the wine. When a bottle is stored on its side, the cork stays in contact with the wine, which helps to keep it moist.

Also, when wine bottles are stored on their side, the wine is in contact with the cork which helps to keep the cork from drying out, shrinking and allowing air to enter the bottle. This can cause the wine to oxidize, develop off-flavours, and lose its freshness.

Keep in mind that some wine bottles, like sparkling wines, have a crown cap closure, in this case, the bottles can be stored upright without problem. It’s also important to note that if you are going to store a bottle for a short period of time, say a few days, you can store it upright, but for long-term storage, it’s best to store it on its side.

Is there anything else I should consider when storing wine the best way possible?


When storing wine, there are a few other important factors to consider:

  1. Light: Wine should be stored in a dark, cool place, as exposure to light can cause the wine to spoil. Light can cause wine to become light-struck, which can cause off-flavours and aromas in the wine.
  2. Vibration: Vibration can cause the wine to become agitated, which can lead to sediment being disturbed and can cause the wine to age prematurely. It’s best to store wine in a place that is relatively still and quiet.
  3. Airflow: Proper airflow is important for wine storage because it helps to keep the air in the cellar fresh, and it helps to prevent mould and mildew from growing. Make sure that the wine cellar has adequate ventilation.
  4. Humidity: As previously mentioned, a relative humidity of 60-70% is ideal for wine storage. If the humidity is too low, the cork can dry out, which can cause the wine to spoil. If the humidity is too high, mould and mildew can grow, which can also cause spoilage.
  5. Label-facing: It’s good practice to store wine bottles so that the labels are facing forward. This way, you can easily identify the wine you have in storage and ensure that it’s stored in the correct conditions.

By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your wine is stored in the best possible conditions, which will help to preserve its flavours, aromas, and overall quality.

Posted in Wine Cellar, Wine Facts

Wine Christmas Quiz

Here’s everything you need for a fun-filled Christmas themed wine quiz. The first two rounds consist of 10 wine-themed questions. The final round is a picture round based on different drinking glasses. Good luck!

Round 1: General Knowledge

  1. Thinking about Champagne bottles, which is bigger? A Nebuchadnezzar or Rehoboam?
  2. Where was wine first produced? (Hint: it’s not in Europe)
  3. What is riddling?
  4. What was the most expensive bottle of wine sold?
  5. Which country is the leading producer of wine?
  6. Where is Barossa Valley, home to some of the oldest living vineyards
  7. Which country consumes the most amount of wine?
  8. How should you store Champagne at home?
  9. Which country is home to the Riesling grape?
  10. Who is the patron Saint of winemakers?

Round 2: Food & Drink

  1. What fortified wine is traditionally added to trifle?
  2. What are the three key ingredients in a Negroni cocktail?
  3. Which type of wine might you add to your Bolognese recipe?
  4. What are the two traditional ingredients in a Tiramisu?
  5. In which order is wine served at a dinner party or tasting?
  6. What would you add to your Christmas pudding before lighting it?
  7. What alcohol is added to make a coffee Irish?
  8. Finish the wine pairing rule… White wines pair best with…
  9. What liqueur traditionally has a worm in it?
  10. Name two liquors you could add to your Duck L’Orange sauce?

Round 3: Pictures

Posted in Wine Facts

Wine & Champagne Bottle Sizes Guide

Here’s Wine Racks UK’s official Wine Bottle Size Guide to ensure you plan well ahead for your party guests. Wine bottle sizes range from a Quarter all the way to a Midas which holds 30 litres of wine!

wine and champagne bottle size guide chart: sizes range from a Quarter to a Midas which holds 30 litres of wine.

Wine Bottle Sizes Chart

CapacityNameDescriptionNo. of glassesNo. of bottles
187.5 mlSplitUsually for single glasses of Champagne (referred to as Piccolo in Italian)1 glass1/4 of a bottle
375 mlHalfHolds half a standard size bottle (referred to as ‘Demi’ in France)2 glasses1/2 of a bottle
750 mlStandardUniversal bottle size for most wines around the World5 glasses1 bottle
1.5 LMagnumDouble the standard bottle10 glasses2 bottles
3.0 LJeroboam or Double MagnumTwo Magnums or four standard bottles20 glasses4 bottles
4.5 LRehoboamSix standard bottles30 glasses6 bottles
6.0 LMethuselah or ImperialEight standard bottles or two Double Magnums40 glasses8 bottles
9.0 LSalmanazarTwelve standard bottles60 glasses12 bottles
12.0 LBalthazarSixteen standard bottles or two Imperials80 glasses16 bottles
15.0 LNebuchadnezzarTwenty standard bottles100 glasses20 bottles
18.0 LSolomonTwenty-four standard bottles120 glasses24 bottles
26.25 LSovereignThirty-five standard bottles175 glasses35 bottles
27.0 LPrimat or GoliathThirty-six standard bottles180 glasses36 bottles
30.0 LMelchizedek or MidasForty standard bottles200 glasses40 bottles

For a free quote

For any wine room design service,

please call 01159441434 or contact us via our form.

Please include your requirements and approximate dimensions to provide you with a quote.

Posted in Wine Facts

Wine Tasting At Home: A Beginner’s Guide To Hosting The Ultimate Event

Whether you consider yourself to be a wine connoisseur, a novice, or someone who simply loves hosting fabulous events, this guide will help you host the ultimate wine tasting event at home or online. 

In this beginner’s guide, you will learn how to organise your event, which wines to serve and the best nibbles to accompany them, and how to set up your tasting. There will also be a section dedicated to hosting a virtual wine tasting. 

The latter option is ideal if you live away from your friends and want to catch up from the comfort of home. It’s also a great way to stay connected during lockdown or periods of isolation. Here is a breakdown of the guide:

Common questions

How do you host a wine tasting at home?

There are a few things to consider when planning your wine tasting, including whether you will host it in-person or virtually. This guide provides you with a starting point so you can begin planning without feeling overwhelmed.

  • Consider the space available. Do you have a large table that you can use as a tasting table? How many people can you invite? Is there room in your fridge to store the wine? 6-12 is the recommended group size for a wine tasting
  • What atmosphere do you want to create? Cosy, formal, chic 
  • Do you have enough glassware? It may sound obvious, but this is a good starting point when planning your event
  • Will the tastings be blind? Do you and your guests want to drink the wine, or spit it out after sampling? 
  • What theme interests you? You could select a region, a year, a producer, or type of wine
  • What nibbles will you provide to accompany the wine? Will you serve a meal at the end of the tasting? You can find out more about selecting the best nibbles in this guide
  • How seriously do you want to take the scoring process? Will you provide each guest with a pen and paper? 

Once you’ve answered the questions above, you will be ready to host a wine tasting night. Picking a theme is one of the most important considerations. There is no wrong answer. Simply decide what is best for you. If this is potentially the first of many wine tasting events, you could choose one region this time and another the next.

Decide what nibbles you will serve during the tasting and whether there will be a meal at the end. Again, there is no wrong answer. Decide what is best for you based on the space available to you and the number of guests you plan to invite.

Ensure you have the correct amount of glassware, supplies, including a wine bottle opener, and anything to enhance the atmosphere of your theme. Once you’ve completed these steps, you are ready to choose a date and time and invite your guests.

How do I organise my wine tasting?

You’ve picked a theme, you’ve bought the perfect nibbles to be paired with your wine, your friends are on the way, so how should you organise your evening? Preparation is key. Ensure you have a large enough space for the tasting. If you are creating a formal atmosphere, why not add place cards so your guests can be seated on arrival? Alternatively, create a space for each guest with a plate of nibbles, several wine glasses, and a pen and paper.

All that is left is for you to give everyone a warm welcome and explain how the evening will proceed, including if the tastings will be blind. It will be useful to provide information on each wine, regardless of whether you are aiming for an educational or social evening. 

Setting up

What should I eat before wine tasting?

The aim is to keep your palate neutral before a tasting so that you can get the most from the experience. Eat a couple of hours before, but not too close to ensure your senses are heightened. It is recommended you avoid strong flavours, spices, or anything that will freshen your breath, as it may unsettle the pH balance of your mouth.

What nibbles go well with wine?

With so many delicious nibbles to choose from, it’s hard to decide what will work for your soiree. However, consider bland options such as crackers and bread during the tasting so as not to interfere with the palate of those taking part. Once the tasting has finished, indulge in your favourite nibbles or a meal to celebrate the successful evening. It is also recommended to drink water after sampling each wine to help cleanse the palate. 

How many wines do you taste in a wine tasting?

Six different wines are recommended for a tasting; however, you could choose more (up to 12). 

Whatever you decide, it is worth keeping in mind how many guests you are planning to invite, the theme you’ve opted for, the space available to store your wine, and if you have enough glassware for the number of wines you intend to sample. For a party of between 8-10; it is advised you purchase two bottles of each wine.

How do you start a wine tasting?

As with any event you are hosting, you will want your guests to feel comfortable and aware of what is going to happen. Begin by serving crackers or a palate-cleansing drink before explaining the theme, the evening plan, and answering guests’ questions.

Some logistics need to be considered before you begin your tasting. For instance, if it is a blind tasting, how will you serve your wine? Will you decant it, or use a bottle sleeve while pouring? If you are serving red wines, can you decant them so they can breathe for 30 minutes before being sampled? Thinking about this in advance can help you enjoy a stress-free evening.

Is it bad to serve red wine in a white wine glass?

You may think this is a simple question, but the answer is quite complex. While it is not necessarily ‘bad’ to serve red wine in a white wine glass, there is an intentional difference between the glasses. 

Red wine glasses have more depth because it takes longer for the flavour and aromas of the wine to develop. Therefore, rich, full-bodied reds require time to breathe before being served. White wine simply doesn’t require the same amount of space or time to breathe, hence why the glasses are bowled in shape. 

What are the 5 S’s of wine tasting?

  • See: What colour is it?
  • Swirl: Have you given it time to breathe and release its aromas?
  • Sniff: What can you smell?
  • Sip: Have you taken a small sip and held it in your mouth to taste every flavour?
  • Savour: What can you taste? The flavour of your wine may develop between sips 

Going Virtual

How do you host a virtual wine tasting?

All the above applies to your wine tasting evening, whether you are hosting it in-person or online. The key difference is each attendee will need to supply their own nibbles, wine, equipment, and palate cleansers. Each guest must ensure they have enough glassware and storage space for the tasting. 

You can still choose a theme for the evening, whether a region, type of wine or the year the wine was bottled. 3-5 different wine choices should be enough for a virtual tasting designed to last for around two hours. 

How does a virtual wine tasting work?

This depends on how you want to organise your event. If you want to ensure everyone is blind-tasting, you and your guests will need to ask someone else to decanter the wine in advance. 

If this isn’t possible, sample the wines in the same order (more on this later) and score the wine based on its aromas and sensations while tasting. Each participant will need water to cleanse their palate between tastings and bland nibbles such as crackers or bread. 

The key point to consider is that everyone has the chance to share their views and get involved. A virtual wine tasting is one way to bring friends and family together, regardless of where in the world they live. 

How long is a virtual wine tasting? 

Two hours is a good amount of time for a virtual wine tasting. 

How do you host a Zoom wine tasting?

Most of us are now accustomed to virtual meetings, events, and catchups via Zoom. Hosting a wine tasting virtually is much the same as any online event – preparation is key!

Begin by choosing a theme for your evening, selecting a date and time, and then invite your friends. Ensure your guests have all the information, equipment, and details they need ahead of the event. Whereas one host may organise and arrange an in-person event, each participant is required to play an active role in a virtual event, such as a wine tasting. In this sense, simplicity is key.

Best virtual wine tastings in the UK?

One of the most popular options in the UK is the Waitrose Wine Tasting at Home Experience, designed for six people groups. There is also a Lockdown List of companies providing virtual tasting experiences – some supply the wine and nibbles as part of the package.  

What wines to serve

what wines to choose: start with sparkling wine

What is the correct order for tasting a wine?

When tasting different wines, a crucial consideration is your palate. You want to keep it free of bold flavours that may affect your ability to pick up subtle aromas of lighter wines. Begin with sparkling wines, whites (dry to sweet), rosé, reds (light to bold flavours), and finish with dessert wine. 

What are the main differences between French and Italian wines?

This is a popular question among budding wine connoisseurs. The biggest difference is the grapes that are used and the setting in which they are grown. For instance, you may be familiar with prominent wine-producing regions within France (Bordeaux – Cabernet Sauvignon) and Italy (Tuscany – Chianti).

Differences in climate, soil and weather can all affect the grape. In addition, there are different methods of production that can alter the aromas and overall taste as well as who the wine is marketed at. 

Are you planning on hosting a wine tasting event at home? What is going to be your theme? 

For a free quote

For any wine room design service,

please call 01159441434 or contact us via our form.

Please include your requirements and approximate dimensions to provide you with a quote.

Posted in Wine Facts

Fine Wine As An Alternative Investment: Everything You Need To Know

In this article, we will aim to cover everything you need or want to know from ‘is fine wine a tax-free investment,’ to ‘what are the best investment wines in 2021,’ and ‘how do I invest in wine.’  

Alternative investment options are growing in popularity for many reasons; low-interest rates for savers, stock market instability, and predictions of a property market bubble (which may burst and cause a downturn). 

But what are the best ‘alternative investments’ and are they worth the risk? Some of the most popular investment options this year so far are peer-to-peer lending, cryptocurrencies, precious metals (including gold and silver), and equity crowdfunding. 

While these options are an excellent choice for diversification, they don’t offer you tangible assets. But investing in fine wine provides a real asset investors can see, touch, and feel, while diversifying their portfolio, which can offer reassurance.

All investments have an element of risk out of your control, so what you must focus on is the elements you can control. 

For instance, only invest what you can afford to lose, a diverse portfolio reduces reliance on one industry, sector, or product, focus on the long-term plan, and avoid ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes that look too good to be true.

Why fine wine? 

As an investment option, fine wine is appealing because anyone can do it without relying on a broker and investments can start from as little as £100. It offers flexibility – you can select a few rare bottles, cases, or create a full cellar.

Photo by Maria Orlova

The latter may depend on the space available within your home. Many collectors create a custom wine cellar or storage solution to fit the space they have available, which reduces additional storage costs associated with other alternative investments such as classic cars and antiques. 

Another reason fine wines are an attractive investment is the fact the market has seen steady growth and has not been affected by the economic instability that has sent ripples through other markets including stocks and shares.

In summary, fine wines offer something for everyone regardless of the space or budget you have and there are options to suit all long-term goals. 

Is wine a tax-free investment? 

Although often promoted as a ‘tax-free’ investment option because supermarket wine can be classified as a ‘wasting asset’ (defined by HMRC as ‘an asset with a predictable life of 50 years or less’) you can reasonably expect fine wines to outlive this timeframe.

fine wine as a tax free investment? example stock graph
Photo by Burak Kebapci

It is important to understand that from an Inheritance Tax perspective, an individual’s fine wine collection will be valued at the time the owner passes away, rather than what it cost to purchase. This is the same as with any estate asset, including property.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is another consideration for potential investors, depending on the size of their collection and estate. HMRC states that if a single bottle of fine wine is sold for less than £6,000, it is exempt from CGT.

However, if an individual purchases more than one bottle from the collection, the single bottles may be viewed as a set. In this situation, the £6,000 tax-free limit would apply to the total sale (instead of individual bottles) meaning it would likely be subject to CGT.

The final tax consideration for investors is the fact that Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax are two separate taxes. While non-wasting assets may be exempt from CGT, this does not automatically mean they are exempt from Inheritance Tax.

Is investing in wine profitable?

A key question for any investor is the profitability of an asset. As with most financial decisions, timing is key when investing. Last year the fine wine market saw strong growth when many other markets were facing uncertainty.

Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava

While varying factors influence the rate of growth, high-yielding quality wines have seen an increase in value of up to 37% during 2020, according to the Vin-X 2020 Fine Wine Market Review.

The review also notes that while unpredictability is expected for at least the next year, fine wines offer the diversification needed to stabilise investment portfolios. Steady long-term growth within the market is expected, which is arguably the key to portfolio diversification and effective risk management.

There are of course examples of hugely profitable wines being sold at auction. One such example is the lot of 12 Romanée-Conti 1988, Domaine La Romanée-Conti bottles that were auctioned by Bonhams in February 2018 and sold for £179,250. 

While this scenario can happen occasionally, it is not the norm and investors should prepare for a steady return and do their due diligence when purchasing fine wines. 

Which? Recently published an article highlighting the fact investors who do not secure tangible fine wine assets are not protected under the Financial Services Authority’s regulations if they invest in a company.

Does wine increase in value over time?

The average bottle of supermarket wine will not increase in value over any period. Fine wines however can increase in value depending on the region it is from, if the producer has a proven track record, or if the wine is highly rated. 

Savvy investors may increase their return on investment by purchasing a less expensive wine that is highly rated as opposed to purchasing an expensive wine from an established and respected producer. 

How much is a 20-year-old bottle of wine worth?

This depends on a plethora of factors; how much did it cost to purchase, where was it purchased, what region is it from, who is the producer, is it made from a special vintage, have similar wines recently sold at auction, what is the market like.

Bollinger Range

High-quality fine wines can increase in value over time, but many wines are not designed to be stored for long periods of time. The way a bottle of wine (fine or otherwise) is stored can also affect its value in the long-term.  

Why should I invest in wine?

If you want to diversify your investment portfolio to spread your risk, are interested in alternative options, and want to purchase a physical asset, fine wine meets these requirements.

Wine racks solid oak with black-stain-

It also provides a great hobby for those with an interest in wine as many collectors enjoy researching rare fine wines and tracking them down. 

From a purely financial perspective, fine wine investments offer stability and growth potential that traditional investments (including stocks and shares) simply cannot offer at this time. 

The best wines to invest in this year

Determining the best investment options for any asset (precious metal, stocks, shares, art, fine wine) is a complex process.

There are many factors to consider; market conditions, current affairs, the history of and the outlook for the company (or producer), plus what industry experts and analysts think. Understanding the bigger picture can help you make informed decisions.   


Best investment wines for 2021

Vin-X has compiled a list of the Top 5 Wine Brands over the past 5 years.

This includes:

  • Lafite Rothschild
  • Leroy
  • Armand Rousseau
  • Mouton Rothschild
  • Margaux
  • Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC)
  • Gaja
  • Haut Brion
  • Krug, Sassicaia
  • Latour
  • Angelus
  • Louis Roederer
  • Penfolds

The brands that repeatedly appear in the top five year-on-year are arguably reliable producers and have gained a strong reputation within the industry. It is worth researching these brands and investment opportunities. In addition, both Vinfolio and Vin-X recommend Moët & Chandon (Dom Pérignon) as it is a consistently high-quality producer and therefore a reliable investment option. 

How do you know if a wine will increase in value?

A tiny percentage of the wines produced around the world have the potential to increase in value, but there are factors to consider.

  • Is the producer reputable or known for superior quality wines?
  • What wine-producing regions are doing well?
  • What do current market trends suggest?

For the latter, it is worth looking at auctions to see what is selling well and what is not. You may also wish to speak to industry experts and specialists to get advice. 

As with any investment, the research you complete will be invaluable to you both now and in the future.

What are investment-grade wines?

Not all wines are created equally.

Investment grade wines have provenance as they are produced from renowned regions. This includes Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone, Champagne, Tuscany, California, Australia, and Spain. 

Esteemed producers who have gained a reputation within the market make these standout wines. Investment grade fine wines (when stored correctly in a wine cellar) can last for decades, which is a significant differentiator when compared to the average supermarket wine that may last for a year or two.  

Other factors that can affect the value of fine wine is its availability, production volumes, and if it is a limited edition, which can all affect demand. 

What wines are collectable

There are many options for wine collectors and investors to purchase, however, there are certain names that instantly draw attention:

  • Château Lafite Rothschild (Bordeaux)
  • Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) (Burgundy)
  • Castello dei Rampolla (Tuscany)
  • Screaming Eagle (California)
  • Henschke (Australia)
  • Teso La Monja (Spain)

This list is not exhaustive but an indicator as to some of the most collectible and popular producers. There are lots of fine wines that are collectible and ultimately valuable, which is why research before investing is so important. 

Best Bordeaux investment wines

To access the best of Bordeaux, it is important to understand that two rivers and an estuary divide the wine region.

This has created a ‘Left Bank’ and a ‘Right Bank.’

Wine from the Left Bank is said to age well and last for decades and includes the following wine-growing areas Medoc, Graves, Pessac-Leognan, and Sauternes. On the Right Bank the prominent growing areas include Saint-Emilion, Pomerol, Côtes de Blaye, and Fronsac and the area is famed for its soft Merlot-based grapes. 

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Carmenere are all wines from Bordeaux. As one of the most prominent wine-producing regions in the world, it is well worth researching the wines that are appreciating in value (or likely to). 

Investing in wine for beginners

The first consideration for any investor is how much you can afford to risk and how long you want to invest for.

For instance, is this a long-term investment that forms part of a retirement plan, or is it a short-to-midterm investment of between 3-10 years?

Knowing the answers to these questions in advance can help you plan your portfolio according to your needs. The second consideration is whether to purchase tangible bottles of fine wine or invest in a producer or fine wine company. 

The advantages of the former include the fact you have greater control over your investment and can diversify your portfolio so that it has a mix of both tangible and intangible assets. 

Whatever you decide, the key to your success is research if you plan to take a hands-on approach. It is in your interests to understand the market, the producers, which vintage yields a steady return on investment. All this knowledge will help you feel in control of your investment. Alternatively, if you are interested in a hands-off approach, it is worth researching fine wine brokers that can help you achieve your investment goal without getting as involved.

If you decide to purchase bottles of wine, you will need to find a storage solution that limits the chances of breakage and spoilage. If you are thinking about investing in wine or upgrading your existing storage space, A & W Moore Wine Racks UK offers many custom solutions including under stairs wine racks tailored to your needs.

Disclaimer: The information provided within this article is accurate at the time of publishing. It does not constitute investment advice. Readers thinking about investing in alternative or traditional options are encouraged to complete their own research and consult a professional if in doubt. 

Posted in Wine Facts

A Beginner’s Guide to Wine Tasting

On special occasions, many people decide to go to a classy and elegant restaurant for a nice meal. As you sit down at the table, the waiter presents you with the wine list. Being surrounded by wine connoisseurs at other tables, you may feel intimidated and inclined to take on board what the waiter recommended in order to fit the crowd. Before you have time to think, the waiter enthusiastically pours you a little taster of the wine. Just like the rest of us who are not wine experts, you do a slight swirl, give a little sip and half-heartedly agree that the wine was a perfect match.

People often think wine tasting is a complicated and daunting exercise. As long as you understand the basic principles of wine tasting, you can convince any waiter you are a wine connoisseur. It may be your first wine tasting event, and you want to make it seem like you have experience appreciating fine wine. If you would like to become a wine connoisseur, continue reading this guide, and we will teach you the fundamental steps of how to taste wine.

Look at it

All your senses are involved with wine tasting. Our vision gives us the first impression of the wine. You need to hold the glass in front of your face and examine the colour. Tilt the glass and let the wine thin out to determine whether it is young or old. If the white wine appears to be more golden, or the red wine appears deeper and intense in colour, the older and more complex the flavour is. Also, pay attention to the clarity of the wine as a cloudy wine indicates it is unfiltered or faulty.

Swirl it

Begin swirling your glass by rotating your wrist and keep an eye out on how fast the wine travels in your glass. You will see droplets, referred to as “legs”, running down the side of the wine glass after swirling. The term legs are used to identify a white or red wine’s body. Thin legs are where a wine that moves like water is equivalent to a lighter body. A lighter body suggests the wines are more fresh, delicate and refined. Thick legs are where wine resembles syrup and has more droplets on the side of the glass, which is equivalent to a fuller body. A thick body implies the wine is extremely rich and mostly has a higher alcohol content.

Smell it

Your sense of smell contributes to 50% of what you taste. It is essential that a good swirl is required to release the aromas of the wine and increase its interaction with oxygen to give you a better tasting experience. Move your nose close to the edge of the wine glass, taking a deep sniff and identify any smell you find familiar. Swirl again and repeat the process several times to get a clearer understanding of your wine.

The aromas of the wine are broken down into 3 main categories:

Primary Aromas
The grape naturally has fruity, herbal and floral aromas – which are smells to distinguish the grape type and the terroir.

Secondary Aromas
These are the smell from the process of making wine. The aromas such as oak, sourdough, yoghurt and butter that are present depend on the type of condition and fermentation of the wine production.

Tertiary Aromas
Tertiary aromas are from the wine’s ageing process. Aromas of coffee, chocolate and toffee are prominent if the wine has been oxidised in oak barrels for a long time. Earthly flavours such as mushroom and vegetables are bold if the ageing process is reductive – which is when the wine is protected in a bottle, avoiding contact with oxygen.

From the wine’s aroma, you can also distinguish the wine’s condition and its faults. For example, if you smell rotten eggs, it is associated with high levels of reduction during wine production. Aromas of toffee, caramel and honey are present due to high oxidation levels, which decreases the wine’s fruity flavour. If there is an aroma of damp cardboard, there may be problems with the cork. The wine can be contaminated with Trichloroanisole (TCA) – a harmless airborne fungus that reduces the freshness and fruity flavour.

Taste it

Finally, you can take your first sip along with some air to release more of the wine’s aromas. Roll the wine over your tongue, and as you swallow the wine, you need to breathe out through your nose and “chew” the wine by coating your mouth like how you would do with mouthwash.

The wine’s sugar, body, tannin and acid components are the most important factors to consider when you taste wine as this changes how you pair it with food.

After the fermentation process, the sugar that is left over determines the overall sweetness of the wine. The fruity flavours of the wine can give off an impression that the wine is sweeter. Red wines are generally dry, but some have a hint of sweetness, which is known as “off-dry”.

The body is the general feeling of the wine. Does it feel heavy or light? Does your throat feel fiery after swallowing? With a higher alcohol content, the wine will taste stronger and suggests it has a thicker body.

The skin and stem from grapes, mostly red and a few white, cause your lips to stick to your teeth, have a bitter flavour and a dry mouth. Generally, tannins are found in red wine, but a few white wines will taste bitter as they have been heavily oaked during wine production.

The acidity of the wine creates a sensation of how fresh and crisp it is. The wine will tastes like a citrus fruit if the acidity is high, and tastes like milk if the acidity is lower. All red, rose and white wines are acidic, but white wines have the highest acidity levels.

The evaluation

Draw your thoughts and sensations after experiencing the wine. There needs to be a balance between the sugar levels, body, tannin and acidity. These components can help you choose which wine you prefer or experiment more with other wines before you find the best wine to suit your palate. You will soon become a wine fanatic after some practice! Eventually, you might want to own a wine collection – you can start off with buying a wine rack for your household.

Posted in Wine Facts

How to Store your Wine Correctly

Have you ever sat at work and dreamt about your first gorgeous glass of wine that you will be indulging in as soon as you step through the door of your home? Has that dream ever been thwarted when later that evening the cork breaks as you’re trying to open the bottle? If so, the main reason your wine is becoming undrinkable is most likely the way you’re storing your wine bottles. Wine is a very fragile liquid and can often be spoiled when not cared for. Many bottles of wine sit for weeks, months or even years before being opened and enjoyed. If you have ever worried that you are not storing your wine correctly and want some top tips to prevent your wine from becoming spoiled, read on.

Purchase the right wine rack

It is very important that you purchase the right wine storage so that you can stock your wine correctly. You need to have enough space in order to store all of the wine bottles that are going to be stored on it, but also need to make sure you choose the right material and design of your wine rack so that it doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb alongside your interior design style.

Store wine on its side

If you decide to store wine standing up, it can (and will) result in the cork drying out and ruining the wine. The dried cork will shrink, resulting in air making its way in the bottle, which can spoil the wine rapidly! It does not matter whether all of the other conditions in which you store your wine are perfect, a dried out cork can turn all expensive wines into salad dressing. By placing the bottle on its side, it means you will keep the cork moist and prevent air from getting into the bottle and ruining your delicious investment.

Keep it chilled

If you didn’t know already, average room temperature is too warm to serve or store your wine. As with most foods, the warmer the temperature of the wine, the faster the wine will go bad and undrinkable. If you have ever accidentally left wine in the car during the summer and then tried having a swig, you will realise how bad it can taste. Leaving a bottle at room temperature can do the same over a long period of time. Room temperature wine tastes duller than a chilled wine, this is why it is better to keep it cool.

Keep it somewhere you can easily select a bottle

It is imperative that when you are trying to decide on what bottle you would like to divulge in that evening, that you know what wines are in your collection and where to find it. Although documenting your collection is helpful, it’s hard to beat a clear visual display of all of your bottles. It should always be as easy as possible to work out what bottles of wine you have available.

Posted in Wine Facts

How to Care for your Quality Oak Wine Rack

Oak furniture is a very good investment, and proper care of this wood will help it last for many years. Oak has become one of the most popular types of wood type because of its natural durability. This heavy hardwood can endure a lot of wear and tear. The gorgeous grain patterns and intricate shapes make this wood desirable for all types of furniture. The most popular pieces are tables and chairs, but oak wine racks are also extremely desirable and will last a lifetime. If you have a wine rack and are wondering how to get the most out of it, read our top tips on how to care for your oak wine racks.


Your standard household cleaning equipment is quite likely to damage the finish of your oak wine rack over time. Every time you clean your wine rack, you should really be wiping the surface down with a clean, damp cloth. For more serious cleaning jobs (which might lead to staining), blot the rack with a clean, soft, slightly damp cloth. If there is ever a stain on your wine rack that you think looks like it will be too hard to clean yourself, it’s best to contact a professional furniture restorer who will use time-served techniques to get your wine rack back into tip top condition.

Airing out

If your new oak wine rack has been recently oiled, it might have a strong odour. To minimize this, leave it in an open space to help the smell dissipate. You might want to keep windows open or run an air purifier. Oak wine racks will often be oiled before they are packed and shipped. If the smell is strong, consider placing a bowl with baking soda, white vinegar, and activated charcoal near it as this can absorb odours.


While everyday wear and tear might take its toll on MDF or wood veneer (both are prone to chipping or peeling), solid hardwood is much more robust. Waxing your oak wine rack regularly conditions the timber and creates a hardwearing, protective seal that better repels water and retains the wood’s optimum moisture levels.


Dusting your wine rack should be done regularly and carefully, rubbing in the direction of the wood grain with a soft cloth, so that you don’t accidentally leave scratch marks behind. Be sure to rotate the cloth frequently to remove any of the previous dirt coming back into contact with the wine rack. This should become part of your regular cleaning routine and can be applied to other wooden pieces of furniture.

Quality oak wine racks or wine cabinets will always be a great choice when it comes to wine storage spaces, the finishes available really allow the wine rack to fit in with the mood of your home whilst storing your wine safely and securely.

Posted in Wine Facts