The passage of time does not improve every wine, but Merus is designed to evolve in the bottle and will show new facets of flavor, aroma, and texture as it develops over ten, fifteen, or more years. Cool, quiet, and dark are the right conditions for successful wine aging.

A well-made, well-aged wine provides a tasting experience that is qualitatively different from—and, for some connoisseurs, superior to—the pleasures of newer wines. Unfortunately, even a great wine can be diminished or ruined by poor cellaring practices.

Serious collectors go to considerable pains to protect their wine investments. Here are some factors to take into account when thinking about safely storing your wine collection.

Temperature: Too much heat can age wine prematurely, or even give it a “cooked” taste. The ideal storage temperature is between 50 and 60 degrees.

Humidity: When air is too dry, corks can become desiccated and allow air into the bottle, compromising the wine. Humidity of about 70 percent is ideal for wine storage.

Stability: Wide variations in temperature can be even more destructive than less-than-ideal but stable warmth. The middle of your home is likely to offer less temperature variation than exterior walls. The northwest corner of a cool, dark basement is even better.

Light: Bright light can wreak havoc on wine much the way heat does.

Movement: Wine should not be stored near any sources of vibration, such as a stereo or television, or a dryer or dishwasher. The constant pulsation can age the wine prematurely.

Those with significant wine collections may want to consider investing in a dedicated, temperature controlled wine storage unit or have a closet or other space professionally converted to an in-home cellar. Another option is to entrust your collection to a professional wine storage company that can provide ideal cellaring conditions for your wines.

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