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Wine Kits FAQ
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Dry / Sweet Codes

The sweetness of a wine is the sensory perception created during tasting, and though affected by such factors as residual sugar levels, it is not an absolute, measurable factor. However, to guide you in determining the relative sweetness for each wine variety, we've applied the following recognized numbered scale to all of our listings:
Scale
Terminology
0
Dry
1
Semi-Dry
2
Medium-Dry
3 - 6
Medium-Sweet
7 - 10
Sweet

Suggestions for Maximum Enjoyment

To maximize your enjoyment of Richmond Winery's array of fine winemaking products, the following information on the ageing and storing of your finished wines may prove useful.

AGEING:

As with all wines, some degree of ageing in the bottle for finished wines from Richmond Winery's products is beneficial, allowing the full complexity and intensity of aromas and flavours to come through. Red wines become richer, as the initial fruit flavours mellow and the astringent tannins relax, contributing to the body and character. White wines showing high acid levels will soften over time, revealing wonderful textures and flavours.

Components of wines differ by variety or blend, and thus react differently to ageing. Some wines require longer ageing periods than others. For example:

More Ageing Some Ageing Little Ageing
REDS Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Bergamais
Barolo Style Pinot Noir All Blush Wines
Luna Rossa Valpolicella
WHITES Chardonnay / Semillon Sauvignon Blanc Liebfraumilch Style
Ruisseau Blanc Johannisberg Riesling Piesporter
Luna Bianca
Different factors exert influence on the rate of ageing and can contribute to a better ageing potential:
Storage A very big factor, addressed in more detail here
Cork Quality The longer and less porous the cork, the better the oxygen barrier, extending ageing potential. Vintage Wines use corks rated for 3-5 years. Higher grade corks can be purchased from us however, if needed or desired
Ullage The amount of head space in the bottle. Leaving 1 inch under the bottom of the cork is best
Sulphite Level Higher concentrations protect from oxidation
So how should you treat the ageing period for different Richmond Winery products? The answer depends on many factors. For example, using a long high quality cork or adding some extra sulphite at bottling will extend the maximum age period. Thus, use the following as a general guideline only:
Minimum Time Maximum Time
Cellar Craft Showcase 3 - 6 months 5 years
Showcase/Legacy 1 - 3 months 3 years
Checky Monkey Reds 2 months 2 year
Checky Monkey Whites 1 month 2 year
Kenridge Clasic Reds 2 months 2 year
Kenridge  Clasic Whites 1 month 2 year
Niagra Mist Fruit Wines Immediate 1 year
STORAGE plays a big role in the ageing process and can make or break a finished wine. Generally, white wines - sweet wines and champagne above all - are more frail than reds. Grape variety can also make a difference - for example, Cabernet Sauvignon wines are generally more resilient than Pinot Noirs. However, always minimizing the risks involved in bottle storage - heat, light, lack of humidity and constant movement - is the wisest plan.
TEMPERATURE The ideal cellar temperature is 7 - 13 C (45 - 55 F). Wines can be stored up to 20 C (68 F), but note that wine matures much more rapidly at higher temperatures. At lower temperatures, slower maturation allows more complexity to develop. Constant temperature is the key - chronic fluctuations should be avoided
LIGHT Sunlight and ultraviolet light are as bad for wine as excessive heat, but are problems usually much easier to overcome. Though most wines are protected by coloured glass bottles, place wines in areas away from light or cover them with a blanket
HUMIDITY Some degree of humidity is beneficial to ensure that the exposed end of the cork does not dry out and allow in oxygen. Thus, beware air conditioners that suck moisture out of the air. Ideally, relative humidity should be between 60 - 75%
MOVEMENT Wine does not take well to constant movement and vibration (particularly if there is sediment present), thus a secure storage space is necessary. Secure storage should also mean storing bottles horizontally, allowing constant contact of the wine with the cork and preventing it from drying out and letting air in

A simple check of all environmental influence in or near your storage area is advised. Areas such as garages or attics, which seem cool, may be subject to temperature fluctuations due to lack of insulation. A good option is to insulate a small room, large cupboard or area under the stairs, void of any heat sources like a water pipe or a boiler. Following up with preventative maintenance is also useful, like keeping a resident thermometer on hand and checking it regularly.

Allowing for the ageing of your finished wine in an environment which helps to preserve its finer qualities will pay big dividends in ensuring that you will have the best wine possible to enjoy with friends and family. Cheers!