Treat your expensive bottle of wine like you would your other investments
While investing in wine is proving popular, preserving the “liquid assets” is often overlooked. However, one winemaker has been helping wine owners safeguard their prized assets for more than 25 years through its popular recorking service.

Penfolds hosts dozens of recorking clinics around the world each year, and will be coming to Singapore in November. Recorking a bottle of wine is sometimes needed as wine corks deteriorate and lose their elasticity over time. This means the cork will no longer hold its tight seal, allowing air to enter into the bottle and causing the wine to evaporate. This evaporation introduces more oxygen into the wine, which over time will damage it. This can be very expensive if you have built up an impressive collection.

However, help is on hand thanks to Penfolds chief winemaker Peter Gago and his team. They will recork any bottle of wine as long as it is at least 15 years old. There is a misconception that only its famous Grange wine range is eligible for recorking, but the company will recork any Penfolds wine.

As part of the recorking process, the wine is firstly inspected in the bottle. Those with low levels may be opened, tested and their quality assessed. If the wine is deemed to be in a sound condition, it is topped up with the most recent vintage, re-corked, and provided with a new Penfolds capsule. The winemaker then certifies the wine, attaching a certificate to the back of the bottle stating that the wine has been successfully recorked. Wines are never recorked twice.

Penfolds will only top up a bottle with up to 15ml of new wine. Any more than this and it will affect the taste of the original wine. The recorking service was last seen in Singapore back in 2013 when more than 200 bottles were opened and recorked. Along with sampling and safeguarding their liquid assets, investors can also learn valuable tips on cellaring, wine care and peak drinking windows for the wines.

The ideal conditions for storing wine are in a cellar where it is dark and airy. However, given the lack of landed properties with basements in Singapore, many owners keep them in wine cabinets in their apartments.

The ideal temperature range is between 13°C and 15°C in a wine cabinet. The bottles should be stored on their side and with no vibrations. One of the biggest spoilers of wine is movement. “Expats tend to move around the globe and take their wine with them. But the movement of the wine and sudden change in temperatures isn’t good for them,” explained Gago.

Justin Harper is a freelance journalist with a passion for the finer things in life

This article appeared in Issue 791 (Aug 7) of The Edge Singapore.