“Dear Paul: Where can I purchase a thermometer which will tell me the variation in temperature of my wine cellar closet? I would like to find out if the variation exceeds 10 degrees from day to night and from summer to winter. Even though I have it fairly well protected, I am concerned.”
– R.S. Bishop; CA
This is a wise thing to do. Measure the variation of temperature of your wine storage area.
Excessive temperature variation, day in and day out, accelerates the ageing of wine, and ages it in less than ideal circumstances. The ageing process is better at not over 7 to 10 degrees variation, and best at 55 degrees °F. Lower than that, the ageing process slows down, and higher than that, it accelerates with lesser quality to it.
What you need to find is a better specialty hardware store that carries a line of thermometers. Ask for a minimum/maximum room thermometer. The more reliable ones have a floating steel marker, above the two mercury columns (just like the old-fashioned kind they demonstrated in physics lab in high school). They are a little hard to find, and the average clerk in a hardware store gives you a blank stare!
I have had enough inquiries about this that I decided to find the source, and offer it as an inventory item through the Wine of the Month Club (see next column). A useful tool to own.
For further information about ideal cellaring conditions, see my article on page 4 of the February 1985 newsletter. If you wish a copy of that article, drop me a postcard, or call my office manager, Monica, so we will send you one.
MINIMUM‑ MAXIMUM THERMOMETER
DETERMINE THE TEMPERATURE VARIATION
This unique, reliable, thermometer will read the temperature of your wine storage area, closet, or cellar accurately, and also register the lowest and highest temperature reached by weather or other variation.
Just hang it in the area, and set it (simple) and check it as often as you need a reading, and reset it any time you wish.
This not a Mickey Mouse instrument. The quality and reliability meets industrial standards.
+2.50shp+1.30S.Tx. = $23.75.
Use the order form on page 7 if you wish to obtain one.
Makes a great gift for a wine enthusiast friend!