Wine Monitoring & Protection

Hidden Brain

Paul Dhillon

Last Update a year ago

Temperature - Light – Humidity – Dew point - Vibrations – Air quality

When buying wine why is "Wine Provenance" important

"Provenance" is the most important concept in the fine wine market, a catch all term referring to whether the wine is genuine and more importantly how well it has been stored and kept. The way wine is stored impacts the way it tastes when served. Collectors have no control over how their wine was made, but after purchasing, it’s up to them to treat the bottles properly and in ways that will increase their flavor and value. Proper wine storage in wine cellars requires managing temperature, humidity, light, air quality, and vibrations. When selecting “Wine Cellar” from the user app, The Butterfly is automatically set up to notify you when the correct environmental conditions are out of the limit -providing comprehensive protection for your wine collection. Additionally, The Butterfly can provide historical data for years providing a provenance storage report, helping increase the value of your fine wines


Temperature and Humidity effects on wine storage

The ideal temperature for wine storage is 55°F to 57°F (12°C to 14°C), with an average of 60% relative humidity. The Butterfly’s default alarm notifications range for temp humidity is > 59°F for temperature and 50% to 70% for humidity but can easily be changed if desired. Too high and you risk mold and mustiness and the degradation of the corks and labels. Too low and your cork could dry up, even for bottles stored on their sides 


What is Bottle Shock or Bottle Sickness and how to avoid it - the effects of light and vibration/shock 

This is a condition that causes wine to have muted or disjointed flavors and aromas. The two largest causes of Bottle shock are exposures to light and vibration and shock. This condition is common in recently packaged wine or wine that is shipped long distances. The addition of sulphites to a new wine prior to shipping coupled with the constant jostling of transport can unsettle the wine.  Vibrations can disturb sediment present in the bottle, but it also causes complex chemical reactions which are less visible. Vibrations from the nearby roadway (streetcar) and the micro-vibrations from nearby cooling systems a storing wine on wooden floors which vibrate with human foot traffic. Or storing wine in basement cellars that are near or share an exterior wall with a garbage-bin pickup point outside or theaters etc. 


Most experts recommend keeping vibrations under 0.1g (or 0.1 meter per second squared) for optimal wine storage conditions. This can be achieved by storing wine in a location that is insulated from outside vibrations, such as a wine cellar or a specialized wine refrigerator. The default setting for the butterfly has been set to 0.1g


Direct sunlight and electric fluorescent and UV lighting can all cause wine faults and bottle shock. When choosing wine cellar lighting, pay special attention to lights that provide the right amount of illumination without any harmful heat. The Butterfly has a light sensor that had been set to trigger and notify you at >2K Lux, which is low sunlight. The assumption is that you are using LED lighting in the wine cellar (which will typically have a max LUX of 2K). IF you don’t have LED lighting or no lighting, suggest setting the default to >50Lux. This trigger can also be used to monitor the timestamped access to the wine cellar.


Bad air quality and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on wine storage

Air particles infiltrate wine through the cork. Wines that are stored long-term are especially vulnerable to their surrounding air particles, including odor. Any sort of non-neutral odor can interfere with the aromas that evolve in wines. It’s the reason certain materials, such as cedar and pine, are not recommended for wine racks. The same goes for the air quality – if there are a lot of foreign, microscopic particles in your wine cellar air, you can bet on them affecting the evolution of flavors. The Butterfly from Hidden-Brain automatically notifies you when the air becomes moderately polluted, affecting the wine.


The Butterfly - The industries most advanced wine storage protection device

The Butterfly monitors and stores all the environmental conditions that can effect wine from new packaging to long term storage.  The Butterfly's unique on-board intelligence and on-board memory will allow winery's to include the Butterfly in their shipping boxes/containers, providing provenance from the source and confidence that shipping has not effected their wine. For wine storage warehouses (distributors), the Butterfly can provide historical environmental condition reports, providing confidence that the wine was stored in correct conditions prior to sale. For our personal wine cellars the Butterfly will protect our investments and that added level of provenance history when selling expensive wine. In the future we can demand Provenance reports prior to buying wine from private wine cellars/auctions or distributors. Monitoring just temperature and humidity in a wine cellar is not enough !! 

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