Wine is usually made from one or more varities of the European species vitis vinifero, such as Pinot Noir, chardonnay, Caberniet Sauvigenon and Meriot.
When one of these varieties is used as the predominant grape (usually defined by law as a minimum of 75% or 85%), the result is a Vorietal, as opposed to a blended , wine.
Blended wines are not necessarily considered inferior to varietal wines; some of the world's most expensive wines, from regions likeBordeaux and the Rhone Valley, are blended from different grape varieties of the same Vintage.
Wine cellars, or wine rooms if they are above-ground, are places designed specifically for the storage and aging of wine.
In an active wine cellar, temperature and humidity are maintained by a climate control system.
Passive wine cellars are not climate-controlled, and so must be carefully located.
All types of wine, including red, white, sparkling, and fortified, can spoil. When properly stored, wines can maintain their quality and in some cases improve in aroma, flavor, and complexity as they age.
Some wine experts contend that the optimal temperature for aging wine is 55 °F (13 °C).
Wine refrigerators offer an alternative to wine cellars. They are available in capacities ranging from small 16-bottle units to furniture pieces that can contain 400 bottles.