Thursday, 25 September 2014

Furs & Champers Need Good Storage

I'm not sure if it's the 'in thing' so much these days but fur coats and champagne used to go together like bread and butter - well, in the movies at least! Some of the movie 'greats' such as Audrey Hepburn epitomised what many women aspired to, playing glamourous characters who wore fabulous furs and drank champagne.

Here is Hepburn playing a princess in 'Roman Holiday' with Cary Grant ...and drinking champers!

Here she is (in real life) wearing a stylish fur hat ...

Back in the 60's however, anyone with a valuable fur or some good champagne didn't readily know how to organise proper storage. There were a few stories about the rich and famous who didn't store their fur collection properly only to find it rotting and unwearable at a later date. Times have changed of course and there are fewer people investing in fur collections today. However, for those that do they need to realise that climate controlled storage is the key. I have been involved in the supply of climate controlled storage for artefacts at the British Museum which included valuable, old stuffed polar bears and gorillas. It was the fur on the animals that needed the greatest protection. The principle of their storage applies to fur coats and hats in exactly the same way.

With champagne, well they didn't always realise it hadn't been stored properly - they were too eager to drink it! I'm not sure it's any different with people today! In fact, there's a myth about storing champagne. Many wine 'experts' have long maintained that you should never store champagne for long in the fridge believing that the air in a fridge is too dry and that vibrations from the motor and the fridge's internal light also had a detrimental effect.

However, thanks to a research team at Barcelona University, they have conclusively proven that champagne benefits from being kept long term in a refrigerator. Apparently, they discovered that it prevented the development of a compound (5-HMF) that turns wine bad. In tests over 2 years they were able to show that refrigerating sparkling wine almost completely prevents it from browning. Click here to read more on this.

So there you have it ... if you want to keep good champers at its best, keep it in the fridge!

If you are lucky enough to have a wine cellar then you will need to install a suitable system to maintain proper temperature and humidity. If you don't have one, you should! Check out the specialized refrigeration systems from top European manufacturer Intarcon. It could be the wisest additional investment you ever make :)