Published 16 January 2014
Do you have any wine that you have laid down to age? Where are you keeping it? Please tell me it isn’t :
- in the cupboard next to the boiler
- in the kitchen
- in the shed/garage/other outside (uninsulated) building
Wine does not like excessive temperature – low or high. Cork does not like temperature fluctuations. Paper and cork do not like excessive humidity.
So where do you put it? Ideally, in a cellar that is naturally cool and stable. Or in a spiral cellar. Or in a wine fridge. However, if you’ve got a case of wine sealed in its box, chances are you’ve found a cupboard to put it in that is relatively stable.
But how do you know? You could buy a digital thermometer that tells you temperature and humidity, then regularly record the readings.
Or you could get the coolest gadget that I’ve seen for years and get graphs like this:
Sensorist has built a wireless sensor system that sends temperature and humidity readings via your internet router every 15 minutes. Your measurements are stored on Sensorist’s servers, enabling you to view your data from anywhere via their website or smartphone app.
As well as cool graphs, you can get a full history of your readings and custom alarms when your min/max thresholds are exceeded.
As Kasper Mejlgaard, CEO and Founder of Sensorist, says: “It seemed incredibly old-fashioned that one had to manually write down temperature and humidity on a daily or weekly basis, to be able to follow the changes of one’s environment”
How does it actually work?
You plug a small box (“gateway”) into your internet router and put the wireless sensors in each area you want to monitor. For example, I put one sensor in the cupboard where I store my cases of wine, dessert wines and sparkling wines. I then put a second sensor in my wine fridge which holds special individual bottles of red.
Sensorist also has a bottle probe. You fill an empty wine bottle with water, shove the probe in (which acts like a cork), then lay the bottle in the environment you want to monitor: telling you what is going on inside the bottles lying nearby. (If you’re a keen gardener, you can also use the sensors along with a special soil temperature probe.)
Mejlgaard sums it up when he says: “We really feel that ease of use and wonderful design are fundamental to our users, so that they can focus on getting insights and history of their data, and not have to worry about a difficult set up, configuring and other technical stuff, and just let us do the hard work of visualizing and applying statistics that’s useful to the user”
Happily, I can confirm that they have hit all of these goals: it is easy to use, good looking, and delivers fascinating and beautiful data.
I’m hooked. I will never, ever go back to cheap digital thermometers where I have to write down the readings manually.
Sensorist is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and ships to both the UK and US. Prices start from €108 (excl. VAT) with the wine packs starting from€128 (excl. VAT). To buy these awesome gadgets, go to http://shop.sensorist.com/
Sensorist sent me a sample sensor pack, but I received no remuneration other than that. All opinions are my own.