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Snooth User: jaywalia

Bottle positioning during storage.

Posted by jaywalia, Mar 4, 2012.

Hello Snooth-ers hope all of you are having a lovely day. I've been meaning to ask this, what is the best position to store wine bottles. Some put em on horizontal racks, some put them at an angle with the cork side up while I've also been told to store my champagne bottles at an angel with the base side up. Are there different storage positions for different types of wines? I know Champagne bottles are kept upside down while they bottle ferment but what about consumer cellaring? I'd really like all your views on this subject.


Reply by shsim, Mar 4, 2012.

I am not an authority on cellaring but from what I know, having the wine in contact with the cork to keep it from drying out is always a good thing. That is unnecessary though if you have a screw cap bottle which is getting increasingly popular. I am not sure if it makes a difference with putting them at an angle, but it might be good to have the cork side down to make sure the wine is in contact with the cork. I wonder if it is better though. Hope that helps!

Reply by jaywalia, Mar 4, 2012.

I dont know theres something about screwcap wine that really annoys me. I know most Aussie & NZ wines are going the screwcap direction but to me part of the nostalgic appeal of wine is the uncorking but back to the subject matter what you said seems sound, thanks though, I too am no authority :-)

Reply by shsim, Mar 4, 2012.

Haha yea, I do like my bottles corked too. But I have no problems with screwcaps. There is a huge debate on the boons and banes on each. The grapes are probably the most important thing in winemaking and as long as the bottle allows the expression, I am happy.

Another thing I like about the corks are that you can make arts and crafts with it. My current project is making a headboard. I have not done much with screwcaps...

Reply by GregT, Mar 5, 2012.

jay - do a search on this site for that information. Been discussed before several times if you're interested in more viewpoints.  Bottom line is that it really shouldn't matter.  It's much easier to store a pile of bottles on their sides and that's why it was usually done, and I suppose people had the idea that the cork needed to be kept wet, but if you think about it, that doesn't really make any sense. 

Corks "dry out" when the bottle is on the side just as much as when it's upright.  I've opened enough old bottles to testify to that.  Moreover, the humidity inside the air space is nearly 100 pct even with the bottle upright.  Finally, if the cork were actually kept moist due to the wine on the inside being in contact, that would mean that there's a constant loss of liquid through the cork, resulting in increasing concentration inside the bottle. That's not what happens. And you'd have to account for the capsule as well, so that would mean your air is getting through the capsule and then drying out the tiny piece of cork surface, which sucks liquid out of the bottle. In theory, if you took the capsule off one bottle, it should dry faster than a comparable bottle next to it.

Store the wine in any position that makes sense to you based on your space and physical conditions.  If you have a bin, as I said, it's a lot easier to stack bottles when on their sides.  But I've stored wine upright for years with no ill effects. People tend to repeat things they've heard or read as if those things are revealed truths, so I imagine if you do an internet search, there will be all kinds of experts who explain why bottles need be stored sideways. Take it for what it's worth.

As far as nostalgic appeal, I get the same warm feelings taking the bubble wrap off a new cable for my cell phone charger. Just one more irritation in life.

Reply by outthere, Mar 5, 2012.

I leave mine in the orignal cardboard box on the capsule unless they are in my temp controlled storage. Then they are resting on racks  flat on their sides. Now, ask me if it makes a difference. 

Reply by jaywalia, Mar 6, 2012.

@shsim: the juice does indeed always come first!

@GregT: Thank you so much for your detailed explanation and time. I did try to search the forum before starting the topic I guess i didnt go back far enough but thanks again for sharing with me.

@outthere: Im gonna go out on a limb and guess 'No' but I'm gonna ask anyways, 'does it make a difference'. I'm a relative noob when it comes to this aspect of wine.

Reply by outthere, Mar 6, 2012.


@outthere: Im gonna go out on a limb and guess 'No' but I'm gonna ask anyways, 'does it make a difference'. I'm a relative noob when it comes to this aspect of wine.


My SWAG is, "It can't hurt" so humor me ;-p

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