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Snooth User: hiredweapon

storage: up right, on side?

Posted by hiredweapon, Feb 26, 2009.

I am fairly certain the correct way to store wine is on it's side.
However, many wine stores stock wine standing upright.
Is it ok to store wine standing upright?
If not, how long can wines hold up if stored upright?

I am ssuming traditional corks here, not synthetic, or screw cap.

Thanks!

Replies

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Reply by Philip James, Feb 26, 2009.

Hi there - wine should generally be stored on its side - this is to keep the cork wet, so that the seal retains its integrity. That means that screw caps dont need to be stored sideways.

Stores generally store wines upright because they sell them fast enough that the corks dont dry out. Wine are also generally shipped standing up (exceptions are bordeaux and burgundy and some other expensive wines that come in flat boxes).

It depends on the conditions, but an upright wine will last at least 3-6 months, although by the time you receive it, it may have already been upright for a lot of that time (in ships, trucks, distributor warehouses, the store shelf, as well as in the winery itself).

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Reply by John Andrews, Feb 26, 2009.

At the winery, wines are stored in their case boxes upside down and all the shipping boxes we use have them on their side. As Philip has said, you want to keep the cork moist to keep it from drying out.

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Reply by hiredweapon, Feb 26, 2009.

aha!
So that's why I opened a case right side up, from the outside, and the bottles were upside down, once I opened it.
I though that was strange.

Thx all!

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Reply by Eric Guido, Feb 26, 2009.

My wife stubbed me the other day as we were looking at pictures of a prestigious producers cellar, where all of his (large amount) of magnums were standing up right. She asked "I thought wine was supposed to be stored on its side?" I didn't know what to say. All I can imagine is that maybe they don't keep them like that except for pictures.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 27, 2009.

Wine is best stored on it's side but...

There have been any studies that show we are much more upset about this than the corks are. That little bit of air in the headspace between the cork and the liquid tends to be very humid. Corks can go for years with bottle standing up. Is it the best way to go? Of course not. Will it have any affect on a bottle of the course of a year or two while the cork is young and fresh, not really.

The real risk in standing wines up is with old wines where the cork has lost it's elasticity and the fluid in the cork keeps it inflated and gives it the ability to hold it's seal. Let it dry out and the seal is broken, or at minimum badly damaged. Lay the bottle down again and you'll have a leaker.

I don't worry too much about these sorts of things. I've got bottles that have been stood up and lost in corners of the cellar for years and years and there fine when i finally get to them. I don't recommend doing that but wine is much more durable than we expect.

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Reply by vinorojo, Feb 27, 2009.

I think this may be one of the reasons that many producers wax dip the corks on their large format bottles. Because large bottles are often shelf pieces that usually sit in display much longer than a 750 ml bottle. Coating the bottle neck with wax will allow much less oxygen, if any, into the cork, and therefore into the wine, allowing the cork to be better protected and the wine to age longer. Its all about retaining moisture.

I think this also may be why sometimes you find a cork that looks tapered, with it being larger in diameter on the end that was in contact with the wine. The top end of the cork has had too much air exposure and is beginning to dry out but the bottom of the cork is still wet.

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Reply by vino83, Mar 1, 2009.

How about storing an opened bottle:

White obviously goes in the frig, but how long can you really expect it to hold up?

Red I'm not so sure about...ideas?

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Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Mar 2, 2009.

I often put both my open reds and my whites in the fridge. The cooler temperature slows down the oxidation reactions and helps preserve the wines for longer. Wine usually stays good for a couple of days this way - some wines are sturdier than others and can last quite a bit longer, 7-10 days or so. Just remember to take your reds out of the fridge 30-45 minutes before drinking to allow them to warm back up.

I'd also recommend a vacuvin pump and stoppers (buy extra stoppers if you are serious!). This simple device creates a partial vacuum in the headspace above the wine in an open bottle. It will further extend an open bottle's life.

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Reply by vino83, Mar 2, 2009.

Great thank you...just pulled a Cote de Rhone out of the frig from last night.

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Reply by vino83, Mar 2, 2009.

I finished the Ampelia off tonight with dinner and it was good, but not as great as I was expecting.

I let it sit out for awhile to adjust to the temperature of the room before drinking, but only wonder what would have happened if I had poured the reamaing wine from last night in a decanter to consume tonight?


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