ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

I’ve been trying to find an answer to this question for a while and can’t seem to get one. I have some high-end bottles stored on the presentation shelves in my Eurocaves, and they are at an angle so one can see the label. The entire cork is clearly not touching the wine. Can this affect my wine? Should I be rotating different bottles?

—Nathan K., West Bloomfield, Mich.

Dear Nathan,

Yes, if the bottles are lying at too steep an angle from horizontal, the wine will not be in full contact with the cork. Wines age better if the bottles are lying flat on their sides, which helps prevent the cork from drying out.

You sound like you bought those high-end bottles to drink, not just to look at, so you need to consider moving them to a part of your storage system that will keep them better. I’d move your everyday drinking wines to the spots that are less storage-friendly, in anticipation that they won’t be there long. If you have friends that you want to impress with your wines, you can move the fancy ones back to the presentation shelf before inviting them over. But try to avoid moving the wines around too much, or you will disturb the sediment, which also isn’t a good idea.

Or, you could impress and possibly educate your friends by letting them know that you’re aware of how to care for important wines. “Yeah, this is my wine collection. I have the most valuable wines where they won’t be disturbed and will age well.”

—Dr. Vinny


Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

MEMBER LOGIN

= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Free Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences

Classifieds

The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories