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.
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.”
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