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 have an idea of putting a bottle of wine in a vacuum-sealed plastic wrapping (or bag) and then storing it in a large container full of water. A large container of water would keep temperature more constant. And the cork being completely cut off from any exposure to oxygen and without a possibility of drying out would last forever. Also, it would be impossible for even particles of oxygen to penetrate the cork and get inside the bottle. Does this all make any sense?

—Christopher S., Adelaide, Australia

Dear Christopher,

Yes, absolutely. Let me point out that there have been some trials already with underwater cellaring all over the world, and the results have been pretty good so far. But let me tell you the same thing I told the guy who asked about burying his wine in the backyard: there are concerns about label decomposition, and of course it’s not very practical to grab a wetsuit every time you want to pull a bottle to drink with dinner. If you’re thinking about trying to sell these wines later, until the practice is more widely accepted, buyers are probably going to wrinkle their noses at the wine’s provenance.

—Dr. Vinny


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