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. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Yo Vin,

I'll be quick and to the point. I have a small cellared wine collection. Do I need to (from time to time) rotate my long-term cellared bottles? If so, what is the proper procedure? Thanx.

—Joseph R., Woodbridge, Ontario

Yo, uh, Joe,

Nope—only if you're making sparkling wine.

Some people who have seen the "riddling" process in making Champagne (where bottles are systematically turned to loosen the sediment that collects in the neck) confuse it with what they're supposed to do in their own cellar.

You don't need to rotate your bottles, and actually, I strongly advise against it. I like my bottles to lay still, so that the sediment collects on one side and your bottles aren't cloudy and chewy with it. Furthermore, there's some concern that vibration or other disturbance of older wines can lead to premature aging. Even if you think this is hogwash, I can say for certain that vibration (or rotation) will not help your wine. So you can let sleeping bottles lie.

—Dr. Vinny


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