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.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

Should I remove tissue or paper from bottles before storing in my Euro Cave? I have read in some publications that humidity from the cave might destroy the labels if left in the tissue/paper. However, if it is not the original packaging, would that degrade its value if or when I decide to "flip" it? Also, I have Champagnes in gift boxes; is there an impact on those as well?

—Tanya, Orange Beach, Ala.

Dear Tanya,

I like to leave my wines in their original packaging when possible. I think it adds to the enjoyment when I finally unwrap them to drink. (I'm also a purist about opening gifts from Santa Claus on Christmas Day, not Christmas Eve). If you're keeping the wine as an investment, then the original packaging certainly adds value. Tissue paper helps keep the labels pretty, both from mold and from nicks on the label—although if your cellar is extra moist, a colorful tissue paper might bleed onto a pale label.

—Dr. Vinny


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