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 often see racking in cellars that store bottles on a 45-degree angle so that the bottle is displayed. Is this a safe practice, or does it cause the cork to lose contact with the wine and thereby dry out over time?

—Hugh, Toronto

Dear Hugh,

I'm sitting here with some bottles of wine and a protractor, and it appears that with most bottles and fills, wine comes in contact with the cork at a minimum of a 45-degree angle. It's better than standing the bottles completely upright (though not as good as lying them completely on their side), and as you say, it's a good position to showcase (and read) labels.

—Dr. Vinny


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