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,

You have mentioned that "vibration" is a problem in storing wines. One wall of my cellar is on the same wall as the thru-wall chilling unit (a Breezeaire unit 6 ft. off the floor). There is a "little" vibration if you feel the wall around the unit, but my wood racks (3 ft. tall) are mounted on the concrete floor and only attached to the wall in a few spots. Should I be concerned enough about vibration to try to isolate the racks from that wall?

—Richard, San Antonio, Tex.

Dear Richard,

When I suggest vibration is a problem, I do so to discourage those who still insist a spot on top of their refrigerator is a good place to store wine. It's not. If your house is near a train track or subway, you may wish to store your wine elsewhere. It seems to me that the vibration you're dealing with is nominal. Even so, if you can avoid storing your wine on that particular wall, why don't you? Or at least use that wall for short-term collectables, rather than the stuff you'll want to hold on to for decades.

My advice for all wine storage questions is the same: Do your best to avoid heat, light, vibration, and temperature fluctuations. But try to not be too paranoid about it.

—Dr. Vinny

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