Can a wine be “bruised” during the normal jostling that occurs when it is removed from storage racks and replaced?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Can a wine be “bruised” during the normal jostling that occurs when it is removed from storage racks and replaced? If so, what effect does this bruising have on the wine?

—Chris, Orlando, Fla.

Dear Chris,

A wine does not get “bruised” by moving it around. And let me address some other myths, such as that wine will bruise if you make a cork “pop” or bruise if you decant it: no and no. Outside of smashing a bottle on a concrete floor, there is nothing I know of that will take a perfectly fine wine and damage it in one movement.

This is not the same thing as a free pass to manhandle wines. Treat them gently (you’re less likely to drop them), especially older wines, which are more delicate—and by more delicate, I just mean that the cork is more likely to be crumbly, and the wine is more likely to fade quicker once it is opened. There’s also the concern of sediment—if you shake up an older wine, you might disturb the sediment. This isn’t harmful to the wine, but sediment is gunky and unpleasant to drink. It can take days (or weeks or months, according to some) before the sediment settles again.

—Dr. Vinny

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