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Dear Dr. Vinny,
After withdrawing approximately 3 ounces of wine from a bottle using the Coravin, does it then make any difference in storing that tapped bottle horizontally or vertically?
It seems that the minimal amount of argon gas injected into the bottle would not be sufficient to blanket the wine in the bottle that is stored horizontally, but might well be able to protect the wine if it is stored vertically?
—Bob, Pleasant Hill, Calif.
The folks at Coravin confirm this, suggesting that wines still be stored on their sides after using the Coravin system, but they note that the cork may take an extra minute or so to fully re-seal after the needle is removed from a chilled bottle.
As you mention, the Coravin replaces the wine removed from the bottle with inert argon gas, which helps pressurize the inside of the bottle and, because it is heavier than oxygen, provides a protective blanket that prevents the wine from oxidizing. Even though the surface area of the wine in the bottle changes if the bottle is upright or on its side (or even at an angle) the liquid in the bottle and the argon gas will both settle to their lowest points as gravity dictates, so while the layer of argon gas blanketing the larger surface area of wine inside a bottle on its side may be thinner than the layer protecting an upright bottle, the layer will still be evenly distributed across the surface of the wine.