Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I love screwcapped wines, but I had two stored on their sides that started leaking. Is that common?
—Cathie, Colville, Wash.
Storing cork-sealed wine on its side is important (it prevents the cork from drying out). Wines with twist-off caps don’t need to be stored in any particular orientation, but it makes sense to store them horizontally with the rest of your wine collection, and no, they should not leak.
I’ve run into both leaky screwcaps and leaky corks, though the latter are far more common.
According to Wine Spectator’s Napa tasting department, which has processed thousands of bottles of screwcapped wines for official blind tastings over the years, screwcap leaks are rare, and such instances can typically be traced to damage resulting from the aluminum cap or sleeve colliding with something, like another bottle or a wine rack.