What is it about vibration that's bad for wine?
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 have read many recommendations on proper wine storage and the effects of temperature, humidity, etc., but how exactly does vibration damage wine? Is there a relationship between the frequency and strength like there is for temperature variations?
—Michael L., Arroyo Grande, Calif.
There's not a lot of consensus about exactly how bad vibration is for wine (or even exactly why it's bad). First off, I avoid vibration because I don't want to disturb a wine's sediment. I also worry that vibration over time will agitate a wine, which could speed up the chemical reactions going on inside the bottle. I only got a C in high-school chemistry, but vibration is introducing energy into the bottle, and this added activity could affect the process of aging. (It's the same reason I avoid mechanical bulls at all costs). In any case, vibration won't help your wine. So I recommend avoiding it.