Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny

Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Should Cognac be cellared upright or on its side?

—Phillip C., Malaysia

Dear Phillip,

I’ve fielded a couple Cognac questions in the past. If you’ve never had it, it’s a brandy made mostly from the Ugni Blanc grape.

Unlike some fine wines, Cognac isn't intended for aging. Once bottled, Cognac stops maturing, which eliminates the need for long-term storage. That said, it can also last a very long time.

Even though many Cognacs use a cork for a stopper, the corks are often topped with a plastic or metal cap, which helps prevent the cork from drying out. The consensus is that Cognac can be stored upright in a cool dark place. No need to store it on its side or rotate the bottle. Once opened, the contents can evaporate slowly and the flavors fade, but you probably won’t notice any change for months.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.