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Can I store my wines in Styrofoam?

Peter D. Meltzer
Posted: October 22, 2010

Q: I have a couple of very large bottles, a 5-liter and a 6-liter that were shipped to me in a Styrofoam box. Is it safe to leave such bottles in the Styrofoam, or will any type of fumes or toxic chemicals eventually penetrate the cork?

A: I don't think fumes are a major issue. There is the possibility that the Styrofoam boxes might trap some moisture in your cellar, eventually causing the labels to stain. If you don't have bins or racks large enough to accommodate your large-format bottles sans Styrofoam, you can always lay them (horizontally) on the floor and use some rubber bumpers to keep them in place. While the value of a first-growth Bordeaux or a wine from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti can be enhanced when the bottles are still in their original wooden case, it is unlikely that original Styrofoam will have the same effect.

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