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dumb wine question

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I received a gift of wines that are meant to age up to 20 years. Do they need to be stored on their sides or can I store them upright? Thanks.

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  1. Store them on their sides in a cool place, out of direct sunlight.

    1. You store the bottles on their sides to keep the corks moist. If the corks are allowed to dry out, then air may be allowed to enter the bottles, and that will ruin the wine.

      Out of sunlight is also a good suggestion, as is cool. Try and keep the bottles in a place where the temperature will not change a lot.

      1. Forgetting that this needs to go in the wine forum for a moment- these need to be stored on their sides out of light in a dark cool place. How cool matters depending on if it's a white or red. Also, do some research on your bottles. I've had some people tell me before that "I'm giving you this bottle as a keeper to age for like 10-20 years" when really it couldn't have taken more than 2-3 years to be ready. Soemtimes reds just aren't meant to be aged very long and some aren't meant to be aged at all. It's very wine specific.

        1. Aimée, as everyone else has told you, wines should be stored in a cool, dark place and *on their sides* -- but if you *really* want to know how longthey need to be aged/stored, tell us what they are . . . .

          1. Test photo of Moccagatta Winery in Barbaresco, Italy.

             
            4 Replies
            1. re: BN1

              That photo function is really neat. Thanks Chowhounds. If you click on the photo in my previous post to enlarge it, you will see my wife and Franco Minuto, who owns the Moccagatta Winery along with his brother Sergio. This picture is in their personal wine cellar. If you note the bottles with the tan labels behind Franco's head, those are from 1971. The bottles without labels on the top shelf to the left of my wife are from much older vintages, which were passed on to the brothers. The bottles below are from special vintages to be enjoyed by the brothers and their friends. Franco says the old bottles are an inheritance to his sons. Obviously, they place a high personal value on this collection. I noticed the bottles were all standing up and questioned how to store wine. Franco said that bottles on their side leak sometimes and wine is lost. He said he had never opened a bad bottle from the collection nor lost any of the wine.

              1. re: BN1

                I would think the corks would rip in half from not being soaked and you could very easily end up with a lot of cork sediment in your wine from storing it that way. That's really the only reason that one stores on the side. I am not sure I buy the surface area of wine to air in the bottle ratio argument.

                1. re: jpschust

                  The problem with storing cork-finished bottles standing upright is *not* that "cork sediment" will be in your wine. It's that, once the cork dries out and shrinks, it can let excess oxygen and/or harmful bacteria into the bottle and the wine will spoil. If the cork shrinks and then the bottle is placed on its side, the bottle can leak.

                  There is no problem storing bottles sealed with a screw-cap in a vertical position.

                2. re: BN1

                  I would think that if a cork is loose enough to allow a wine to link when stored on its side, you'd have issues with the wine regardless of how it was stored.

              2. As others have stated, on their sides. As others have stated, cool (55° F) is considered ideal for aging for personal consumption. Cooler, if you wish to resell the wines in 20 years, higher if you wish to consume sooner. Most important, constant temp, then dark. Higher humidity, up to ~60% is good for the cork. Above, and mold can easily form, mucking up the lables.

                As for the age-worthiness of the wines, I am with the other posters. What did you get? Twenty years is a good rule of thumb for 1er Cru Bdx., Burgs, Vintage Ports, and some few other wines, especially some of the fortified, or dessert wines. Many wines, that folk "assume" will age for that long, will not.

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