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Aug 21, 2007 12:59 PM

Wine stored standing upright

A friend wasn't aware you should store wine laying on its side. (She comes from a family that doesn't drink due to their religion and lived in a dry county up until 2 years ago) She has a couple of bottles that have been stored standing upright, some longer than others. Are the bottles drinkable?

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  1. If they have metal caps, they most probably are. Cork stoppers may dry out and crack, allowing air into the bottles.

    1. Depending on how well the capsule held up, temperature under which they were stored, etc. they could be fine. If the cork has slipped down or is bulging, might not be so good. Also, you can check to see if there's much "ullage" (loss of liquid due to evaporation) taking the liquid level down below the shoulder of the bottles.

      These will give you some visual clues however . . . best way to figure it out is to pop 'em open and give 'em a try. Oh, and it's never too late to lay 'em on their side if they look okay. Salud!

      1. If the corks were good to begin with the wine should be fine. Temperature is far more important than humidity. I have had bottles standing upright in my 55 degree cellar in Phoenix (humidity stays at about 50%) for five or more years with no problem.

        On the other hand wine stored for five years at 70-75 degrees will show marked deterioration.

        1. If I infer correctly, these bottles can't be more than 2 years in storage? No poblem. As others said, temperatue might be a concern, but under two years upright probably isn't a problem.