Important Industry News!: Store your corks upright
Hello my fellow wine drinkers, phenophiles and Rosé enthusiasts,
I hope it has not been too long since I have seen you, and if it has—where have you been?!? Here at the winery we have been hard at work…bottling, disgorging and building (new club areas that is)
If it has been a moment too long since we’ve last clinked glasses, you might not have heard the most recent industry buzz:
If you have been storing your wines laying down, you might be doing it wrong!
For decades we’ve tucked our bottles away horizontally, or upside down, believing we must keep the wine in contact with the cork so as to not allow the cork to dry out. “Baloney!” is what the newest research is saying. The top space of the bottle is so moist that the corks will not dry out due to the humidity in the bottle. In fact, there has been research to support that storing a bottle on its side compromises the cork faster due to the wine accelerating the weakening of the cork’s cell walls.
Shocked? So were we! The winery has been storing our bottles right-side up as well!
We hope to see everyone at the winery soon to share more updates, neat facts, and most importantly, a delicious glass of wine
For more information about storing your wine, please click here
(full research article available here: http://quevedoportwine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Skouroumounis-et-al-2005b.pdf)
Cheers to you!
-Teresa and the Rappahannock family
Jury appears to still be out. (Wine Spectator hasn't changed their basic recommendation since 2011, and mentions horizontal is space-efficient) https://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/how-to-store-wine-temperature-humidity-coolers-and-more
The Spruce Eats (updated 10/2018) https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-store-wine-3511140
Drinks Business (updated 6/2018) https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2018/06/storing-wine-on-its-side-is-bullsht-says-scientist/
Our apologies, we initially forgot to include links to the research - here's a quick summary of the original research paper: https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2018/06/storing-wine-on-its-side-is-bullsht-says-scientist/
And here's a link to view the entirety of the document: http://quevedoportwine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Skouroumounis-et-al-2005b.pdf
You both ask great questions about how to deal with this when it comes to storage, as it potentially creates quite an issue.
Our "long term" storage is all in cases, with bottles right-side-up: of course, unless you have a warehouse at home and individual pallets for storing each of your wines for quick access, that's certainly of no help to you. Our "short term" storage is indeed still horizontal. So for bottles in our warehouse, cased; for bottles that are going to be served or sold in the near future, they go upstairs to the tasting room and are placed horizontally into wine refrigerators or wine racks, as the short term cork contact is the only realistic trade-off for the logistics of having to organize so many wines in a reasonable amount of square footage.
At home, I think the most simple way to address this would be to stack wines in cases somewhere out of the way (ideally, a cool basement?) and stock your fridges and wine racks "as needed" with bottles that you anticipate opening. While it definitely doesn't help resolve an investment made in a very large wine cooler, or a big beautiful display rack, it's at least a short term solution to help alleviate the potential risks facing longer-term aging/holding/storage of your prized possessions. We'll definitely continue to look into this topic and share additional information/tips/ideas as we come across them for how best to store wine at home.
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