OK to store long-term in OWC?

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Tariq K
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OK to store long-term in OWC?

#1 Post by Tariq K » August 17th, 2019, 2:07 pm

Hi all,

I just got my first ever delivery of wine in original wood cases. See photo below. Future me is very excited!

I don't plan on cracking the first bottle for at least five years, and probably closer to ten. However, I'm wondering if it's okay to keep them for the long term in the unopened wood box.

A bit of internet searching revealed no consensus on this topic. Seems like a lot of people store for the long term in the unopened wood box. Others think that it's better from an air circulation point of view to open up the box, at least on one side. I'm sure there are plenty of others still who open up the boxes to try out a bottle (trying to avoid this).

What do you all think? I'd much rather keep them in the unopened boxes, tbh - less temptation that way plus better for long-term storage. But I don't want to wreck my precious elixir.

Thanks
TK
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#2 Post by NED VALOIS » August 17th, 2019, 2:10 pm

OK !

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#3 Post by Marcus Dean » August 17th, 2019, 2:12 pm

100% OK, vast majority of my wine is stored in OWC

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#4 Post by YLee » August 17th, 2019, 2:12 pm

Good to go
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#5 Post by Cris Whetstone » August 17th, 2019, 2:17 pm

It's fine. It's also preferred if you ever decide to sell.

They are great for stacking for long term storage. They suck for moving things around often so when you break them open I would transfer the bottles to boxes or racks if you can.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#6 Post by Neal.Mollen » August 17th, 2019, 2:18 pm

I'd probably open them (a) to try one of each -- you have a case, so monitor the evolution!; and (b) I'd want to make sure nothing is amiss that could be fixed now but not in a few years time (stuff happens!)

But there is zero risk aging them in the OWC. Forget anything you may have read on the internet. Except for this.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#7 Post by Jay Opperman » August 17th, 2019, 2:54 pm

It’s perfectly fine to leave them in OWC

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#8 Post by Carlton McCrindle » August 17th, 2019, 3:26 pm

I have been taking the paper off of the bottles before putting the boxes in the cellar. Necessary?

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#9 Post by Eric Ifune » August 17th, 2019, 3:32 pm

I opened a case of 1986 last year. While the wine is fine, some of the labels had fallen off and some had become speckled, probably from humidity.

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#10 Post by Marcus Dean » August 17th, 2019, 3:49 pm

Carlton McCrindle wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 3:26 pm
I have been taking the paper off of the bottles before putting the boxes in the cellar. Necessary?
No not really, unless your cellar has super high humidity (over 80%)

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#11 Post by Matthew Brown » August 17th, 2019, 3:55 pm

If you are handy with a flat head screwdriver you can pry the top off to check the contents and then tap it back into place. You can usually get it all off in one piece and then tap the staples back into their original holes.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#12 Post by Kris Patten » August 17th, 2019, 3:58 pm

What's up with the case of Gordon's Gin or Vodka?

Odd cellar occupant.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#13 Post by T Welch » August 17th, 2019, 4:04 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 3:58 pm
What's up with the case of Gordon's Gin or Vodka?

Odd cellar occupant.
It's gordonswine.com
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#14 Post by alan weinberg » August 17th, 2019, 4:20 pm

Matthew Brown wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 3:55 pm
If you are handy with a flat head screwdriver you can pry the top off to check the contents and then tap it back into place. You can usually get it all off in one piece and then tap the staples back into their original holes.
+1. Have read stories of 11 bottles, bad fills, even a lesser wine being in the box. Check, then store as long as you want.

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#15 Post by Neal.Mollen » August 17th, 2019, 4:28 pm

alan weinberg wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 4:20 pm
Matthew Brown wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 3:55 pm
If you are handy with a flat head screwdriver you can pry the top off to check the contents and then tap it back into place. You can usually get it all off in one piece and then tap the staples back into their original holes.
+1. Have read stories of 11 bottles, bad fills, even a lesser wine being in the box. Check, then store as long as you want.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#16 Post by Tariq K » August 17th, 2019, 5:11 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 3:58 pm
What's up with the case of Gordon's Gin or Vodka?

Odd cellar occupant.
I store my wines the Gordon's Wine & Spirits offsite storage warehouse near Boston! I use their boxes.

Yes, if it were a case of vodka, I think my site credentials would get revoked. [snort.gif]

Gordon's does a great job - full endorsement for anyone considering their services.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#17 Post by Kris Patten » August 17th, 2019, 5:58 pm

Tariq K wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 5:11 pm
Kris Patten wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 3:58 pm
What's up with the case of Gordon's Gin or Vodka?

Odd cellar occupant.
I store my wines the Gordon's Wine & Spirits offsite storage warehouse near Boston! I use their boxes.

Yes, if it were a case of vodka, I think my site credentials would get revoked. [snort.gif]

Gordon's does a great job - full endorsement for anyone considering their services.
Makes way more sense than it being a doomsday stash of well liquors.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#18 Post by Dan Kravitz » August 17th, 2019, 6:10 pm

People have been storing in OWCs for centuries, with problems being extremely rare. Yes, it is theoretically possible that you could buy a case of Lafite, it looks fine in its stamped OWC, but when your granddaughter opens the first bottle 43 years later, it's Chateau Horsep*ss in the box, from Sainte-foy-bordeaux. But not if you have bought from a reputable source.

Put the cases in cool storage and leave them there until you want to drink or sell.

I though Gordon's was sick likker, not well liquor.

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#19 Post by Alan Rath » August 17th, 2019, 7:56 pm

That is one sad looking locker, mostly empty, couple of cases strewn randomly. Get to work! ;)
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#20 Post by Dave Nerland » August 17th, 2019, 8:21 pm

I would store in the OWC. Now if they were banded boxes of DRC, I would not cut the bands, as that would drive the value down.

If you haven't tried those wines (ones in the picture) I would open and try a bottle. Good wine can get better, bad wine never gets better.

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#21 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » August 18th, 2019, 12:01 am

I would definitely check the bottles, even if you are buying from a reputable source. We just took delivery of some more 2006 Comte de Champagne from a great retailer and one of the fancy wooden 6 pack cases had only 5 bottles. No one knows how it happened, and of course it was remedied, but shows it can happen even at excellent stores.

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#22 Post by Julian Marshall » August 18th, 2019, 1:56 am

No problem for storing in OWCs, but another reason to check them is the very unlikely possibility of cardboard being used instead of wood for the stacking things inside the cases. I've had problems with this in the past.

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#23 Post by Jay Opperman » August 18th, 2019, 3:33 am

From experience I would open and check every single OWC I buy.
I had received an OWC 3 pack 2004 Romanee Conti years ago from a new source.My gut told me to cut the band and open the box to check and to my astonishment the case contained 3 bottles of red Sancerre! I nearly fell over. Immediately I called the retailer and sent him pictures. Eventually made good on replacing it but I can only imagine what other collectors are sitting with a three pack Unknowingly that it is not what they think it is.
In the collectible market at this level it is totally acceptable to cut the band open the box and then resecure the band. Clearly better safe than sorry.

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#24 Post by Tariq K » August 18th, 2019, 6:20 am

Alan Rath wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 7:56 pm
That is one sad looking locker, mostly empty, couple of cases strewn randomly. Get to work! ;)
Um, I think you're looking at the rest of the warehouse...

This is the actual locker. Got to about 300 bottles in a year. Frighteningly easy.
Attachment-1 copy.jpg
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#25 Post by R0$$ M 0 R R 1 $ 0 N » August 19th, 2019, 10:46 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 4:28 pm
alan weinberg wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 4:20 pm
Matthew Brown wrote:
August 17th, 2019, 3:55 pm
If you are handy with a flat head screwdriver you can pry the top off to check the contents and then tap it back into place. You can usually get it all off in one piece and then tap the staples back into their original holes.
+1. Have read stories of 11 bottles, bad fills, even a lesser wine being in the box. Check, then store as long as you want.
That's what I am saying
+1

https://www.tenaquip.com/product/fuller ... ccQAvD_BwE

One or two of these small scraper/pry bars make taking the lids off without damaging anything very easy, much better than screwdriver..

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#26 Post by AndrewH » August 19th, 2019, 11:35 am

^ +1 to the prybar approach, and +1 to verifying contents.

If it's something you plan to sell, even as OWC to a collector, that collector would be insane not to verify.

I can't see why a collector would pay more for the privilege of cutting a 10c shipping band that any fraudster could apply around a box filled with lesser bottles. Same for the 10c band with $5 of bespoke printing that one could apply for DRC.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#27 Post by Mike S. » August 19th, 2019, 9:57 pm

I have stored in OWC for fifty years, no problems.. Please check each box as soon after you receive it. Over the years I have had an odd bottle put in with eleven, a different wine, a leaker, missing a bottle, bottles with out labels, etc.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#28 Post by NED VALOIS » August 19th, 2019, 10:09 pm

Yes, "Trust, but verify " ! [cheers.gif]

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#29 Post by Paul McCourt » August 20th, 2019, 7:06 pm

Yup. Always crack them open and peek in. After that, store away in them.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#30 Post by JonathanG » August 20th, 2019, 9:41 pm

What about the "wrapped in paper" question? My Sassicaia was wrapped in some pretty Sassicaia branded paper. Leave on or take off?
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#31 Post by NED VALOIS » August 20th, 2019, 10:03 pm

I remove any tissue, as it can become saturated & stuck to labels !
This may reduce some resell value to some , but not me .

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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#32 Post by JonathanG » August 20th, 2019, 10:12 pm

Good point.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#33 Post by GregT » August 20th, 2019, 11:54 pm

I would wrap them in tin foil. Or aluminum foil.

The tissue may invite silverfish.

And the OWC may be a vector for bacteria, mold, and all kinds of other things.

I would take the wine out of the boxes and burn the boxes as soon as they arrived. Get a good disinfectant, wipe down the bottles, burn all the packaging, store in a sterile environment for fifty years. That's how wine was meant to be kept. Maybe even remove the labels as you don't know what they'd be hiding.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#34 Post by Cris Whetstone » August 21st, 2019, 5:04 pm

GregT wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 11:54 pm
I would wrap them in tin foil. Or aluminum foil.

The tissue may invite silverfish.

And the OWC may be a vector for bacteria, mold, and all kinds of other things.

I would take the wine out of the boxes and burn the boxes as soon as they arrived. Get a good disinfectant, wipe down the bottles, burn all the packaging, store in a sterile environment for fifty years. That's how wine was meant to be kept. Maybe even remove the labels as you don't know what they'd be hiding.
Definitely wrap the head....errrr....above the neck in tin foil. Definitely. [foilhat.gif]
Last edited by Cris Whetstone on August 22nd, 2019, 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#35 Post by R@y.Tupp@+sch » August 21st, 2019, 5:26 pm

As others have posted, open and check the contents of the owc’s.
Before Barry Silver went hardcore, he sent me several cases with much lesser wines in the bottom layer of “sealed” owc’s.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#36 Post by Richard Albert » August 21st, 2019, 6:16 pm

I was about to deliver a case of Lynch Bages and opened the case to check contents. The lower six bottles were Petrus, someone forgot to update the contents list on the 3x5!!!

Nobody cares if the staples or brads go back in the original holes. Showing it was opened and contents checked reveals a responsible and aware owner. No experienced person is going is going to sell or buy an unopened case.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#37 Post by lleichtman » August 21st, 2019, 8:45 pm

Whenever I get a box, which isn't that often, I keep the wine in it until it's about half gone. Many of our wine boxes have become bird houses.
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Re: OK to store long-term in OWC?

#38 Post by Robert Sand » August 22nd, 2019, 7:35 am

Absolutely ok for the wine. I have most of my Bordeaux in OWC.
Only if the cellar is quite humid the labels can suffer a bit when down on the floor, less when further up.

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