So how about storage, bubbleheads?

Someone mentioned on one of the recent cellar threads that Champagne might better stored standing up. Is this the general consensus? I have recently started buying champagne and I am up to about 50 bottles. If it is true that I can store them standing up…bonus! What say you?

Really? Nobody has an opinion on this? I think the internet might have ended and I missed it!

I have been buying and cellaring champagnes (in various formats) for 5+ years and have always kept the bottles on their side. I’m not hurting for cellar space, though, so I see no reason to keep them upright.

I thought they had to be on their side just because it made sense but in a recent thread that I really wish I could remember, someone suggested that its actually better to stand them up. I shouldve asked where that came from then :frowning:

Has anyone ever been in a cave or warehouse of a producer where the bottles were standing up? I haven’t…

Me neither :slight_smile:.

I stand up the vast majority of my Champagne bottles. I’ve been doing it for 9 years now without any issue.

I get the feeling you can’t go wrong either way.

Doing the same thing over and over doesn’t mean there is not a better way.

I’ve heard about storing bottles of Madeira standing up in order to preserve the cork but not about champagne. My bottles go into standard racks.

Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC) recommends upright storage at least according to Herve This and Jancis.

Does it say why ?

My This book is in storage, but i think the gas pressure keeps the cork moist and the cork is less likely to disintegrate or impart flaws when not in contact with wine. The english CIVC website makes no mention of vertical storage in their recommendations and the emphasis is on a temperature below 59 and no exposure to light.

I saw a reference to the pressure on the gasses keeping the cork moist when I googled the question. I guess the CIVC did some study with several thousand bottles and I couldnt find the actual study but the guy talking about it said it was something like 22 months? I wonder how cork degradation is any different than say white wines? And how it can be concluded in that short a span.

I’ve done a little research on this recently for an upcoming purchase. I have no first hand experience so this is purely based on what I’ve read.

The study was done from 1986 to 1992 so long term there may be more of a difference. The CIVC didn’t notice any taste differences, but the elasticity of the cork was noticeably better on the upright bottles. More force was required to remove the corks from the upright bottles than from the bottles on their sides. I don’t believe there was absolute proof, but the belief is that the acidity and alcohol caused the change in cork structure. It was also questioned if storing a bottle upright would prevent cork taint since the wine itself will not come in contact with the cork.

Some other comments people have made is that CO2 is heavier than O2 so upright storage may create an oxygen barrier.

If these are all true statements then in my opinion it is probably better to stand upright. If the cork structure can change from the alcohol and acidity then oxygen could enter the bottle. Since the CO2 is no longer between the wine and the oxygen entering the bottle, the wine will age faster and there is a higher risk of cork taint. If stored upright the moisture of the cork is maintained through the internal pressure and the gas and should any oxygen enter the bottle the CO2 has created a barrier.


You can store bottles either way - upright or on their sides. In theory, storing them upright has some advantages, but you can argue that any of these advantages are negligible, not likely to occur in the real world, or statistically insignificant. The end result is that sparkling wines give you the advantage of storing either way based on what works best for your storage situation. I store Champagnes both ways depending on what space I have available and where a certain bottle may or may not fit.

I store both ways for space reasons and haven’t noticed any difference…for whatever little that is worth.

Some other comments people have made is that CO2 is heavier than O2 so upright storage may create an oxygen barrier.

Not sure about the other reasons that were cited, but this one is definitely not correct. Personally, I think the temperature for long term storage is more significant than the orientation.


I’ve never seen a producer with upright storage.

Yes, but most of these are still in crown cap pre-disgorgement are they not? the reality is that upright storage is not efficient for winery level quantities