'The idea that storing a wine on its side to stop the cork drying out is bullsh•t.'

Direct quote from the head of R&D for Amorin, one of the world’s largest cork producers . . .


Awwww, Larry… this article is total BS itself. Us wine geeks know that you’re supposed to
store your wine on its side to keep the cork moist. We’ve been told that by the “experts” ever since we
started learning about wine. Us wine geeks do not let facts get in the way of what we “know” to be true.
This all is heresy. [snort.gif]

My experience (now that I’ve opened a few btls over the yrs) is that wine stored upright usually
have sound corks, even stored like that for 20+ yrs. In fact, most of the old ones I’ve opened that
have deteriorated/crumbly corks have been stored on their sides or up-side down.

So this a great business opportunity for someone. All the wine racks folks have store the btls on their side.
What would a wine rack that stores the btls upright look like?? I can’t envision what one would look like.
It would, of course, have to hold Turley & SQN btls.
But then…I’m not a rocket scientist.

Some scientists have said this for years :wink:

But if you store the wine upright, it won’t get the benefit of corklins.

Funny, but he actually touched upon this in his last sentence (and yep, same guy who came up with that term). He basically said that because the moisture was so high in the head space, chemicals like corklins - and TCA - will still get into the wine even if the cork does not physically touch it.

Interesting stuff, no?


What many people have said is that if the bottle is stored where it is too dry, the cork starts to dry out from the outside. The seal is broken and the game is up.

Cork is bullshit. /thread

At least a bottle can’t fall over if it’s already laying on it’s side.

Yep, this ‘study’ seems to contradict that. Which goes against ‘logic’ and ‘first hand experience’.

That’s why I found the ‘moisture in the headspace’ comment so interesting . . . May need to speak to contacts at UC Davis to get feedback from them on this . . .


From experience with the legendary TomHill Orphan Stash, where 20+ cases were discovered in
temp-uncontrolled garage, standing up-right, for over 20 yrs…I never saw any evidence that I recall of the cork
drying out on the outside. And the humidity in NM is often lower than the Saraha Desert.

Justin wells said something pretty funny and true on Facebook along the lines of…

“All I know is liquid touching has to be more moist than almost touching.”

I knew you would chime in!
Those wines also survived a lot of heat too.
Question: does it get humid in the winter? Rain? Snow?

Interesting article. This part stood out to me:

“When asked why wet corks in older wines are sometimes shrunken, he said that having the stopper permanently soaked by wine might actually accelerate the weakening of the cork’s cell structure.”

Sooo. . . how much of that is true?

Nope, not particularly in the Winter.
We will have periodic snowstorms of a day or two, but once they
pass thru, the humidity drops quite a bit.
Right now, the temp is inching up towards 80F and the humidity sitting at 14%.

The obvious conclusion is that upright storage negates the requirement for what we consider to be ‘proper’ cellar conditions.

Win win! [cheers.gif]

So, Tom, you seem to be throwing the whole obsession with having a proper place to store wine out the window. Am I right here?

I remember when Lalou paid Martine for having a humidifier in the area where Domaine Leroy wines were stored. I think they even walled off the area

That they would even print something as scientifically unsound as the following is weird:

" “The humidity of the environment around the bottle won’t have any influence, because the cork is influenced by the humidity inside the bottle,” he said, adding, “So the idea that you need to store wine in a damp cellar is another myth.” "

The humidity of the environment around the bottle won’t have any influence? This wouldn’t even pass the scrutiny of a bunch of school-level science students…

And this guy is head of R&D for one of the largest cork producers in the world.

So is he crazy - or have we been looking at this the wrong way all of these years?

Something to consider . . .

Also, the main scientific reference seems to be a study that took with young wines over a 5-year period… What is the normal level of cork deterioration over 5 years? I’m guessing it’s minimal.

Basically, this entire article is based on speculation. Sure, keeping your bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau upright in an arid environment might not ruin them by the time you get around to drinking them, but what about the bottles of St. Julien that you won’t be touching for 40 years?

I can only imagine that he was misquoted, mistranslated, or that his comments were taken out of context… or that whomever did the interview was duped by an imposter who fancied a free lunch neener

Fair enough, it might not have much influence over 5 years (though technically it will have some). Over time, moisture levels will always equilibrate; in this process an imperfect closure will be put under strain by its environments (outside and in). I guess the real question is whether it will be put under more strain by the moisture, pressure, and other gasses, in a standing position than in a reclining one (where the relationship will be gas/gas rather than liquid/gas); therefore whether the cork will fail more quickly with the bottle standing up or stored sideways. It will certainly fail more quickly in an arid environment than a moist one - it’s just a matter of time. Though, saying that, and just speculating for a moment, it might be true that bottles lying down in a particularly arid environment will fail more quickly than ones standing up in the same environment, as the cork deterioration might be exacerbated by the (admittedly minimal) weight and directional inclination of the wine acting upon the cork and penetrating up into the seal, meaning structural weaknesses might be ‘exploited’ sooner.