Science Dictates How To Store Bottles Of Wine

My last “how to store bottle on wine” blog was put together based on years of experience and a fairly good knowledge of what the “experts” say about wine storage. However, for this blog I thought I’d do a little digging into whether some of the commonly accepted protocols were valid, or,maybe just myths passed down from the “wine gods” who have made a living espousing the proper storing methods.

How to store bottle of wineI started my research by typing, “Does wine need to be stored on its’ side?”,  which is probably the most pushed for practice in wine storage.  Sure enough, the first 4-5 Google results gave the standard response that it is imperative to store all wine on its’ side. However, about half way down of page one on the Google search I found an interesting blog that said storing wine on its’ side is a “myth”.

Written by Allison Shoemaker just a month ago in her TIL (Today I Learned) blog series, she cited finding that scientific researchers had debunked the myth of wine lying on its’ side. The common reason cited for keeping wine on its’ side is to “keep the cork from drying out”. Turns out that, if the wine is properly corked, there is more than enough moisture in the wine (seems to make sense) to keep the cork plenty moist.

“Storing wine on its side won’t prevent corks drying out, and may even accelerate their degeneration, according to Amorim’s director of R&D, Dr. Miguel Cabral.”

Another myth is that wine should be stored in a properly humidified environment. Again, the scientists agree that if the wine is properly sealed there should be no need for storing wine in a “moist” wine cellar. The need to keep a certain temperature, though, seems to be echoed by both wine enthusiast and scientists. This does make sense, given that high temperatures will cause wine to undergo a chemical process that renders the wine undrinkable.

Given that our company stores very valuable wine for clients, we most likely will not be abandoning our protocol of storing wine on its’ side in a temperature and humidity controlled industrial size cooler. It would be inappropriate for us to toss out centuries of “tradition” and lose confidence in our wine sophistication.

We will keep an eye on this new “scientific” approach to wine storage. It could change the approach for many who store wine in the future. Storing wine standing up does require less preparation and can use less room in a conventional wine cooler.

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