While shipping wine cork-side-down may be convenient for suppliers, it is not recommended for home storage. Keeping wine upside down for an extended period of time would result in sediment settling on the cork, which would then be more likely to pour out during serving.
Also, how much do you trust the cork? Storing wine upside down is a potential disaster if there is a cork failure as any leaks could result in you losing the entire bottle.
For long-term storage in a home wine cellar, it is recommended to store wine on its side as it is an easy way of ensuring that the cork seal stays wet.
If stored incorrectly, natural corks may dry out. Drying can cause shrinkage, comprising the airtight seal and leading to nasty, vinegar-like wine. Oxygen is one of wine’s worst enemies, so it’s important to take care of the bottle’s seal.
Another advantage to storing your bottles on their sides is you can arrange them all with their labels up, decreasing the risk of label damage, which is important for those storing wine as an investment.
Because of the carbonation, sparkling wines tend to stay quite humid inside the bottle so it is not always necessary to store these wines on their side. However, to keep the cork as moist as possible, most sparkling wine producers and Champagne houses still recommend horizontal storage.
Bottles with the modern screw-top lids or plastic corks are other exceptions to the belly-down recommendation. Nevertheless, you may still wish to store all wine horizontally as bottles laid down take up less room, meaning more can fit in your wine storage.
With a Vintec or Transtherm wine cellaring cabinet, it is not necessary to lay any bottle on its side. All climate-controlled wine cabinets or cellars maintain a high hygrometry, which eliminates the risk of the cork drying out.
In favour of tradition, most modern wine cabinets still feature horizontal storage, but some are equipped with shelves intended for bottles placed standing upright. This can be more practical for storing everyday wines as the labels are easier to identify and the bottles are more accessible.
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