Should Wine Be Stored Vertically Or Horizontally?


If you are an aspiring wine collector, you will want to know whether your wine needs to be stored horizontally or vertically. You want to do it correctly to get the best out of your wine, especially if you purchase an expensive bottle. Even if it isn’t expensive, you want the best taste possible. You don’t want to let the wine spoil and lose out on a great glass.  

So, should you store your wine vertically or horizontally? There are different viewpoints out there on how you should store your wine. Vertical is great for sparkling wines or wine that you will drink soon. Horizontal is great for wines you want to store to enjoy down the road. However, the temperature of the wine is the most important factor. 

This article will go into detail about the best ways to store your wine and what factors impact the taste of your wine. Read ahead to learn what the experts are saying on the topic of wine storage, as well as some extra tips to take into consideration when you store your wine. 

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What Wine Should Be Stored Vertically?   

Sparkling wine does great stored vertically. Sparkling wine has air pressure within the bottle to keep it carbonated and bubbly for your enjoyment.

That air pressure is important to keep it tasting delicious, so these often don’t have corks. They have plastic caps that you can twist off to release that pressure. Storing it horizontally may affect the pressure. 

There are some wine experts (sourcewho don’t think you need to store wine horizontally at all. These experts state that the bottle is humid enough to keep the cork wet enough inside the bottle, so it doesn’t need to be turned on its side.

They state that the temperature is more important than how you store it. Soaking the cork with wine may even shrink it over time. 

Store wine vertically if you will be drinking it soon. Storing it vertically helps the wine label be seen and remind you that you need to take it out.

Often if you put wine in your cellar or basement, you may forget about it. It’s easier to store it vertically in your fridge or wine cooler, so you remember to get it out and pour yourself a glass. 

If you store it vertically, make sure to put it somewhere that won’t be disturbed. Moving your wine too much can damage the wine.

It can affect the temperature of the wine by cooling certain parts while warming other sections. So, be sure to put it somewhere where you won’t be moving the bottle often to get it out of the way or change its location. 

What Wine Should Be Stored Horizontally? 

Most storage containers will have you store your wine horizontally. Most wine coolers and racks are set horizontally for your wine bottles.

It’s both practical and uses the most space optimally in your home. It also allows for the temperature to remain the same since it won’t be moved or pushed out of the way like it would be if stored vertically. 

This is best for wines that can’t have air seep into the bottle. Keeping it horizontal will prevent air from getting in and spoiling your wine.

The liquid will keep the bottle filled and keep out any air. It also moistens the cork, which prevents it from drying out and letting wine out or popping out prematurely. It will also keep the wine at the same temperature. 

Storing it horizontally will help you take off the cork. Often, we assume how the store stores the wine bottle is how we should store it, which isn’t true.

Often, they store it vertically so you can see the label, and the store knows it won’t be stored like that for long. It is good to store it horizontally so the cork can get wet and be easier to get off. 

The only wine you don’t need to store horizontally is sparkling wine. Sparkling wine has air pressure within the bottle that keeps the wine carbonated.

Putting it horizontal may affect the air pressure within the bottle, so you want to store it vertically. It won’t explode or anything if you store it horizontally, it just may not be as carbonated when you open it.  

I wrote an article explaining the reason why wine racks lean forward that I think you will find very interesting.

Do I Have To Store Wine Horizontally? 

It is the most compact way to store vast amounts of wine bottles. If you are or want to become an avid wine collector, it is easier to store multiple bottles horizontally.

This can be great for storage in a basement or other dark, cool places in your home. Not to mention how impressive it will look to have multiple bottles in your wine cellar. 

Some wine benefits from being stored horizontally. The wine that you want to store over the years does well on their side since the wine can make contact with the cork.

This will keep the cork from drying out and popping off by itself. This will keep your wine in optimal condition while it undergoes the aging process.

To see my complete explanation of why you want your wine to contact the cork that will expand your depth of knowledge, check out the article I wrote.

Some storage containers don’t provide you the option to store it any other way. Wine coolers often have racks made to rest wine bottles horizontally for storage needs.

These are perfect for storing multiple bottles in a chilled environment. A wine that tastes better chilled is perfect for a wine cooler or fridge. 

Any Extra Tips I Should Know About? 

Be mindful of what kind of wine you buy. Some wine can be aged over decades, while other wines should be drunk within the year.

Sparking or white wine generally are the ones you want to drink quickly. Red wines are better aged over time. Your best bet is to do your research on the wine you want to buy, so you know the best time to drink it. 

You don’t need a specific room for your wine. You just need optimal conditions when you store your wine. It should be in a darker room or container that has chilled air.

The optimal temperature is 45-65 degrees Fahrenheit. It should also be in a less humid room, around 50-80% humidity. Any temperature above 70 degrees will “cook” the wine.  

You don’t need to break the bank to collect wine. Most people associate wine collectors with expensive wine cellars and vineyards, but that isn’t the case.

You can leisurely enjoy collecting wine or drinking it on the weekends. There are practical places to store it, such as in your fridge or basement, if you only have a couple of bottles to store. 

You can buy wine storage racks for cheaper than you think. I found these awesome storage racks on Amazon for a great price. Wine storage racks can be a great way to store wine for an affordable price.

You can find them at any home improvement or craft store for varying prices. Depending on how many bottles you plan on buying and storing can affect what size you buy. You can start small and always add more. 

Summary

We’ve discussed the ways wine can be stored. Some wines, like sparkling wines or those you will drink soon, can be stored vertically. While those you want to store for a long time to age do better stored horizontally.

All wines should be stored in a dark, cold place like a wine cooler or cellar. Temperature is the most important factor in the position of the bottle.  

Hopefully, this article was helpful when it comes to collecting and storing your wine. 

Carl Walton

Owner & primary writer on PinotSquirrel.com. It is my goal to bring you the most useful and actionable guidance about wine storage there is online. I consult with industry experts to bring you only what you need to know.

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