Oenologie - Pourquoi faut-il coucher ses bouteilles de vin ? - Les Grappes

Why do you have to lay down your wine bottles?

You love wine and in your cellar, your living room or your kitchen, the bottles of wine accumulate and you have to plan their storage. Not to mention the beautiful bottles you recently bought, which deserve to wait a few more months. Lying down or standing up? The question quickly arises. Here are some explanations.

Wine bottles should be stored lying down

It is a principle of good wine conservation:they are stored horizontally. The reason is simple: to avoid the oxidation of the wine. For this, it is important that the cork remains in contact with the wine. The liquid moistens the cork and prevents it from drying out, shrinking and crumbling. The cork would then lose its watertightness and let too much air into the bottle. This entry of air, calledoxidation, results in premature aging and alteration of the wine.

Keeping bottles upright does not prevent cork taint

Cork tastes alter wine, regardless of the position in which the bottles are stored

Yes, but you may be wondering if it is better to store the bottle upright to avoid cork taint? You should know that the storage position of the bottle hasno influence on the "corky" taste. And there again, the reason is simple: if the cork was attacked by the molecule responsible for the corky taste, the wine will be altered, whatever its storage position.

The taste of cork, musty, bacterial, dusty, animal, comes from a well identified molecule: the trichloroanisole, commonly calledTCA. This molecule is present in somecorks of cork. It develops in the cork and then migrates into the wine, in contact with the cork or via the air that is between the cork and the wine.

In short: if the cork is defective, the wine will be altered.

A principle valid only for cork stoppers

Keeping bottles lying down: a principle that applies to cork stoppers

The storage of the bottles in lying position is valid for the bottles closed with a corkstopper. Indeed, other corks or screw caps do not need to be moistened by the wine to avoid drying out.

Moreover,spirits and mutated wines such as port or banyuls prefer vertical storage: but opinions differ on the issue. Just like forChampagnes and sparkling wines. Some experts say that the gases present in the bottle are enough to humidify the cork. But a large majority of professionals advise to keep them lying down.

Now that you know everything, it's time to taste! Les Grappes offers you wines and champagnes from French winegrowers.

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