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Ageing screw cap wine

Ageing screw cap wine

Question from Win: Do I age a screw cap bottle of wine on its side or upright?

In a nut shell: It doesn’t matter, either on its side or upright is perfectly fine.

In a clam shell: Wine under cork needs to be aged on its side to keep the cork moist. If it’s stored upright the cork will dry and shrink, eventually letting air in and spoiling the wine. Also, you’re going to have a very hard time removing a dried cork.

So with a screw top, it’s perfectly fine to age it upright, as no air is able to get in. Some people are against ageing wine under screw cap on its side because they are worried the cap liner will affect the wine. The cap liner is inert so this shouldn’t make a difference but just to be safe, perhaps age your crew caps upright from now on.

While I’m on the topic aged wines under screw will be more consistent than aged wines under cork. Even when a wine under cork is aged on its side, the cork will still breathe a little letting in tinnie tiny amounts of air and changing the wine. So the same wine under cork can taste very different to the next depending on what has happening to the cork in the ageing process. Screw caps on the other hand let absolutely no oxygen in so the result will be more consistent from one bottle to the next.

To cork or to cap, that is the question!

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Claire #

    Hmm it sounds like I need to stand my wine up! Next question about cellaring please – we can’t afford to dig out a cellar under our house (just yet!), is there a cheaper alternative (other than a spare wardrobe!?)

    Thanks in advance, Claire X

    July 2, 2014

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