Does Storing Wine Bottles Horizontally Actually Make A Difference?

There's nothing like a fine wine to go alongside a meticulously prepared steak dinner — in fact, wine can complement almost any meal and really up its enjoyability. But it might surprise you to learn that according to a 2020 Wine Intelligence market study, Americans are drinking wine less frequently. In fact, the study found that the number of imbibers in the US who have the once-a-month glass of vino has dropped by a whopping 11 million. Of course, the frequency of drinking has not affected the number of wine drinkers. The study also discovered a "record high of 118 million" people were enjoying this alcoholic beverage in 2019.

If you count yourself among that number, you may have come across the confounding question about the proper way to store your wine bottles. Not everyone has the space or dollars for the luxury of a wine refrigerator which helps you take the guesswork out of the equation. And, of course, people have opinions on the proper temperature and humidity that wine should be kept. But should you store your wine standing straight up or on its side? The answer might surprise you.

Horizontal or vertical?

According to MasterClass, if you've invested a little bit of money in your wine, particularly if those bottles are vintage and have a cork, storing your wine bottles horizontally may be the way to go. The site goes on to explain this method keeps the cork moist, which can prevent premature aging. MasterClass goes on to share screw tops are less likely to have these issues, but horizontal storage also saves space and makes it easy to grab the bottle of your choice when you are ready to crack it open.

That said, experts at Science Focus reveal storing your bottles horizontally doesn't necessarily make a difference. The site states: "science says otherwise" about this theory and goes on to explain that a wine bottle containing wine always has "almost 100% humidity." They conclude that as long as there is wine in the bottle, the cork is not going to dry out and shrink. Additionally, the outlet points to an Australian Wine Research Institute study conducted in 2005, which found wine is largely unaffected by whether a bottle is stored horizontally or vertically. So, vertical storers can have peace of mind knowing they'll enjoy their wine all the same.