Storing Port - Printable Version

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- Glass_A_Day - 08-05-2003 09:18 PM

Could use some advice here. I have my 2000s in my cellar lying down but was recently told by my wine guy that they should be stored standing up and put on their sides every six monthes or so to resaturate the cork. He said this was the best way to store vintage port. Has anyone else heard of this method? Is this the best way to go?

- Bucko - 08-05-2003 09:59 PM

Someone is FOS and it isn't me (at least not in this case).

- Kcwhippet - 08-06-2003 03:31 AM

Agree with Bucko. The only reason I can think is that vintage port throws a lot of sediment as it gets older. Your guy might be reasoning that if the bottle is upright for most of its storage then the sediment will be on the bottom of the bottle. If so, then it appears to be a bit of fuzzy logic.

- Georgie - 08-06-2003 05:16 AM

For what it's worth, here's someting I found on a web site called Into Wine.

"Port should be treated as with other fine wines. The bottles should be stored at 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit and at 65% humidity and on their sides so the cork doesn't dry out. This also aids in the development of the crust. Most vintage port bottles have a white mark painted on the side. This mark should be kept facing up. If you should have to move the bottle, you can then return it to the same position."

- Kcwhippet - 08-06-2003 06:08 AM

Well, there you go. You should ask your wine guy what the reasoning is behind his advice. I'd be interested in the explanation.

- Glass_A_Day - 08-06-2003 06:17 AM

I wouldn't think he was FOS being that he has been in the business for the last 25 years. (To some of you that may make him more FOS [img][/img]) You guys have gotten my curiosity peaked though, and I will give him a ring later in the week to find out his reasoning. There must be some logical explanation for this illogical advice.

- winoweenie - 08-06-2003 06:48 AM

GAD I know prople who have been in the carpet biz for 30 years and STILL 'kaint spell carpet. If you intend to store port or any other wine for future drinking, it MUST be stored on its side.WW

- Georgie - 08-06-2003 09:31 AM

Just to stir things up a bit more, here's another quote from "Into Wine."
"Table wine is stored horizontally so that the wine stays in contact with the cork. This keeps the cork moist thereby preventing air from entering the wine. Fortified wines other than port, are stored standing. If bottles are stored with the labels up, it will be easier to see the deposit of sediment that forms on the opposite side of the bottle when it comes time to open it."

Perhaps GAD's wine guy was thinking of "fortified wines other than port." By the way, what ARE fortified wines other than port? Sherries?

- Georgie - 08-06-2003 08:13 PM

Ok, thanks to the wonders of the web, I answered my own question.

"Fortified Wines are wines that have been fortified with brandy and sometimes flavored with herbs, roots, peels, and spices. The most popular examples are sherry, Madeira, Marsala, port, and vermouth."
Just in case any other novices like me would like to know. [img][/img]

- Glass_A_Day - 08-09-2003 11:51 AM

Ok, this is what I am told. First off, the cork doesn't need to be saturated all the time as port doesn't oxodize the way tabel wine does. With the high alcohol content of port, the cork can actually be damaged when constantly saturated. Up until a couple of years ago, the major producers wern't even in agreement about this. Some shipped on their sides, some upright. Also, with the heavier sediment level in port, keeping the bottle upright will keep the sediment down. I guess the bottom line is there are pros and cons to both ways. I am storing mine on their sides because I want them in my mini cellar. My guy says he has people who swear by both methods and call each other crazy, so I guess it's just a matter of opinion. Kinda what I figured in the first place...

- hotwine - 08-09-2003 07:16 PM

Bought a bottle of Warre's LBV a few weeks ago (the '92) from my preferred discounter and the cork completely disintegrated when I tried to extract it.... dry as a bone. Had to strain the pieces out with a coffee filter. Figured the bottle had been stored upright for months, if not years. Still, one very nice Port. Bought another '92 from a different vendor last week, but haven't opened it yet. I'm for keeping all wines on their sides until ready to be consumed.