How to Store Wine Bottles of Different Sizes

0 Comment(s) | Posted | by Norm Kotoch, Jr. |

This post was originally published on July 9, 2012.

As a wine collector or enthusiast, it can be fun to expand your collection, and include many different bottle types.

But what happens if you don’t have enough room for your collection’s storage?

Don’t hesitate when buying unique bottle shapes because of lack of storage knowledge or space. There are a number of at-home accommodations and off-site storage solutions to help your collection age properly.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you make a unique bottle purchase.

Standard Bottles

When you think of a “standard” wine bottle, you’re likely to picture typical reds and whites like Bordeaux and Merlot, or Sauvignon Blanc. These types of bottles are high-shouldered, with straight sides. They’re mainly uniform in shape and size from bottle to bottle—about 3” in diameter—and fit most wine racks.

Storage Tip: Standard bottles store well in a wine rack or in a wine refrigerator, depending on if it's a red or white variety. If you plan to use an off-site storage facility with wine accommodations, think about storing these bottles along with your other bottles for convenience.

Wide Bottles

Wider bottles are also common for everyday wines, and are usually used for burgundy wines. These include varieties, such as Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.

Wide-bodied bottles have sloped shoulders compared to the standard bottle, and are much wider at the bottle’s bottom. Depending on the region of France a particular wine comes from, the bottle can be not quite as sloped, or more severely sloped. They’re usually 3.5” in diameter.

Storage Tip: Typical wine racks are made for storing standard bottles. Try a custom rack made to hold any size bottle, a specialized wine cooler or off-site wine storage.

Champagne Bottles

With about a 3.5” diameter, champagne wine bottles are similar to wide-bodied bottles, but they are thicker, heavier and under much more pressure. Because of their size and weight, it’s difficult to store champagne bottles on your regular, everyday wine rack.

Storage Tip: The contained pressure makes proper storage crucial for these types of bottles. To accommodate and chill bottles of this proportion, you’d have to rearrange the racks in your wine cooler or refrigerator. Instead, look for a local facility to house your bottles to better preserve them for later use.

Large-Format and Tall Bottles

Tall bottles look similar to an upside-down champagne flute, with long, slender bodies and necks. Typically, Riesling comes in these lengthy bottles. In addition, many wineries make extra-large bottles of wine to showcase vintages, or for celebrations or commemoration. For example, a “magnum” is essentially a double-bottle, or 1.5 liters.

Storage Tip: While they are beautiful in shape and size, these special bottles can be difficult to store. Double up on wine racks to make them deeper to accommodate length. Choose other interior spaces with a relative temperature and humidity level, or store at a wine cellar for optimum conditions.

Special Occasions Call for Special Wines

Wine collectors, enthusiasts and connoisseurs must be able to effectively store all of their bottles for proper aging, including those of uncommon dimensions and size. Next time you pick up a unique bottle to add to your collection, consider your storage options to maintain freshness and taste.

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Are you looking to store your wine for personal or business-related purposes? Visit our Westlake facility page to learn about our state-of-the-art wine storage.

Image Source: Jeff Kubina

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