OK, so I have recently bought a case of Billecart-Salmon Rosé. I plan on cracking a couple open for the New Year but the rest will be stored.

I have an insulated garage with a pretty steady temperature of 60. Humidity is fine and the bottles will be stored sideways with no natural light exposure.

How long can my wines last like this? Thanks in advance guys. I'm new to this game. :-)
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After 2 bottles suddenly exploded (both in spring, interesting enough, just laying untouched in the shelf for quite a while) I tend to put them in places where it won´t do much harm. (Never had an explosion since.) A constant and rather low temperature may for this reason be even more important than for other wines.
Thanks...the reason for wanting to know how people store or display Champagne bottles upright is that we built our cellar with all bins and didn't count on Champagne bottles being so round that horizontally they don't stack well. Stacked in the bin the bottles tend to rock forward so the neck is down and some even try to slide out. Each bin was designed to fit 12 Bordeaux bottles and we knew that Champagne, pinot, chard, syrah bottles are fatter so they would only fit 8 per bin but the sliding was unexpected. Long neck riesling bottles slide too.

If we can eliminate some of the issue by storing the Champagne upright it's a start. The rounder or longer bottles are still an ongoing issue. We'll be building a second cellar this summer so we're looking for solutions with the most efficient use of space.
My first suggestion is to buy or make a grid insert for a few of your bins. Sure, the bin looks cool when you toss a newly purchased case in there, with all the capsules lined up like little soldiers all in the same uniform. But over time, that case dwindles down to just a bottle or two, and you are moving remnants of other cases into the same bin, and now you've got a mish-mash of mis-matched bottles of varying size, shape, and capsule color. And as you noticed, many common bottle shapes don't stack so well. So consider a grid, or even a minor remodel to include some single bottle racking. That said, there will always be bottles (especially high-end Champagnes) that won't fit into standard racking anyway, so be careful.

Additionally, there are many intelligent posters on this forum and elsewhere who believe that you don't really need to store bottles horizontally. I tend to disagree, at least for long-term ageing, but the theory is supported many thoughtful proponents. So you may decide that standing up a few awkward bottles may be a reasonable solution.
I personally keep all of mine horizontal - I have not had the problem of exploding bottles (knock on wood). I just don't have a place to stand them up, and so I adjust the shelves in my wine cellar units to allow for adequate clearance of these large bottles.
quote:
Originally posted by Redhawk:
Additionally, there are many intelligent posters on this forum and elsewhere who believe that you don't really need to store bottles horizontally. I tend to disagree, at least for long-term ageing, but the theory is supported many thoughtful proponents. So you may decide that standing up a few awkward bottles may be a reasonable solution.


what about the position that champange intended to stored for long periods (10+yrs) should only be stored upright, never horizontal? bunk or good advice?
quote:
Originally posted by finz:
quote:
Originally posted by Redhawk:
Additionally, there are many intelligent posters on this forum and elsewhere who believe that you don't really need to store bottles horizontally. I tend to disagree, at least for long-term ageing, but the theory is supported many thoughtful proponents. So you may decide that standing up a few awkward bottles may be a reasonable solution.


what about the position that champange intended to stored for long periods (10+yrs) should only be stored upright, never horizontal? bunk or good advice?


Honestly, I don't know. To me, it just makes sense to keep the cork in contact with the liquid inside to help maintain the best seal. Like I said, there are others who disagree with me, and they can state their case quite well. I just remember a bottle of Dom Ruinart that my Dad had squirreled away for years in an upright position. By the time I found it, the cork was bone dry and shriveled up to a tiny little peg, and the wine was obviously undrinkable. I can see that if the cork were to blow, you would certainly have more of a mess if the bottle was on it's side, so maybe that's the reason for the suggestion. Also, it seems most luxury cuvee Champagne bottles are shaped so that they really don't sit very well on their sides. Perhaps this was intentional (more than just forcing folks to display the label by sitting it up--which would be a subtle potential marketing ploy I could not put past the big corporate Champagne firms).

Maybe someone who has been to Champagne can chime in and describe how the locals store their long-term bottles?
Thanks for all the input.

Redhawk - Adding grids to the existing bins makes sense but is complicated by the fact that the horizontal shelves of the bins are slightly higher in the front than the back to keep sediment in the reds toward the bottom of the bottles. I've tried in the past and lost more space than it's worth, hence really thinking it through before building the second cellar.

I really didn't want to have to use individual horizontal racking because it takes up so much space but unfortunately it looks like there just isn't an efficient way to store fat, rounded Champagne bottles regardless of whether it's vertical or horizontal. Maybe that's not a bad thing, we tend to buy faster than we drink so now we'll be much more limited...

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