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Subject: Storing wine and beer

Storing wine and beer

From: Evangelia Kyriazi <kyriazievangelia<-at->
Date: Monday, September 30, 2013
Marcia Bassett <marcia.bassett<-a t->gmail< . >com> writes

>I would greatly appreciate any suggestions for long-term storage of
>Chinati Classico (2006 vintage from the Fattoria Nittardi vineyard )
>in bottles with artist designed labels and Beck's beer in bottles
>with artist designed labels. Do we empty the bottles?  If we decide
>to keep the wine/beer, what is the best storage container for the

I would personally not empty the bottles as this will reduce their
value. In the end of the day, if you empty the bottles, all you'll
have will be an empty bottle. Now you have the whole thing. I would
try to find the best conditions to ensure long term preservation for
both the materials of the bottles, as well as for their content. You
don't provide any information regarding the materials of the
bottles: i.e. is the label plastic or paper? What kind of glue is
there on the label? Is the cork natural, waxed, synthetic, mixed?
Apart from the cork is there any plastic or other material on the
bottle? Are the labels printed or painted? Is the beer pasteurised
or fresh? Some beers age in their bottles, like wine. There is a
text by beer historian Martyn Cornell that you might find
interesting, at


Wine and beer are stored in a different way so I will give you some
guidelines first for the wine and then for the beer bottles.

Wine Bottles

    Temperature: 12-15 deg. C

    Humidity: High humidity (70-80%) to prevent the cork from
    drying out. If the cork dries out, two things may happen: 1) air
    will come in and this will oxidise the wine. 2) The cork will
    kind of shrink, and the wine may slightly leak or evaporate.

    Odours:  store in an odour-free environment. The cork is porous
    and scents will be absorbed though it, ruining the flavour of
    the wine.

    Light: store in a dark place. UV will destroy the wine

    Vibrations: avoid vibrations. Vibrations will stir up the wine
    sediments that settle in the maturing process, and this will
    interfere with the natural aging of the wine.

    Storage ANGLE: Do not store the wine bottles standing up. Store
    the bottles either horizontally, or at a 45 degree angle with
    the cork facing down, or somewhere between the horizontal and 45
    degrees position, making sure that the wine is in constant
    contact with the corky--this will prevent air from getting into
    the bottle, and therefore this position will not allow oxygen to
    oxidise your wine.

There is a nice text by enology professor Christian Buztke on wine
storage guidelines, available at


Beer Bottles

    Temperature: Generally, temperatures between 7-13 degrees
    Celsius are accepted, but the choice of the correct temperature
    for long term storage of beer depends on the kind of beer.
    Strong beers like barleywines, tripels, dark ales require a room
    temperature (12-15 deg. C).  Most standard ales, like bitters,
    IPAs, dobbelbocks, lambics, stouts, etc. require a cellar
    temperature (10-55 deg. C). Lighter lighter beers like lagers,
    pilsners, wheat beers, milds, etc. require a refrigerated
    temperature (7-10 deg. C).

    Humidity: 50-70%

    Odours: odour free environment: as for wine

    Light: dark place as for wine

    Vibrations: avoid vibrations

    Storage angle: Store all beer bottles vertically (upright)
    regardless whether they have a cork or a metal cap. This is very
    important, especially for beer with active yeast. Yeast tends to
    settle, causing stains that hardly come off. It's better for the
    yeast to settle on the bottom of the bottle, rather than causing
    a big stain on the side, if the bottle is stored horizontally.
    In addition, if the beer bottles have a cork, if the beer gets
    in contact with the cork, its flavour will change.

Evangelia Kyriazi, MSc
Conservator of Antiquities and Works of Art
Adjunct conservation lecturer of the Technological Educational
    Institute of the Ionian Islands
Department of Protection and Conservation of Cultural Heritage

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:16
                  Distributed: Sunday, October 6, 2013
                       Message Id: cdl-27-16-003
Received on Monday, 30 September, 2013

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