Have you ever wondered why wine bottles should be stored horizontally in a cellar?
Well there is nothing complicated about this. All bottles equipped with real cork stoppers must be kept in this position in order to allow the wine to remain in contact with the cork. The stopper humidified by the liquid, remains dilated hence ensuring an optimum quality seal of the bottle. The small amount of air inside the bottle between the cork and the wine is required for a proper aging process. A bottle aging upright, risks having its’ cork dry out and therefore shrink, this will allow air to enter the bottle, causing an accelerated aging process. There is a good chance that this will lead to the oxidizing of the wine rendering it undrinkable!
The only way to keep the bottles upright would be to keep them under water! This is what has been done for certain wines… See the article
Obviously if you have bottles with synthetic corks or caps, it’s not necessary to keep them lying horizontally.
And what about champagne bottles?
Well, actually champagne is a case apart because the gas in the bottle keeps the cork moist, and therefore perfectly sealed!