Rotating Wine Bottles

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August 1, 2009

Q. Should I rotate the bottles in my wine cellar every so often to keep sediment from forming?

A. Playing spin-the-bottle won’t make a bit of difference as to whether sediment will form. It’s simply part of the natural process of aging for some wines – especially those few (usually expensive) wines meant for extending cellaring.

Leaving the bottle undisturbed on its side allows the sediment to collect in one narrow band, making it easier to deal with when it’s time to open the wine. Three or four days before that much anticipated event, stand the bottle upright. This gives the sediment time to slide down to the bottom of the bottle, where it can remain as you gently uncork and pour, sacrificing only a small bit of precious wine along with the sludgy stuff we wish to avoid.