What’s the proper way to store sekts, sparkling wines, and Champagne?
When learning about high-quality wines, most people are taught that the bottles should be stored lying down. This horizontal cellaring keeps the cork constantly moist for a more airtight seal.
Yet this is in fact not inherently necessary when cellaring sparkling wines and sekts (crafted using traditional bottle fermentation). The excess pressure within the bottle and the distribution of carbon dioxide into the neck of the bottle automatically keeps the cork moist, even when the liquid (the sekt) isn’t touching it. As such, sparkling wine can also be stored standing up.
Beyond this, recent years have seen tremendous improvements in the quality and reliability of classic sekt corks. Better craftsmanship means less shrinkage even without direct contact to liquid and greater impermeability.
Many years ago, experiments were conducted in Champagne to test the impact of horizontal or vertical storage. The difference in position ultimately provided primarily aesthetic: the corks were better preserved during standing maturation than when laid down. Beyond this, it was observed that sekt bottles that were cellared and retrieved for service standing up had fewer cork faults (although it did still occasionally occur).
Our personal recommendation:
Cellar your sekts, sparkling wines, or Champagnes in the same manner as you purchased them from the winegrower. After disgorging (removal of the yeast), we always store our Raumland sekts standing up. We thus recommend that you also store our sekts standing after buying them from us.
What should I do if the sekt was cellared horizontally?
If your sekts have already been cellared for a while lying down, then we recommend leaving them that way and not returning them to the standing position. It is preferable not to change the position of the sekts too often—better to avoid moistening, drying out, and then re-moistening the cork, as this can cause the cork to shrink and release the carbon dioxide inside!