Rotating bottles to keep the cork moist

Sorry if this topic has been discussed somewhere before, anyway I can’t find anything about it.

I have some bottles that I do not expect to open for a few years. I know there is a hot debate about whether it makes sense to rotate bottles once or twice a year for about an hour or two to keep the corkn moist.

I have already read posts on whiskey forums about this and I find both the pro-arguments (cork does not dry out so quickly and does not become crumbly, higher tightness), as well as the con-arguments (cork is attacked by the alcohol and crumbles all the more, at the latest when opening) plausible.

What are your opinions and experiences? Does it make sense or is it unnecessary? Is it perhaps even harmful?


I rotate the bottles one every three months, for only few seconds. So far I noticed no problem with any bottle treated this way. And I’ve had several problems with never-rotated bottles in the past. I’m these cases the corks were obviously dry and crushed. But you know, it’s not scientific, just a random story from me.


I rotate them for a few minutes about every now and then, but I think it takes years for the cork to dry and crumble. Plasticky corks like the ones in FS ECS bottles are no deal to this crumlbing and drying thing I guess.


I have no special insight from the perspective of spirits but a lot of experience with wine. Here are a few thoughts:

  • Corks absolutely can and will dry out and not all corks are created equally.

  • For wine, bottles that will sit for ageing are always left on their side, part of which is to help the cork keep from drying. I also keep them in a full sized wine cabinet that is kept at stable temperature.

  • despite this, I have had a decent amount of corked wine bottles over the years (small percentage but does happen). Many of these were not that old but just had defective corks

  • other factors to consider: the humidity and heat of the room/area where they will be stored. If storing for the long term then you must be mindful that there is humidity in the air otherwise a cork will be more likely to dry out. Make sure it is not in a cabinet that retains heat.

  • As mentioned above, more and more bottlers (even of wine) have moved to synthetic cork alternatives. These will not dry out and will also won’t allow the tiny trickle of air into the bottle that a regular cork will (barring defect).

I think that under 3 years since bottling you would rarely have to worry unless it’s exposed to high temps and a very dry surrounding. Failing in this time is almost surely a defect and out of your control.

In the range of 4-7 years since bottling I have definitely seen more corks fail. While some could be chalked up to defects, the others were bottles that had been acquired but likely not stored on their side at some point. Some risk exists in this range.

8+ years, I would fully suggest taking steps to keep the cork from drying out.