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How can I tell if my wine has been improperly stored?

First look at the location of the wine in the bottle. The bottle curves to the neck at the shoulder. When standing, a properly stored wine will fill the bottle to half way between the shoulder and the top of the bottle. Wines that are “low in the shoulder” have experienced evaporation and oxidization though the cork. This would indicate that the wine has prematurely aged. A cork that bulges beyond the top of the bottles is another indication of premature aging. This can be felt under the capsule. Also look for excessive sediment in the bottle. This may be an indication of improper storage.