How We Protect Your Wine From the Heat

Annapolis, MD

So, we’ve received queries from a few members to the effect of: “It’s the dead of summer… and I live in Texas… I’m afraid that my Italian wines are going to get cooked before they reach me.”

That’s a real concern; you’re right to bring that up. There’s nothing worse than opening a bottle of wine to find it’s been completely annihilated during shipping. 

But don’t worry – we use a temperature-controlled shipping method for long hauls during the summer months.

We’ll detail how it works below… 

First, Julien continues with Part 2 of his deep dive into Italian wine… including the best regions for red… Da Vinci’s favorite wine… and why you shouldn’t count out Italian rosé… 

If you haven’t watched Part 1 yet, where Julien talks about Italian white wines, you can do so by clicking here.

“Cooked wine” (continued)

Exactly how a wine will react to heat is notoriously hard to predict. A short-lived temperature spike will likely have no effect at all, like quickly waving your hand over an open flame. Even several days at room temperature (low 70s, high 60s) is seldom a cause for concern. For that reason, even in summer, temperature-controlled shipping isn’t always necessary for short trips (like shipping to an address in California).

The problems start with extended exposure or extreme temperatures (over 80 degrees). “Cooked” wines have a tell-tale acidic taste and an overly dry mouthfeel. Any subtlety or complexity in the taste is gone. In the worst cases, corks fail under the pressure of expanding air inside the bottle, and the wine begins a transformation towards something akin to vinegar.

With some of the cheaper wine clubs that ship in summer, it’s a risk you take.

But it’s not something you’ll ever encounter with the Bonner Private Wine Partnership.

When we believe there’s a substantial risk of cooking, we use temperature-controlled shipping (at our expense). The wine is sent in a temperature-controlled truck (55 degrees) to a temperature-controlled hub.

Now, a big misconception about temperature-controlled shipping is that the wines will arrive cool or even cold. That should never happen; we’re not selling frozen steaks. And extreme cold is no better for your wine than extreme heat.

In fact, in your air-conditioned house, your wines might feel a degree or two warmer than the air upon arrival. Do not worry! This is completely normal. Simply let them sit for a few days to settle in their new environment (preferably in your wine cellar). Once you pop your first cork, you’ll be glad you didn’t rush.

Can’t wait to hear what you think of your Italian wine collection…

Ciao…