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Michael P

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Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Michael P » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:02 pm

I'm usually very hesitant to receive wine in the summer months. Where I live the temperature can reach as high as 90-95F. Last week I found a good deal on some 2005 Bordeaux and decided to have it shipped by air. Due to a mix up the case was delivered to me 24 hours before I was expecting it. I was away and the case sat outside in the blazing 95F heat for 24-36 hours. It was not the retailers fault.

Any thoughts as to what the damage could be? These are expensive bottles and I was planning on cellaring them for a while. I don't want to open a few bottles to test but I'm wondering if I'll loose years on the back end of the drinking window.

Any thoughts/comments would be appreciated.

Michael
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David M. Bueker

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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by David M. Bueker » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:04 pm

Drink up. They are toast for long term aging.
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Dale Williams » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:11 pm

I'd be pretty pessimistic re any aging potential. I don't think a short period of heat makes a 20 year good wine into a 10 year good wine. But one can be surprised. I assume wine was in styro. Were they warm to touch? Seepage?
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Michael P » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:15 pm

Yes there were in a styro box. No seepage and the wine wasn't warm. Apparently they spent part of the time on a covered porch but sadly were moved. It was still 95 out and they still spent a minimum of 12 hours in the blazing heat.
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Rahsaan » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:10 pm

Michael P wrote:Yes there were in a styro box. No seepage and the wine wasn't warm. Apparently they spent part of the time on a covered porch but sadly were moved. It was still 95 out and they still spent a minimum of 12 hours in the blazing heat.


So were they in direct exposure to sun when you first touched the not warm bottles? Or were they shaded? If you recovered them after extended exposure to 95F temps and they were not warm, that is a good sign.

But, regardless, it sounds like you really have to open one and see what you're dealing with. And is it really worth aging questionable wine for 20 years. That's too much stress/potential downside, when you might as well drink them as soon as they will allow themselves to be drunk and age something else. There's always more wine!
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Michael P » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:14 am

Thanks for all the responses. I got the fedex tracking to see when it was delivered. Apparently it only spent 12 hours in the shade but it was 95F out that day. A bit better than I was preparing for.
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Sam Platt » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:20 pm

Based on my experience if there is no seepage and no cork protrusion the wine should be fine in the near term. If either of those conditions are not met the wine is likely to be dump worthy.
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Paul Winalski » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:16 pm

FedEx must not have known that this was an alcohol shipment. Those are supposed to be signed for by an adult.

Anyway, as long as there's no seepage and the bottles were not warm to the touch, you're probably OK--the styrofoam did its insulating job.

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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Richard Fadeley » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:26 pm

Paul Winalski wrote:FedEx must not have known that this was an alcohol shipment. Those are supposed to be signed for by an adult.

Anyway, as long as there's no seepage and the bottles were not warm to the touch, you're probably OK--the styrofoam did its insulating job.

-Paul W.

If the wine was not warm to the touch, and the corks were not pushed up (even then it's not necessarily a deal breaker) from my experience you will be just fine.
Remember that liquids retain their temperatures longer than air, and the foam makes it even better. It would help if you told us the producer? But I think you are OK. You can send me a bottle for a "no charge" assessment if you like.
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Joy Lindholm » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:47 pm

A handy trick I have learned is to have the wine held at a FedEx location for pickup. You can easily change this online once the package has shipped. This will also help prevent a case of wine from sitting in a delivery truck all day in the blazing heat, and the package is ready to pickup at your convenience.
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Paul Winalski » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:10 pm

Yes, I usually have wine parcels held at the shipper's location for me to pick up. Both FedEx and UPS offer this service.

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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Jenise » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:08 pm

Joy Lindholm wrote:A handy trick I have learned is to have the wine held at a FedEx location for pickup. You can easily change this online once the package has shipped. This will also help prevent a case of wine from sitting in a delivery truck all day in the blazing heat, and the package is ready to pickup at your convenience.


And only Fedex will allow this. UPS will only allow the shipper to change delivery instructions, even if the change you want means they don't have to waste a trip to your house because you can't be there.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Brian Gilp » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:34 pm

Jenise wrote:And only Fedex will allow this. UPS will only allow the shipper to change delivery instructions, even if the change you want means they don't have to waste a trip to your house because you can't be there.

Sign up for UPS My Choice. You can have it held for pickup for free or change to another destination for a charge.
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Richard Fadeley » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:03 pm

FWIW, WTSO if that happens to be the source, will hold your wine until you tell them to ship sometime in the fall.
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Marlyne K » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:36 pm

Had a similar situation with WTSO; FedEx said they delivered, but I was home, and they didn't leave a note, either. It was blazing hot out, and the wine went back to the station, to be delivered the next day. The manager said she would refrigerate the package overnight, and I when I got it the bottles were still cool. I don't think it was damaged, but I was underimpressed with the wine. Don't know what "cooked" wine would taste like, but I'm sure the weather didn't help this one.
BTW, WTSO was very helpful, and would've re-shipped/refunded if necessary.
And you can track the package almost minute-by-minute on FedEx and UPS, online.
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Richard Fadeley » Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:53 pm

Marlyne K wrote:Had a similar situation with WTSO; FedEx said they delivered, but I was home, and they didn't leave a note, either. It was blazing hot out, and the wine went back to the station, to be delivered the next day. The manager said she would refrigerate the package overnight, and I when I got it the bottles were still cool. I don't think it was damaged, but I was underimpressed with the wine. Don't know what "cooked" wine would taste like, but I'm sure the weather didn't help this one.
BTW, WTSO was very helpful, and would've re-shipped/refunded if necessary.
And you can track the package almost minute-by-minute on FedEx and UPS, online.

I have learned from experience (as well as being told by more experienced individuals) that an order from WTSO needs 2-3 months to settle down, for what ever reason. I was telling someone at a wine conference about my experience with opening a WTSO wine ('09 Cht. Hyot) and being disappointed. I decided that the remainders would be Christmas gifts. But a few months later I opened one to see if anything had changed. Wow, it was totally different and the rest of the shipment was nice wine. A few months later I was relating this story to a luncheon mate and before I could finish my story, he promptly interrupted me to tell me that "when you buy wine from WTSO, you need to let them rest for 2-3 months before opening". I have tempted the fates on more than one occasion only to be politely reminded that one must wait. Don't sacrifice a bottle for curiosity's sake, or if you do "don't judge the book by it's cover".
Last edited by Richard Fadeley on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Marlyne K » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:59 pm

Thank you for the info on WTSO shipments. I had tried 2 of 4 of one shipment (1 of 4 of a second one), and had pretty much written them off. Their wines must be in shock to need such a long rest after delivery, but I'll hold on to the rest until late fall, and try them again (really, they can't get much worse, but I figured I'd just chosen the wrong wines!).
If it works out as well for me as it did for you, I'll go back to ordering from them, just plan not to drink them for a while.
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Jenise » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:04 pm

Brian Gilp wrote:
Jenise wrote:And only Fedex will allow this. UPS will only allow the shipper to change delivery instructions, even if the change you want means they don't have to waste a trip to your house because you can't be there.

Sign up for UPS My Choice. You can have it held for pickup for free or change to another destination for a charge.


Well that's something new. The last time I tried to save them and me a whole lot of trouble, and that was relatively recent--maybe two years ago, I could only instruct them to hold for will call AFTER the first delivery attempt. Which is pretty worthless if you're 3,000 miles away. I had to call the shipper and make them arrange it.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Jenise » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:07 pm

Marlyne K wrote:Had a similar situation with WTSO; FedEx said they delivered, but I was home, and they didn't leave a note, either. It was blazing hot out, and the wine went back to the station, to be delivered the next day. The manager said she would refrigerate the package overnight, and I when I got it the bottles were still cool. I don't think it was damaged, but I was underimpressed with the wine. Don't know what "cooked" wine would taste like, but I'm sure the weather didn't help this one.
BTW, WTSO was very helpful, and would've re-shipped/refunded if necessary.
And you can track the package almost minute-by-minute on FedEx and UPS, online.


Picture what a bag of grapes would taste like if they rode around in the back seat of your car for a day. They'd 'cook'. Something you can do at home is put a cheap bottle of something in a warm oven for a few hours and then compare it a few days later to an identical, uncooked bottle. The comparison will be instructive.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Case of wine left in heat for 24-36 hours

by Paul Winalski » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:20 pm

Your best bet is to not have wine shipped to you during the hot summer months. There are a lot of horror scenarios, such as bad weather meaning that your shipment gets delayed and spends the day in a hot warehouse at an airport in Arizona or New Mexico.

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