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Dec 14, 2010 08:20 AM

wine cooked??damaged?

hi all. i bought some wine online (woot)..i tracked my package...been sitting in a fedex truck since sat. Sunday was 85 degrees (Los angeles had a nice little heat wave in the middle of december!)...was to be delivered yesterday (monday) but they were delayed for some reason and wont be delivered until today. yesterday was 80 degrees. safe to assume my wine will be heat damaged/cooked???

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  1. pretty safe assumption i'm afraid.

    1. No, it's not safe to assume. Open it and taste with an open mind.

      There is a thread here somewhere from a very knowledgeable source who had a large number of bottles subjected to 3 years of un-airconditioned interior storage in New Orleans (why, I don't know). The gist of the thread was that a surprisingly high % of the bottles were just fine. And that a few had improved over the same wine that was cellared properly.

      Want to have some fun? Watch what happens with wine at the supermarkets' and wine distributors' loading docks. Or with the semi rigs, shipping containers and boxcars in the yards.

      If, after tasting, your bottle WAS cooked, ask for a refund, but don't assume the worst.

      2 Replies
      1. re: kaleokahu

        beg to differ. mild heat damage often does not show up to the point of real unpleasantness right away. that assumes the taster really knows what he is looking for and most people do not.

        i have been a wine collector for 50 years and lived in arizona all that time. i can assure you i have had more than my share of cooked wine and i am not even sure i can detect damage immediately after it occurs.

        wine that is subjected to 80+ degrees for 72 hours is in my opinion virtually certain to have been damaged. a closed truck is likely to be warmer inside than the air outside. if the wine is to be cellared lotsa luck making any claim in 5-10-15-20 years. if you can get the wine replaced - do it (assuming they do not simply ship the same wine back or send someone elses damaged wine) if not i would counsel drinking the wine sooner rather than lated.

        1. re: jock

          jock: The OP said nothing about collecting, let alone cellaring for 20 years. Nor did s/he say what the investment was. Unless this was a $$ bottle that was purchased with the intent to lay it down, s/he should just open it and try it before FedEx and the seller "forget" about everything.

      2. I don't think you can say anything for sure. I live in Davis CA, in the Central Valley
        heat. I have had missed wine club deliveries for up to 3 days in May, and I expected the wine
        would have suffered a lot. It didn't. I should mention that it involved 3 to 6 bottles each
        time, and I am not a long term collector and tend to drink wine within 2 to 3
        years of buying it. Also, I have noticed that UPS trucks tend to target the 5-8pm time slot
        for wine deliveries, so I am far from certain the truck's contents are in extreme heat all day long.

        1. I would not assume anything.

          1. New wine that you are going to be drinking in the next year or two is likely not going to be damaged enough for you to tell. That is why many companies ship all year round (even in heat). If *new* wine is actually "cooked"- you will know upon tasting it. However- If you ordered an expensive aged wine from an auction house (they are fragile) or an expensive wine to age (yourself) over many years...you WILL have a problem! That is why reputable auction houses don't ship in hot seasons.Heat interrupts the natural aging process and it will likely taste "off".