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Jun 30, 2013 08:07 PM

How quickly does wine spoil if its above 75 degrees?

I am storing a lot of wine for my upcoming wedding in my basement. The temperature was around 68 degrees but in the last week its climbed to 78 degrees. I'm worried that the wine will all spoil by the end of September. I put a big box fan in the basement and I'm hoping that causes the wine to cool slightly (though, that hasn't made much of an improvement....). Will the wine be ok for the next 3 months? If not, does anyone have ideas as to how I can lower the temperature (without building a wine cellar!). Thanks!

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  1. Given that the wine is for a wedding, I feel safe assuming that each bottle is sealed.

    If the temps are not going up/down too quickly, then the bottles will very likely be just fine. Slow ups & downs are usually accommodated just fine.

    Good luck,


    1. Sorry - I should have mentioned the following:
      1. The bottles are all sealed and still in their boxes (9 cases of wine!).
      2. They aren't expensive bottles (Yellow Tail) but its a mix between red and white
      3. Humidity is about 55 - 60%

      3 Replies
      1. re: laurenlisa721

        It would be easy for me to comment on the Yellowtail, but saying something along the lines of "how can you tell if it has spoiled?" but I will refrain.

        Now, things would be better, if those cases were styro-shippers, with a styrofoam insert in the boxes, but short-term storage, in the conditions that you cite, should not be an issue.

        Good luck, and if you suspect that things might be going bad, just sample a bottle (no one will miss that), and see for yourself.


        1. re: Bill Hunt

          haha - I know what you mean but we got a great deal on it (most likely because it is Yellow Tail) and we need to save money somewhere! (and I certainly wasn't about to serve $35 bottles of wine at the wedding!)

          1. re: laurenlisa721

            I will not pass judgement on the wines - that is fodder for another thread.

            Keep the temps moderate, and try to keep them slow to warm, plus slow to cool. Even if you need to put a blanket over them, or maybe open the AC vent in the basement - keep the temp fluctuations as moderate, as you can.

            Then, ENJOY!


      2. 78 already and it's surely going to get hotter.

        I'd be looking for someone else's cooler basement, putting the boxes against cooler exterior walls, and shutting the door firmly.

        1. Assuming the basement does not get any sunlight, and assuming the peak temperature is actually 80 degrees (measured with a thermometer) - for short term storage that is fine.

          In my experience, taste starts getting affected quickly when exposed to 90+ days that do not cool down until the middle of the night.

          But even then, the taste just alters -it's not going to spoil - and as Bill Hunt hints at - if you are talking about a crowd who drinks yellow tail - they are not going to notice.

          Just make sure when you SERVE the wine the reds are served at 70 degrees or below and the whites are served chilled. Being served warm red wine is always unpleasant.

          1. Where do you live? Or maybe tell us if the last week of reaching 78 is going to be an everyday occurrence through JUL & AUG. Higher? Was there a weather spike? When it reaches 78 does it cool much in the evening?
            In general it is probably not going to be a disaster, but some specifics might help one know.

            2 Replies
            1. re: john gonzales

              I live in the Northeast and there isn't really a weather spike - it is just getting warmer because it's turning more to summer weather. The summer temperatures for July & August are generally about 75 - 90 degrees during the day and down to the mid 60's at night.

              1. re: laurenlisa721

                Not to nitpick, but what was the outdoor temp on the day it peaked to 78 in the basement? I ask because if that 78 was reached on only a moderate day at 84 (eg) and you plan on havign a bunch of 90 degree days over the next 70 days of peak summer then that is perhaps an issue. Perhaps not if the 78 was reached on a day quite close (eg 88-89) to you local max. If you hit 78 on an 84 day, you might be looking at 83 on the 90 degree days. I wouldn't want any wine to be hitting 83 for more than a few days. To me that exceeds a cut-off. 78-79 for a bunch of days doesn't seem like a problem.