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Moving Small Collection in Summer Heat

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After visiting Napa last summer, I started a small wine collection. I've been storing 25 bottles or so in a wine fridge and am moving from the Northeast to Florida in a couple of weeks. My plan is to pack them into a cooler and take them in the car with us. How concerned do I need to be with the changes in temperature? We'll be taking about 6 days to get to our destination and plan on taking the cooler into the hotels with us. Do I need to keep the cooler iced down each day? If they live at around room temp for a few weeks (until I actually move into then new house) will they be OK?

Any advice would be most appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. You're on the right track, fc. Yes, you will need to put fresh ice into the coolers each day you are on the road, and if you drive long distances, you may also need to refresh the ice during the day.a

    Food and Wine's Ray Isles has an interesting piece in the new issue where he states that if the outdoor temp is 90 degrees F, the interior of your car(and trunk) can quickly rise to 130 degrees F. (That's medium rare for a steak, but boiled for wine.)

    4 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      Agreed. Cooler w/ ice. Check on it at least once a day. Better to be in the main body of the car w/ the air conditioning and with a cracked window while parked. Try to park in the shade!

      The trunk gets really really hot. Room temperature is really not the problem. Even eighty degrees isn't really a problem for short term storage. Sustained time in 90+ degrees heat will alter the taste.

      Also try to keep em in dark places away from the sun.

      1. re: goldangl95

        Well, the 1st part of the trip has been successful. I made to Florida and was able to keep the wine reasonably cool throughout. I'll still be without my fridge for a couple of weeks. Am I better off leaving them at room temp or putting them in a regular fridge at top setting - probably around 46 degrees, I believe?

        Thanks for the help.

        1. re: freshlycured

          What kind of wines are we talking about? Most wines will be fine for a couple of weeks, a month . . . but if we're talking about, say, Clarets from the 1960s or Germans from the 1970s, I'd be more nervous . . . .

          1. re: freshlycured

            If you have room, I'd opt for the fridge, unless you have aircon. Room temp in Fla can get quite high and stay that way during the night. It is not uncommon for temps at night to hover in the low 80s for weeks at a time during August and Sept.