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Jan 10, 2014 09:37 AM

Is the wine ruined?

Hi Wine-hounds --

So I was out in California over the holidays and bought a case of wine to be shipped to my home in NYC. Unfortunately, the polar vortex came along and wacked the wine. At least some of the wine froze to some extent in the recent arctic blast.

When I opened the shipping carton, three corks had popped out entirely and the wine was everywhere. Three corks had "popped" about 75% out, but the wine stayed in the bottle. Obviously these had at least partially frozen.

Six corks/capsules remained entirely intact. We drank one of the "popped" wines when the case showed up and it seemed okay.

Before I continue with my story, I will say that I called the winery immediately and they were incredibly nice. They immediately offered to reship the entire order next week.

My question is, how much are these wines compromised? Are the 6 fully intact bottles okay to lay down for a while, if I choose? Obviously the 3 popped corks aren't something I'd feel comfortable storing for more than... oh, a couple of days or so. And vertically, at that.

I'm not a wine collector, and I'm certainly no expert. I simply like wine. Our biggest impediment to starting a cellar is 1) we live in NYC, and 2) we'll probably wind up drinking it within 3-4 months :-)

Thank you for your wisdom.

PS - we received a case the day before from a different winery in the same region. None of them appeared to have been compromised. Possibly a different shipping route?

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  1. Heat I believe is a worse enemy to wine (is yours' red or white?) Freezing won't affect the alcohol but it may affect how the wine tastes as it ages (at least that's what I have read elsewhere.) Here is a link with discussion:

    1 Reply
    1. re: penthouse pup

      Oh cool, thanks. That article was interesting. Our wines are red, in this case. We plan to finish the wines that "popped" this weekend, since we realize they may have gotten some air in them, even though no wine leaked out.

      The other six had no visible cork issues, but who knows. We'll drink those six first, then maybe lay some of the fresh case down for a bit when it arrives.