The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

How to Keep Wine Cool During Your Summertime Fun

Posted on | May 14, 2015 | Written by Emery Long | No Comments

10439508_10152644621759316_3393193485606291090_nSummer is swiftly approaching and it stirs a mix of emotions. I am most excited about longer sunny days, beautiful flowers, the cool shade of a new leaves, and dining outside with friends over a slew of national holidays. However, after the cold winter and brisk spring, I haven’t forgotten about the humidity, the heat, the traffic, and the hot smells of the earth thawing out. One thing for is sure: I’ll be diving head first into the season in style.

When I’m packing for a picnic, I usually leave the $100 a bottle wine behind, opting for bottles that I can chill very cold, letting them warm on my way to the event. For my “picnic pounder” I look for a wine that’s light, refreshing, effortless, bright, and cold—even bordering arctic. Something like Adam 2013 Pinot Grigio fits the bill. Under $12, this wine has all of the flavors I desire, and it also has a screw top in the off chance that a corkscrew didn’t make it in the bag

When you head out for a picnic, often glassware falls by the wayside. It would have to be a serious engagement to convince me to bring my set of Movia Crystal glassware into Central Park for a soirée. It’s all about having the right tool for the right job. I would serve my picnic wine in small, small portions in plastic cups to ensure that the beverage stays at the proper temperature in the bottle and to ensure that the sun doesn’t heat the wine in your cup. Smaller portions consumed quickly keep you from picking up won’t a plastic flavor from the cup.

When gearing up for a summer adventure, it’s always important to keep in mind the conditions of your journey along the way. On a short trip, a hot car traveling a few short hours can create a microclimate similar to a greenhouse—especially in your trunk—and unpredictable traffic can make your destination time unknown. Now start fretting about the delicious and delicate wine sitting in your trunk.

IWM’s wine cellars sit at a constant cool dark 56 degrees Fahrenheit, 13 degrees Celsius and 60% humidity, the ideal cellar temperature. This is a stark temperature difference to the projected typical summer high temperatures of 101 degrees, before factoring in the radiating heat from the asphalt, the reflection of a dark leather interior, and the fact that your companions want the sunroof open, windows down, AC blasting.

Don’t worry, I have come prepared with a few ideas on how to keep your wine secured like a pro. Serious enthusiasts can invest in a small 12-bottle electric wine cooler and an a/c converter for the vehicle; plug these in and let your worries fly out of your sunroof. If that’s not practical, I would suggest a small cooler bag that has been slightly chilled in advance. Wrap a minimal amount of cool ice packs—fewer ice packs than wine—in a small towel to encourage a cool temperature while not allowing the packs to have any direct contact of coolness of the ice packs. This method should be checked every few hours as it might take a few tries to get the size of ice packs dialed in as to make sure the bag and wine is not too cold or too warm.

To ensure that for whatever occasion you are celebrating or whatever color or type of wine you are enjoying, have a plan, stick to it, and be prepared to use a cooler bag. It’s all about preparation when your summer fun includes wine—and, really, that’s almost always.

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