The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Keeping Your Wines Cool in Summer Heat

Posted on | June 25, 2015 | Written by IWM Staff | No Comments

Valdicava's organic vines deserve care in hot weather

Valdicava’s organic vines deserve care in hot weather

Hot weather is now upon us—which is a good thing for us but generally bad for wine.  Heat and oxygen are the Kryptonite of wine, though in the case of oxygen, it can also be its life force. Without wine being exposed to minute amounts of O2, we would never have perfectly mature vino to drink.  Heat, however, is 100 percent detrimental to wine, and never should a bottle of white, red of sparkling be exposed to intense heat.  The heat will actually speed up the aging process because the molecules are now moving faster; if you kept a bottle of wine frozen, it would never age!

Wine is susceptible to heat damage even under controlled circumstances. For example, he older the wine, the more easily damage can occur. Therefore, do not put a bottle of 1989 Giacosa Barolo out on your deck in 100-degree heat. Fresh, crisp whites and low alcohol and light reds are best put in and ice bucket if you choose to drink them outside.

During this time of year we also do a lot of traveling by plane and car. Wine is more resilient that people think, but a hot trunk is not the way to transport wine as the bottles would bake and get jostled around. Keep wines in a nice wine carrier in the front or back seat with the AC on, so they don’t bang around or get overheated.

If traveling by plane here’s what to do: Start packing your suitcase and about half way through wrap your bottles in bubble wrap to protect them. By sticking them in the middle of your suitcase and surrounding them with more clothes it will protect the bottles. When you unpack let the rest for a couple of days before popping. If possible, chill your bottles until you pack to keep them safe from damaging runway heat.

For all of us that do not have a cellar, the best place to store your vino is somewhere dark and cool. A basement will work or closet, as long as the temperature does not go above 60 degrees. This is not a permanent solution, though, and any serious collection should be stored in a wine fridge or a wine cellar.

Hope this helps keep your wine safe, sound and comfortable this summer!

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