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Heat damage experiment

From experience, if keeping in a very hot car or oven, expect the wine to leak, so put the bottles inside something that will catch the spillage…


My own experience is that the 2018 did a pretty good job at spoiling my wine. Quite a few bottles were nigh on undrinkable. I did not have perfect storage conditions, but they were in a walk in larder, which is usually the coolest room in the house. Nothing super expensive but stuff in the £10-30 range. That summer was more than just a couple of weeks of heat, though, and it was quite extreme, even for an only stone cottage like mine. Now I only look to keep wines at home for a year maximum.

This is without getting into the thorny issue of temperature controlled containers because I’ve also had decent quality wine much impaired by what I suspect was a lack of these. In fact I don’t think UK wine importers use them much. I wonder if WS do? If not, then maybe avoid big orders for expensive wine in summer…

At floor level - assuming your garage has a concrete floor - it will be fairly constant temperature due to the thermal mass of the concrete slab. So if you keep your best wines down there, there wont be much temperature change.

The higher off the floor you go, the worse it will be. As I understand it, the problem is down to thermal CHANGE (as in hot days, cool nights) - providing its fairly constant (except baking) it doesn’t matter much?

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You certainly hear that said a lot, but I have never seen any evidence.

I think a lot of the wine-lore about “ideal” storage conditions is based on the observation that it seems to age well in cellars. But nobody has bothered to investigate many details about what is important and what is not.


Yes. And I am coming around to the view that this applies to about 99% of the advice you receive in any aspect of life.


There does seem to be a surprising lack of real research into this (credit to @thewinelake for trying to address that :blush:) but I’ve seen a hell of a lot more anecdotal evidence that wine is remarkably resilient even over a period of years than of wine being ruined in less-than-perfect storage conditions.


It depends where you look. Americans seem to be a lot more obsessed with storage conditions than Brits. It will be partly because some parts of the US have a much warmer climate than here, but I think it goes beyond that.


No one wants doubt over the provenance or enjoyment of whatever treat they are experiencing.

That doubt is part of it.

I’ve accepted that it’s ok to spend a few quid more a bottle on storage and/or retailer provenance vs saving a bargain that needs storage in my wine sauna/garage.

I’m currently wrestling the conundrum of having one of the most “tannic wines known to man” the Dalamara Naoussa 2017 and breaching vinfanticide of early access vs the punishment it’s going to get in the wine “sauna” garage. Which do you prefer a tannic brute? Or a sloppy soup? :slight_smile:

It was a delivery destined for reserves too but accidentally got delivered instead.

Also having reserves and some bottles for short term consumption at home is the iceberg collection approach which can be handy for budgeting conversations.

Same logic applies for spiral cellars which has been a recent consideration. Im leaning towards an iceberg collection and being worry free

EDIT: Iceberg: shows less above water than underwater

Sauna symptoms are reduced nose, higher maturation. Increased candied or stewed effects


That is how I see it personally. So I stick my wines in a wine fridge at home. But that is the end of the matter as far as I am concerned. Cellars seem to work for aging wine, so I make an attempt to replicate those conditions, and don’t fret about the details.

No contest - my vote goes to “tannic brute” :slight_smile:

Did you contact customer services to see if they could sort something out for you? I believe that, within a certain timeframe, distance-selling regulations give you a right to return goods for any reason for a refund - with you paying for the return shipping if the goods were not faulty and it was your error. But presumably you would have liked to hold onto ownership of the wines, so a friendly request would have been the right approach.


I drank a bottle of the 2017 about 2 months ago, and I thought it was delicious and drinking very well. Just for info, all my wine is stored at constant 12 degrees. Consequently I ordered 12 of the 2018…


Like others, I’m wont to take proffered advice with a pinch of salt.

I would contend that most foodstuffs are better stored in a cool, dark environment as opposed to a warm one. It just seems fairly obvious

I would also contend that variety, appellation and producer style can have a great deal of influence over what seems to constitute ‘age-ability’. I’m inclined to think that a wine suitable for, or designed to, age will smooth out the bumps in it’s lifetime far better than a wine that was never really intended for such a purpose, because such wines are not the shrinking violets that they are made out to be…

So, for example, I’ve found traditionally produced Rioja to be seemingly indestructible when faced with all manner of different storage conditions. I’m also minded that, despite the accepted will-turn-to-vinegar-in-72-hours orthodoxy, Alain Brumont advises that his Pacherencs will evolve comfortably for 6 weeks after opening. I have tried this (as it happens, not with his but Laffitte Teston’s) and it works. I can’t imagine, under those circumstances, that they need a high degree of maintenance during their unopened lifetime.

I may be straying into blatant speculation territory, but my gut instinct suggests to me that high acid wines should (shouldn’t they?) fare better than low acid ones (or would it be counterintuitively the opposite? I’m no chemist!)?


Thanks. At the time I wasn’t aware the Naoussa was a hold and keep so just accepted it. It’s my fault not the wine society

Yes I also have the wine fridge option. What is increasingly becoming a problem is what to do with the wine not good enough to get into the fridge. This includes exhibition hermitage…

I think a larger iceberg option maybe the right approach

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There’s always the final solution option!


Not here, but Robin Garr did an experiment leaving a bottle of wine in a hot car and comparing it with another bottle that hadn’t been in the car.

I’ve searched his site and found the original
“Cooking” wine: An experiment
Long time ago I left a case of wine in my unheated garage where the temperature can get very cold and forgot all about it.

A couple of years later when I discovered it I found the wine undrinkable…

*of course, there could have been bottle variation between the two wines.

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Thanks drinking it is definitely an option!

The problem is that my local surplus is in wine above the “save for vaguely special” so smashing a hermitage on a weeknight is currently off the cards.

Increased iceberg option sounds the way forward.

Currently I feel like a CPU with a 120KB L1 cache (Sauna) and a 4 TB L2 (TWS storage)… one for the geeks


With the Euros, Wimbledon, TdF, cricket series, there must a be a fair number of “vaguely special” events to chose from at the moment. But yes, I realise work is a bit of a dampener for many!

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We are spoiled for sporting events at the moment. That is definitely true and I enjoy many of them but occasionally wonder whether the Netflix/Amazon execs throttle new content during such periods.

The rate of acquisition exceeds consumption so need to make sure new acquisitions get sent to the right place.

To be honest enjoying wine during the week is better than at the weekend due to wanting to be more at call for family

The youtube algorithm recommended me this video today which reminded me of this thread. Potentially a useful data point and seems to support the hypothesis that wine is more robust than received wisdom would suggest.


Domaine Grand Veneur. My gut feeling is that Rhone wines are quite robust. I wonder what the difference would be with a red Burgundy or a fine and delicate white! Don’t think his experiment proved anything.