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This week's extreme heat cooked my wine


#1

Hi,

I am sure we all experienced extreme heat this week. I have a wine fridge for about 65-70 bottles where I keep most precious bottles for ageing, but unfortunately also have about 60-70 bottles that I store on wine racks one in a closet and another under the table in a second room. I live in a top floor flat in London, space is of premium and cannot fit another wine fridge so have to compromise.

Most of the time in the summer the flat is up to 23C, however in yesterdays heat temperatures went to 28-30c for a day. I noticed that on a couple of bottles the cork slight got raised. I am not sure if they are completely cooked, but I am not worried that the heat wave cooked about 60-70 bottles of wine :cry:

I tried to put away most precious bottles - the natural/organic and most expensive ones, but cannot fit them all in the fridge.

Is all my wine ruined? What are others doing to combat the situation.

Thanks


#2

I’d say they’re likely not ruined but probably had a bit of accelerated aging. I wouldn’t keep them too long.

Here’s a comment I picked up on line which is about what I would have thought:

If a bottle of wine has been exposed to extremes of heat, the wine might start to expand and leak out of the cork a bit. When you remove the capsule, you might notice a sticky mess. This is evidence your wine may have been exposed to heat, but it doesn’t always mean that your wine is toast. A “cooked” wine’s flavors will actually taste … cooked. The fruit flavors might seem stewed, not fresh. There might be baked, burnt or caramel notes. The color may also have changed from deep red to more of a brown or brick tone.


#3

I really want to justify spending money on a wine fridge but generally nothing stays in our house more than a year and the good stuff stays at TWS until we drink it but I have a few bottles which have been kicking around for much longer. We are opening a bottle of this
tonight

It has sat in our lumber room - aka “cellar” since April 2015. The temp ranges from 14C to 23C over the year though hit an all time high of 27C yesterday. I am interested to see if has survived ok. Another bottle of the Chorey we tried last month was spoiled I think rather than cooked (no expert but I did not recognise any of the flavours mentioned by @MikeFranklin). On the other hand, we had a bottle of La Rioja Alta Ardanza 2005 which had been in there since 2015 the other day and it was absolutely wonderful.

I keep trying to convince my OH we need to buy a wine fridge but at the moment the jury is out…I’m half hoping the Chorey is cooked. :wink:


#4

For a wine ridge I recommend getting 2nd hand. I got a Leibherr on eBay 4 years ago for £75. It works very well and at that price was easy to justify.

For me getting another fridge is difficult due to space constraints and wife acceptance factor.

I am very sad thinking this heatwave potentially spoiled so much of wine, I guess we need to try to see what happened. I also dont know if any wine corks have been protruding before, but this one was notifable. Luckily it was a bottle I bought last week from Waitrose.


#5

I’m in exactly to same position. Need larger storage capacity instant temperature. Picked up a perfectly fine second hand unit on eBay for £80, which is fine for 70 or so bottles, but the rest…

Basically need a proper cave unit for 150 bottles. It’s whether I get one as well as the existing fridge and just cram it in somewhere, or get rid of the old one and replace with a cave. I suspect I will need all possible storage, but this will not go easily with the wife acceptance factor.

Current thinking is to promise to get rid of the old one, but time that with a fresh delivery of EP and reserves cases and suddenly occupy all the space!

Don’t know what will cause more outrage: the prospect of two wine fridges or greater understanding of off-site wine


#6

Out of sight, out of mind…


#7

I would doubt that very much. As @MikeFranklin mentioned its more likely just speeded up the aging very slightly. Its only 5-7C higher than your normal storage conditions.

The scientific approach would be to experiment, so i suggest opening a few bottles and trying them. If every one you open is trashed then you’ll know for sure. If not trashed then all is good, and youve had a party! :grinning:


#8

I’m also a little nervous about mine which are stored in a room that’s usually very cool. On wednesday the heat was off the scale in there (the scale only goes to 27 mind) bit oddly the wines, which I’d covered in a rug and a sheet, felt somewhat cool to the touch, so who knows. The following morning i covered all windows that dont have blinds with newspaper which brought the room temp right down, wish I’d thought of that earlier :smiley:


#9

That’s the best use for a newspaper these days! :+1:


#10

Oh - er - I’d better not comment on that one!

I wouldn’t be too worried about a single day or two’s excursion, unless any of your wines are in the “natural” no-added sulfur category. They might be problematic.


#11

I have just opened a 2005 red that has been in my rack for two years (before that, god knows where) and it was just great. The temperature varies between 16 and 32 (conservative estimate) degrees…


#12

I can probably think of one better one!


#13

Oh, you British, with zet toilet humour… :smile:


#14

My ‘overspill’ wine purchases live in their boxes in an upstairs room, where I keep the curtains closed in summer and as cool and ventilated as possible. A 2010 Rioja that I have kept like this for at least 6 months was opened earlier today and has proved to be fine. No cork movement, no leakage and certainly still very fresh and tasting delicious, all in spite of this week’s crazy weather.


#15

I keep bottles under the stairs and in the pantry but for the most part in a north east bedroom where the heating doesn’t work and the Velux is permanently on vent position. Some have been there for years with no noticeable problems.
On the other hand, when my late father died I retrieved some bottles from the south-facing kitchen in his flat and they had all suffered.

When living in Australia, a few hours in a car boot on a hot day was enough to lift the cork a few millimetres. I simply pressed them down again at home and never tasted any ill-effects.


#16

I can testify the Evening Standard is excellent for lighting a bonfire. Not worth reading, of course.


#17

I stored 20 odd bottles of assorted types and vintages in a garage during for a year including all of last year’s extended hot spell. Wines were in boxed and wrapped in newspaper which did seem to help insulate them. We’ve drunk several of these since and all have been fine. The only thing I did notice was some of the bottles seemed to have opened up nicely and I thought it possible the temp variation had perhaps accelerated the aging process a bit, but this was hardly a controlled experiment.


#18

Its also worth noting that even though the air temperature increased, there is a lot of thermal mass in the glass and wine so would take quite a while for the contents of the bottles to heat up to the air temp.


#19

“Basically need a proper cave unit for 150 bottles.”

Where’s the rest going then? :wink:


#20

Thanks everyone for reassurance. Will report back once we start opening the bottles. Is anyone aware of decent wine storage for self brought wine?

I know WS stores wines you buy from it, but would like to explore the option of offsite storage. I dont have single cases, all bottles are singles and not super expensive (£10-15 avg per bottle) but come from rare places I traveled.

Thanks