Reefer madness! Do Americans get worse Australian wine than Japan?

What wine lover doesn’t love the “reefer”? Simmer down, I’m talking about the refrigerated shipping container. Jancis Robinson had a piece in the FT about this chilling topic on Saturday.

As if that didn’t spark your interest in this aspect of logistics, it reminded me of a conversation I had a few weeks ago with a bigwig at a large Australian wine producer. He told me that they track the temperature fluctuations in their transportation containers via sophisticated thermometer. They have data–hour by hour if necessary–for the duration of the voyage. Sometimes the container gets “trans-shipped” and can lie around for weeks on a dock Singapore, a locale not at the top of everyone’s “cool and dry” places.

Here’s the really interesting part: in Japan, the importers demand the data and refuse the wine if it has been cooked. In the US, no. He also said they have different blends for different markets but that is not exactly news.

The only thing worse than having wine be corked is when it is cooked!

Related: “Wireless message in a bottle” (image)

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3 Responses to “Reefer madness! Do Americans get worse Australian wine than Japan?”

  1. Similar problem with wine deliveries in hot states. As we all know, dark colors absorb infrared radiation while light colors reflect it. Tom Wark wrote about this a while back: Wine shipped via FedEx is less likely to be “cooked”, because the white trucks are cooler inside than the dark brown/nearly black UPS trucks.

    The biggest problem I have with cooked wine is when I go to someone’s house for a gathering. The host/hostess are not wine fans, but they have a bottle in the house, and knowing that I like wine, they offer it to me. Now, they opened it two years ago and it’s been sitting next to the stove the whole time. It’s always interesting to try something that’s descended from wine to a madeira-like beverage to a vinegar to something that Satan himself would refuse and pour down the drain in order to punish whatever sub-hells lurk below.

  2. I stay away from reds for the most part. The tannins give me terrible migraines. Although, I LOVE a good port. I really like the Australian wine; they are very refreshing.

  3. I will very much appreciate any help including reference books on the following:
    The transportation of integral reefer containers and the requirements for stowage below deck
    Heat removal from cargo hold and how to avoid contaminatioon from one container to another when refreshing air in each container when required
    I need photos of stowage of integral reefer containers on board and common design details of air supply to cargo holds for reefer containers integral type.
    Description of ventilation and considerations for the transport of integral reefer containers below deck.


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