How much wine outside the winery is cooked? #heatwave

wine truck These muggy days in the high 90s have New Yorkers sweltering. So it’s as good a day as any to wonder out loud how much of the wine we drink is at least partially heat-damaged, or, in wine geek vernacular, “cooked.”

It’s also been an extremely hot summer in much of Europe. Antonio Galloni considered the implications of this when at a domaine in Burgundy recently, as he saw an unrefrigerated truck hauling away wine bound for America via Dijon, a four-hour drive. Even if it joins a refrigerated container for trans-Atlantic travel, Galloni wrote on eBob, saying, “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that 4 hours in a truck at 100 degree temps means those wines will probably be cooked before they ever have a chance to oxidize, prematurely or not.”

Fortunately, most conscientious importers do ship in refrigerated containers today. But some warehouses in the US and/or delivery trucks for the last few miles to shops and restaurants remain without temperature control, affecting foreign and domestic wines alike. While lower-priced wines tend to get less kid-glove treatment, when I tweeted about it yesterday, James Molesworth tweeted back that when he worked in retail, he saw grand cru Burgundy returned because the corks were pushed out from the heat. Daniel Posner of Grapes the Wine Company said he is not taking deliveries these hot days but added that many (but not all) wholesalers in NY are taking good care of their wines.

Are there solutions that could improve the situation for consumers?

For one, if critics purchased the wines they reviewed at retail stores instead of tasting at the winery, that would provide a strong incentive to tighten controls in the wine supply chain. But this has a snowball’s chance in today’s sweltering midtown of happening.

Another approach would be to have temperature sensors on bottles that showed at a glance the max/min range that the bottle had experienced. This could be a primitive strip or a tripped-out tag that included a temperature surge with a log of the trip to locate where the spike occurred. This is also unlikely to happen, but it could provide some transparency to consumers.

What do you think–how much wine outside the winery is cooked, if even a little? What can consumers do to avoid it? (I applaud retailers who will hold wine for free until cooler shipping weather arrives.) If you are a retailer or a sommelier, how prevalent is the lack of refrigerated delivery trucks–and what do you do about it?

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51 Responses to “How much wine outside the winery is cooked? #heatwave”


  1. Extreme hot temperatures can’t help but affect the quality of the wine. I don’t think it’s something consumers really think much about.

    I recently went wine tasting in Oregon and several of the wineries mentioned they wouldn’t ship during the summers outside of Oregon because of this very concern.


  2. Keep and more articles about adding RFID tags to work with sensors in cases so there is a record of temperatures during shipment from winery all the way to retailer. With the expense of replacing wines shipped direct to consumer, especially for higher end stuff, it has to become a standard sooner or later, right? http://www.winebusiness.com/wbm/?go=getArticle&dataId=37133


  3. Ooops, that was not the link I was talking about. Funny, that was a story on it from back in 2005! Shows how long they’ve been talking about it. Here’s the link (more recent!), talking about the same concept, but for food temperature monitoring for safety purposes during shipping:
    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/04/rfid-that-knows-where-your-product-is-and-whats-its-doing/


  4. I recently finished up tasting about 2000, all under $25, grocery store types of wines in Austin Texas for Better Wine Guide. All of the wines were purchased directly at retail and cooked wines were by far, my largest issue. By comparison, very few wines were corked.

    Fortunately no one argued about it and just replaced them but what I worry about is the number of people that would not be able to identify a cooked wine (or a corked wine for that matter). Many consumers that take a sip of cooked wine are likely to just think the wine is poor quality as opposed to identifying the actual wine flaw. That can definitely be a problem for the winery.

    David Boyer
    classof1855.com


  5. Buy a lot of wine in the cooler months and stockpile it for the summer.


  6. In the Chicago market both Billion dollar liquor dominated companies who also sell the most wine in the market ship in non refrigerated vehicles.
    Southern Wine and Spirits and The Wirtz Corporation need to give up a small amount of profit and deliver their wines properly. Or maybe the government should split wine and spirits sales so that the big corporations have to actually sell wine for a profit instead of giving it away because of their huge liquor profits and dumbing down the market!


  7. [...] reaction to the scorching summer temperatures, Dr. Vino brings attention to the certainty of heat-damaged [...]


  8. Do cooked wines represent a greater problem to the industry than corked wines?

    Robin- Yes, probably a consumer can go on a spring binge with the least fears of wine in the supply chain being cooked. Unfortunately, not all wines are available then.


  9. An interesting post on a perennial issue down here in Australia as well, albeit hard to imagine as a serious problem in the depths of our winter(!) Personally, I do purchase a lot of wines at retail, so if the wine tastes heat damaged, that goes in the review. I think it’s a serious issue that is frequently ignored, for reasons that are regrettably perhaps fairly clear.

    Aside from careful observation of capsules, corks and fill levels, I agree that temperature sensors on bottles or cases seem a neat, if seemingly distant, corrective solution.


  10. Just let me pop open my “corked” umbrella here to catch the TCA, oxidation, maderization, and “I don’t like it” consumer reasons for returns. We’ll let the cork fall on the sword since it’s clearly to blame.


  11. Nice discussion.

    Cooking wines at the wholesaler level is a huge problem.

    The fact is that the largest wholesalers in this country do not ship in refrigerated trucks, nor do they have temperature control warehouses.

    Some have sections of fine wines in temp control (thank goodness), but the majority of wines in these facilities are cooking away today in the NY metro area.

    One wholesaler in NY delivered yesterday to another store. 100 cases of mixed “everyday” wines. The cases arrived very hot. The retailer called the supplier, who offered to make arrangements for a new delivery today.

    The retailer said that he would keep the delivery.

    After 10 years in this industry, I am apalled by the stupidity of those working around me.


  12. Don’t disagree with the issues, but this is a little stange: Are you paraphrasing Antonio or are these your words
    “It’s also been an extremely hot summer in much of Europe. Antonio Galloni considered the implications of this when at a domaine in Burgundy recently, as he saw an unrefrigerated truck hauling away wine bound for America via Dijon, a four-hour drive”

    I don’t know where in Burgundy you could be that was 4 hours from Dijon. Perhaps Aviginon but that would be the Southern Rhone wouldn’t it?


  13. Hi Mark,

    I found that confusing too. It was a direct quote. Maybe unrefrigerated trucks drive slowly in Burgundy?


  14. “Fortunately, most conscientious importers do ship in refrigerated containers today. But some warehouses in the US and/or delivery trucks for the last few miles to shops and restaurants remain without temperature control, affecting foreign and domestic wines alike.”
    Unfortunately this is the case in PA it’s currently 98 degrees with a real feel of 112 degrees


  15. [...] your wine shipped in refrigerated barrels? Good things to think [...]


  16. I first encountered palates of wines packaged in plastic wrap destined for Japan when in Chateauneuf du Pape in the early 90′s. It was in the 90′s and I asked the proprietor about the heat. His response was, “we don’t have big refridgerators to hold them”.
    We wonder why there is so much variability in bottles from abroad.


  17. We at CaptainVineyards do not sell our wines through distributors, retailers or restaurants for the reasons mentioned above, not necessarily due to transportation, but more to storage and display at these establishments. Most of the wines are not kept in cool dark cellars, I see them on counters, in spotlighted shelves and racks.
    Visit your friendly local winery, taste the wine and if you like it buy it there and then. Make sure you do not leave it inside your car for too long.


  18. Heat damage is a major issue around the world. Wine does not take kindly to overheating or freezing, and transport/storage conditions can ruin wine before it ever reaches the consumer. eProvenance provides a technology system to help the wine industry monitor and improve these storage and transport conditions. Both the scientific literature and our own commissioned research support the fact that temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius are not healthy for wine, and temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius can “cook” wine in as little as 18 hours. Based upon the 650,000 temperature measurements we have taken so far, we can profile the world of wine shipments. For example, over the past three years, 41.2 percent of monitored fine wine shipments from France were exposed to temperatures above 25 degrees. 11.5 percent of shipments were exposed to temperatures above 30 degrees. And 3.2 percent of shipments were “cooked” producing a wine that lacks aromas, lacks the sulfur dioxide for long-term storage, and generally tastes “off.” Our data shows that as much as $2.2 billion in wine experiences improper storage temperatures during transport. (You can see our detailed report from last fall on fine wine distribution conditions worldwide at: http://www.eprovenance.com/AssuringProvenance-report.) We can’t change the weather, but we can certainly help the wine industry protect this precious cargo! By monitoring their shipments, several of our customers have discovered problems in their distribution channels and have taken corrective steps. Others have confirmed that their wines are being properly cared for during transport (and can then use that info as a marketing advantage). The key is having the information — you can’t correct problems you don’t know about! We want to reach everyone who cares about wine — wineries, importers, retailers, sommeliers, collectors, consumers — and share our research and findings. Eventually, we hope all shipments will be monitored and all customers will have the assurance their wine has been properly handled. Can you image buying milk without checking the freshness date? We think wine should be accorded the same care and concern – that means creating “cold chains” that assure the correct temperature conditions from winery to consumer. Hope this was informative — would love to hear your questions and feedback! From the sweltering suburbs of Boston, where it reached 102 this afternoon, I hope this heat wave breaks soon for all of us! ;-)


  19. None of the trucks that deliver to the restaurant I work at are refrigerated. I unfortunately don’t have much control over when my deliveries come in either. If I know there is going to be hot weather, I will ask my distributors to delay delivery but that’s all I can do.


  20. Davis

    What state are you in?


  21. I’m in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I take a lot of the deliveries that come in and I’ve never noticed the wine being at a different temperature than that of the outdoors.


  22. Louise, your data are interesting and it really answers Tyler’s initial question. We have a big enough problem these days with heat in the vineyards (obviously beyond our control) that affect fine wine’s aging potential so adding to it by disregarding shipping temperatures just seems crazy.

    We need more people in the industry to take notice and take action. Allowing this to happen is the ‘wine equivalent’ of driving while texting – it is both destructive and avoidable.

    Thanks for sharing!

    David Boyer
    classof1855.com


  23. How does a cooked wine taste?


  24. David – loved your comment – couldn’t agree more that the situation is “destructive and avoidable.”

    castello – cooked wine generally lacks aromas, lacks freshness and tastes “off.” It may taste “stewed” – like the fruit flavors have been cooked. The color may change from deep red to more brown. (Of course, there are other tastes you may experience in cooked wine, but those are a few.)


  25. What makes me laugh is how many men (and it is about 95% male) on wine chat boards, obsess about a degree or two of heat in their at home wine storage.

    What they do not understand is that between the producer and the time they get the wine into their perfectly controlled cellars, there are literally dozens of opportunities for the wine to boil, freeze, cook and generally be rendered undrinkable.

    When I mentioned that I had a passive cellar, that sees no light nor vibration and is always at least 5-8 degrees cooler than my home, the response was to treat me like the retarded relative.

    I am in the business and know way more about wine than most. I have never lost a bottle to heat damage or any other type of damage (save for the bottle I dropped while removing it from my shelves).


  26. Thanks Louise. So the color should be an obvious indicator? Besides of coarse cork leaking or saturated.
    I hear you Marlene. I don’t know more than most but I think wine is tougher than most think.


  27. Nice entry Tyler.

    One thing you missed on your entry is that there are still wineries that store their bottled wines and/or barrels in less than ideal settings (Above ground storage without climate control). No matter how much refrigerated trucks they use on the transportation chain, the wines will still be cooked before they get into the customers hands.


  28. Wow! I don’t know about anyone else but I think we need a perspective check here. I live in Austin, TX and recently tasted (scored and wrote tasting notes for) about 2000 ‘grocery store wines’ for Better Wine Guide in the course of 65 flights. All were pulled off the shelves from local retailers or pulled by the distributor from their warehouses. Out of 2000 bottles there were 8 bottles cooked, no doubt about it, and another 4 that were partially cooked, possibly, or at least suspect (partially cooked). 8 Bottles out 2000 is not bad and in fact under 1/2%.

    The larger worry for me is in the fine wine arena where we pay top dollar for say Classified Bordeaux or Grand Cru Burgundy and even with trackable and good provenance, we don’t know when, or where, or for how long, our bottles were exposed to aberrant temperatures, thus reducing bottle life and development of complexity of our wines. As we consider fine wine, I would say that somewhere around 8% of the world’s wine would be considered ‘fine wine’ and if we apply the less than 1/2%, it’s not too bad.

    My experience is that I have dealt with more cooked wine than corked wine but the cork industry got pretty serious when they saw a future of screw caps (another day for this one) and cleaned up a lot of TCA issues. Cooked wines are going to happen.

    Not long ago my brother brought over two bottles of very high-end older vintage Penfolds (you know what I’m talking about) and they were both cooked beyond recognition. The retailer immediately refunded his money.

    It sucks for everyone but it’s part of life for now. I don’t worry about the grocery store wines much because they turn over so quickly and as for fine wines, storage, shipping, and corks have all really come up in the world. I’m still enjoying them, that’s for sure.

    David Boyer
    classof1855.com


  29. [...] 'white wine moment'. (Wall Street Journal) Terroir…It's about the dirt…isn't it? (Seattle Pi) How much wine outside the winery is cooked? #heatwave (Dr Vino) Sapporo may expand U.S. mergers and acquisitions search to wine (Globe and Mail) [...]


  30. Jose- Thanks for the comment. Yes, indeed, wine can even be cooked at the winery–but it is a dreadful thought, a sort of infanticide!


  31. Louise, That is fascinating data. I look forward to checking out your report and tracking methods more closely.


  32. This is a post that I have watched with some interest. We are in the industry and are busy enough that following anyone’s posts frequently is an issue. Yet, . . . we receive deliveries daily and there are many that I return because they are clearly too warm. While we taste the vast majority of the wines before ordering (90%– we are a small shop), how can I know that wines that arrive will be similar to those that I tasted when deliveries occur throughout the year and at widely varying temperatures?

    My questions: are consumers willing to bear the extra cost of refrigerated transportation– from the vineyard to the container to the importer to the distributor to us? Each of the proposed solutions above adds an additional cost component. It may assure higher quality wine, but at a cost.

    Secondly, what about the consumers who like maderized wine? We have had tastings at which a maderized wine is served, and there have been several customers who like it. It is not “off” in the TCA sense– there is not the horse-blankety/barnyardy quality to the wine, but more a raisiny/stewed quality to it, without acidity; there are some who prefer that. While it may not reflect the wine-maker’s expectation, it meets some consumers’ preferences.

    Finally, our limited experience (5 years in business), while less exact than David’s above is nonetheless consistent with his finding that the incidence of cooked wines is remarkably low, given the likely circumstance that somewhere along its route it was exposed to high temperatures. Perhaps wine is much less fragile than we’ve represented?


  33. Marty,

    I’m always happy to know a retailer that is on top of his game, and actually cares about quality- well done! I think for everyone in the industry and every consumer, ‘caveat emptor’ applies, and regardless of which position we’re in, we all need to understand if a cooked wine is returnable at retail, or wholesale (for you retailers), and ultimately to the wine estate. If there is a chain of accountability, no problem, except when a collector buys wine and stores it for years only to discover it’s corked, cooked, or otherwise damaged. Then it becomes a matter of relationships.

    I think you pose a good question about who pays for the cost of cooked wine, as ultimately everything gets passed on to the consumer. I think the answer to your question depends on the level of wine being sold. If it’s Barefoot, probably not too many consumers are going to demand a refund because they detect that the wine is cooked. If it’s Lafite, well that’s another matter entirely but I would say as a collector, yes I’d pay a bit more to have a guarantee that the wine was not flawed after being bottled. Again, my experience is that very few of them have been (although it’s painful when they are).

    Some wine lovers indeed enjoy maderized wines so maybe hold a sherry/vin santo fest for them. Still there is a vast difference in tastes between those that are intentionally abused like vin santo (and there are not so good examples of that too), and a cooked wine. Your description of TCA seems like more of a description of brettanomyces than TCA but it just illustrates that there are many flaws possible from the vineyard to our glass.

    No need to slight yourself about your limited wine exerience because people get tripped up all of the time. I was recently at a wine tasting with a group known as Wine Salon (they post their notes in Cellar Tracker – always high-end wines) and we were tasting through 40 Italian white wines. Often these wines are intentionally oxidized or maderized and I made a comment about one of them being very simple and one dimensional, and a couple people in the group laughed at me and said, “Man, that wine is SO corked!” I was so accustomed to tasting oxidized wine that day that I completely missed it. Just goes to show you (and me), anyone can wear egg on his face.

    Keep doing a good job at retail – I think people really do appreciate it!

    David Boyer
    classof1855.com


  34. Glad to see the comments and questions continuing here! To address a few that have cropped up… The impetus to start our temperature monitoring biz stemmed largely from our founder’s personal experiences tasting wine at a chateau, ordering it, and finding it tasted very different when he received it in the USA. Furthermore, many of the winemakers we spoke with (prior to starting our company) said they were very concerned about the conditions during shipping & storage but they had no way to investigate or verify. Also fascinating is that heat damage often occurs, not as you might think during transatlantic voyages, but rather on the “shoulders” of the trip — on the loading dock, during the transport from importer to retailer or from retailer to consumer. As to who pays and how much the market will tolerate in terms of $ increase to cover monitoring, I think the previous comments are on track — those folks investing in fine wine are highly motivated to pay a small premium to assure either the quality of their drinking experience or the future resale value of their wines. The consumer is willing to pay for provenance. An analysis of fine wine auction results over the past two years demonstrates that the “provenance premium” runs twenty to thirty percent! (We have also started to develop a service that ties in insurance with monitoring for those who want to go that route.) As to the question of how fragile wines are, there are differences among varietals, but as I mentioned above, both the scientific literature and our own commissioned research support the fact that temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius are not healthy for wine, and temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius can “cook” wine in as little as 18 hours. (I can provide more details on that research if you like.) It’s also important to note that even if prolonged exposure to heat doesn’t “cook” a particular wine to the point of ruin, it will speed up the aging and thus a wine you plan to cellar for 10 or 15 yrs might actually reach it’s ideal drinking age much earlier and you will have no way of knowing this until you open the bottle and realize it’s beyond it’s prime. On a common sense level, given that we can already protect produce and pharmaceutical products during transport & storage using “cold chain” distribution channels, it’s really a matter shifting industry behavior and best practices to get similar systems in place to protect fine wines. My apologies if my replies are too long, but as I’m sure you can tell, I’m passionate about this topic and delighted to find people engaged in a thoughtful conversation! ;-)


  35. [...] 'white wine moment'. (Wall Street Journal) Terroir…It's about the dirt…isn't it? (Seattle Pi) How much wine outside the winery is cooked? #heatwave (Dr Vino) Sapporo may expand U.S. mergers and acquisitions search to wine (Globe and Mail) [...]


  36. Marlene,

    Excellent point, and one I have beated the drum on for years. Folks complain when a retailer ships in marginal weather, and blame them. But the reality is that wholesalers are cooking wine most of the way.

    Marty,

    I am glad that you refuse shipments that are too warm, but why even order wine to be delivered on a hot day.

    I am a big part of the education of wholesalers in NY on this stuff, so here are the steps that I have taken…

    1) WE DO NOT (place) ACCEPT FRIDAY DELIVERIES. Fridays are the most popular delivery day, so you have a much higher probability of getting a late in day delivery. This is a year round thing for me.

    2) From June 15th to Sept 15th, we do not take deliveries from wholesalers using non temp controlled trucks. In NY, these days, many wholesalers are using temp control, so mostly a non issue, but for example, Empire runs a special transit truck to me every couple of weeks. Load the truck just before they leave the warehouse to come to me. Opici has one of the VPs personally deliver to me. Fleetwood trucking put in temp controlled trucks to Westchester (Martin Scott, Touton, and others) because I complained after last summer and told those wholesalers that they could kiss my summer business goodbye.

    We need more consumers and retailers to be proactive.


  37. Nice article. As an importer, it’s obviously extremely important to me to receive wine in good condition. I have some winemakers who are very aware of the potential short term heat damage opportunities during the shipping process. I use reputable shippers and make clear my desire for careful temperature control during the entire trip. Even so, because I’m located in south Texas, I have made the decision not to receive shipments during the hottest months due to the risk. Interestingly enough, I have a winemaker annoyed with me because of this decision. Guess he doesn’t understand what 105F degrees feels like!


  38. Good question. How much wine INSIDE the wineries are occasionally cooked? Zero is certainly not the right answer…


  39. I owned a wine shop specializing in rare wine in Napa for fourteen years. Many times I had to return cases of first growth Bordeaux that had corks pushing from the heat. Year after year I had to return these heat damaged wines. Since it was mainly Bordeaux that I had to return, I presume it was from shipping in non refrigerated containers. But once I visited a friend working in a wine shop in Pensacola, Florida. The shop was filled with bottles leaking and pushing corks. He then took me on a trip to the big warehouse of Southern Wine & Spirits. He told me he had been inside the warehouse and it had no air conditioning. We drove around it and sure enough, there were no air conditioning units for the building. The big wholesale companies do not care at all about taking care of wine.


  40. Shawn

    This is not too much of a surprise.

    Here is the other great part about wholesalers like Southern, and Empire (Charmer’s NY wholesaler)…they load their trucks the night before…Monday’s trucks get loaded on Friday night.

    So, this past Friday if you got a delivery from Southern (EMpire was on shutdown), the truck was loaded in 95 degree weather the night before (overnight lows were about 86), and then the trucks started their routes at about 8 am, when it was already 90 degrees. By 1 pm, it was about 102 in the City. You think that any wine was cooked this past Friday in NY?


  41. I do not think my comments are much of a surprise to people in the trade. What is surprising is that more people do not complain when they see leaky bottles and pushed corks in wine shops. That is an obvious problem even for novices.


  42. [...] 'white wine moment'. (Wall Street Journal) Terroir…It's about the dirt…isn't it? (Seattle Pi) How much wine outside the winery is cooked? #heatwave (Dr Vino) Sapporo may expand U.S. mergers and acquisitions search to wine (Globe and Mail) [...]


  43. [...] our recent discussion on “cooked” wine, Louise from eProvenance joined the discussion. Founded by Eric Vogt, a wine collector formerly of [...]


  44. Thank you, David, for the thoughtful response and for the gentle correction on the TCA/Brettanomyces reference. Daniel encourages retailers, like us, to be more proactive about setting terms of shipments from wholesalers. This discussion has picqued our resolve, though as a small retailer, we do not have the muscle with wholesalers that Daniel is able to exert. There are exigencies such as cash flow and cellar constraints that make season-long moratoriums on deliveries untenable for us. Though we have checked the warehouse conditions of some of our wholesalers, we have passively assumed that trucks are not loaded until the day of delivery. We appreciate the heads up about that, and for the push to be more proactive. Louise has provided great data that compel us to take greater responsibility for the care of our wines. Thank you!


  45. Marty, and other retailers, thanks for perspectives on deliveries from distributors, etc. But I was also wondering about how the wine is stored at the store. Are back storerooms generally climate controlled? Is the ac left on over the weekend if the store is closed? What is the heat set at over the weekend in the winter? The high temperature threshold in Louise’s post is 86 degrees for 18 hours, warm to be sure, but not so hot that I can’t imagine some stores with storerooms at or above that temperature for extended periods of time.


  46. I am amazed that wine clubs of the month ship year round. Of course the consumers who buy into these programs are not going to usually notice the flaws of cooked wines and if they do I hope they return them.

    I for one just return every bad bottle to the wine shop. If enough people follow this model something will start changing especially if the wine is expensive. I personally don’t buy from any shop that does not accept returns. I believe in some states all sales are final which is a joke.

    John Glas
    Wineglas


  47. As someone mentions already, Dijon is not four hours away from “Burgundy”. It is in Burgundy, albeit some distance from most vineyards. Trucks in France drive slowly by law, mais quand même, that’s a long time. Wine going to export in barrel form suggest this wine, if it is wine and not empty barrels, and if it is going to export, has a major stop to make at a negociant for blending into eventual plonque. If it is indeed going to Dijon, which is not a hotbed of fine wine production, even if it does serve as a regional shipping hub. We note many ifs here.

    Worse, the photo is not reminiscent of most of Burgundy. It could be in the Chalonnaise maybe, in the southern reaches of the region. Which is a drive from Dijon, but no four hours, even with grandpa at the wheel.

    Anyway, heat damage is a real issue for the wine trade. One should note it is much less an issue than many wine geeks think. All wines get and generally shrug off much more exposure to heat in the supply chain than would provoke shrieking and hair raising in the typical “Adventures on the Wine Route” reader. People get very exercised over small insults. Wine, even artisanal, live wine, is fairly resilient.

    That said, reputations have been wrecked by poor judgment and practice in shipping and storage. Bottles that have leaked and exploded are only the obvious signs. Other wines are D.O.A. with little visible evidence beyond a very subtle color shift. In the main this is something the trade needs to handle. While we have seen much improvement in the last 25 years, plenty of work remains to be done.


  48. Daniel, which wholesaler is the worst offender in regard to the proper storage of wine? Is it Southern, Empire or Winebow?


  49. Oeno

    Winebow uses reefer trucks. I am not certain of their warehousing. I can confirm that Empire and Southern have very little temp control warehousing.

    Michael

    I can only speak to my store, but as Dr. Vino can confirm, the majority of our wine is stored at 56 degrees. I say majority because we also have passive storage in our basement. That temp is around 59 degrees.

    The store stays at 66 degrees all round.

    We are very serious about the problems of cooked wines, and take this issue very seriously.


  50. Mark, I wrote two pieces a year ago on the very same topic, but didn’t do any real investigation or discussion of the shipping part of the wine’s journey, just what happens restaurants. As many have said, it’s simply astonishing how an industry with such a fragile product can allow this mishandling by its biggest transporters. Bizarre.


  51. In NYC many wines are delivered in refeer trucks, but of course if they are cooked prior to getting to the warehouse, it doesn’t matter anyway. Ponsot in Burgundy starting putting temperature sensors on bottles several years ago, that supposedly change color if the wine has been exposed to heat, but many are skeptical as to how accurate these are. It would certainly be fantastic if a unified system could be developed that would accurately measure heat etc…


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