Dear Wine Pro,
I placed an order last week and it still hasn't shipped! I got an email that let me know it was being held because of the heat. What's up with that?
Needing My Juice
Totally get it! When you order great wine at even better prices, you want that tasty juice as soon as possible. So why isn't it on the way?
Wine is a delicate product that is sensitive to temperature changes. Shipping wine in hot temperatures can cause the wine to spoil, resulting in a loss of flavor and quality:
- Heat can cause the wine to oxidize. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that occurs when oxygen reacts with wine. Oxidation can cause the wine to lose its flavor and develop a stale taste.
- Heat can cause the wine to evaporate. Evaporating wine can lead to a loss of flavor and concentration.
- Heat can cause the wine to become cloudy. Cloudiness in wine is caused by the precipitation of proteins and other compounds. Cloudy wine is not necessarily spoiled, but it is not as appealing to the eye.
- Heat can cause the wine to become unstable. Unstable wine is more likely to develop faults, such as cork taint and brettanomyces.
Which leads to:
- The wine can develop a cooked or jammy flavor. This is because heat can cause the wine's fruit flavors to break down and become more concentrated.
- The wine can become flabby or unbalanced. This is because heat can cause the wine's acidity to decrease.
- The wine can become brown or oxidized. This is because heat can cause the wine's pigments to break down.
- The wine can become cloudy or hazy. This is because heat can cause the wine's proteins to precipitate.
- The wine can become unstable and develop faults. This is because heat can cause the wine's microorganisms to become more active.
So, to avoid these problems, it is important to ship wine in a cool environment. If the wine must be shipped in hot weather, it is best to use insulated shipping materials and to keep the wine in a cool environment as much as possible.
What we try and do when/where necessary to ensure you get your wine in the best condition:
- Use insulated shipping materials. This will help to keep the wine cool during transit.
- Keep the wine in a cool environment as much as possible. This may involve shipping the wine overnight or using a refrigerated shipping service.
- Avoid shipping wine on hot days. If possible, ship the wine on a cooler day or in the evening - Yes, that means holding orders.