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Will this hurt my wine?

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Hi all,

First post for me in years (I used to be much more obsessed with food - now just moderately obsessed).

Anyway, how long can I leave wine that I want to age sitting on racks in room temperature without any negative effects?

I recently went to CA and bought up a bunch of wine, some of which I plan on aging. I ordered an Avanti wine fridge, which arrived today pretty banged up. I am sending it back for a new one. The wine has been sitting out in my living room on racks now since mid-January and will probably be left there for another week or so until I get the new fridge.

I'm probably just being parinoid, but can is it ok to leave the wine there? The room is probably in the low-70 degree range and pretty stable.



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It depends a lot on the wine.

Most wine just wants a constant temp. (usually below 70) and it will do well for months, maybe years. But if its bubbly or other delicate white, you may not have as much time.

But there is no reason you can't put it in the fridge. It won't "age" much in there but if its only for a short period it should make no difference at all.

And then your paranoia will be quelled.

Best, Jim


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Wine is heartier than most people think. You're fine. Unless the wines have been compromised before you took possession of them, you won't have a problem. Just keep them far from any heat source or direct sunlight.

We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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Thanks for the reply guys.

None of the wines are all that delicate - only reds, mostly cabs and zins. Also no access to sunlight or direct heat. I'm hoping the replacement wine fridge they send me is in better shape. Honestly the Avantis seem like pretty cheap models and the casing is pretty thin metal. If the next one is also dented I'll probably just keep it. Figured it was worth one shot to get a non-damaged one.

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Brad beat me to it: wines are a lot less fragile than people think.

If you're not heating them up at one time of year and then chilling them down at another, they'll survive a surprisingly long time in ordinary home conditions. Longer periods than you're concerned with for sure.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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This thread has me curious about wines that I've had, more out of "waiting for a good time to drink them" because they were bought with someone special or something than out of a sincere desire to age good wine, but I've had a couple bottles, maybe six, around for two to three years, kept in a rack in a dark cabinet. I'm a little worried because we had a particularly hot summer one year and I was living without A/C at the time, so it's possible that the ones that were around then got too hot. While it was only that one summer, I worry that 90+ degree days might have warmed the wine too much, despite it being in the coolest, darkest cabinet I had.

Obviously, the only way to know is to taste them (and I'll definitely come back and post when I open a couple of the bottles in May for a friend's visit), but I'm interested in your expert opinions on whether there's a chance that this wine is still good. We're talking Cabs and Pinots Noir here, I think. A blend or two are in there as well.

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Pinot Noir is more fragile than Cabernet. I'd be more concerned about those bottles getting cooked sooner than the bigger more tannic wines. Tannin acts as a bit of a preservative and thicker skinned grape varieties like Cabernet and Zinfandel will have much higher concentrations in the finished wine than thinner skinned varieties like Pinot Noir.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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