ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

Will my wine be OK if it travels with me in the car over a thousand miles? I am worried about the jostling around. Another way to ask this question would be, does shipping wines alter the wine at all?

—Calder, Salem, Ore.

Dear Calder,

Travel can seem to affect wines negatively, but the concept of “travel shock” causes more disagreement than agreement in the wine world, since examples of it are based on anecdotal evidence. Some wines seem perfectly fine, but others seem disjointed or shut down after traveling. Older, more delicate wines (and possibly unfined and unfiltered wines) are particularly susceptible.

When traveling with wine, it doesn’t hurt to be cautious. We know that extended exposure to heat and temperature variability can damage your wines, so do your best to insulate them. Styrofoam shipping containers and ice packs would give your wine the most protection. If possible, don’t store your wine in the trunk, which can be much hotter than the passenger compartment, especially at this time of year. Avoid unnecessary vibrations like bumpy roads, if you can, and try not to store the wine directly over a wheel well. And once you arrive at your destination, you may want to let the wine settle for a few days or a week.

—Dr. Vinny


Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers

MEMBER LOGIN

= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Free Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences

Classifieds

The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories