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.


Dr. Vinny,

I will soon be moving and need to transport my wine. I will move from one wine storage unit to another but will need to drive five hours to reach my new location. Will I damage the wine by moving it in a car with minimal temperature control?

—Michael S., Tucson, Ariz.

Dear Michael,

Your wine will probably be fine, but I recommend doing what you can to keep your wine stable and free from temperature swings during the move. If you can avoid traveling during especially hot days, do so. (Since you’re in Arizona, you might consider driving at night.) Keep the wines in insulated containers, and you could even try to use ice packs if you think it might help. If possible, don’t store your wine in the trunk, which can be much hotter than the passenger compartment. Try to minimize vibration by avoiding bumpy roads and by not putting the wine right up against a wheel well.

Once you arrive at your destination, it would be wise to let your wine settle for a few days or a week before popping any corks. You may avoid permanent damage, but you still risk bottle shock.

—Dr. Vinny


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