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.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I purchased bottles of Pinot Noir and Cabernet and left them in my car for almost two weeks. The temperatures were in the 80s and 90s. My car was parked in the shade and never felt terribly uncomfortable when I got in it, but I noticed there was a red sticky substance on the bottles when I finally remembered they were in there. Do you think the wine will be bad to drink?
—Kerry, Bloomfield, N.J.
Just like no decent doctor should diagnose you over the phone, Dr. Vinny can't tell you for sure what the wine will taste like based on your description. It sounds like heat made the wine expand, which caused the bottles to leak. I've had wine from such bottles that were perfectly fine, and others that tasted like they were cooked. The only way to tell is to drink up.
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