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,
Over this past winter, my summer house lost electricity, and the temperature went to below freezing for a couple of days. I had several bottles of wine stored in the cellar. The majority of the wines are red, and I don't see any signs of corks leaking, nor did any bottles break. Should I worry about all these wines being bad?
—Denis C., Philadelphia
There's probably nothing to worry about—but you should probably taste a few to see. The alcohol in wine gives it a much lower freezing point than water, so it's unlikely that the bottles turned into wine slushies.
If you have to chose between your wine suffering extreme heat or extreme cold, extreme cold is a better fate. Cold slows down the aging process. Temperature fluctuation is bad, but if the fluctuation happens gradually, it's not as bad.
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