Wine question for our friend in Sonoma - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-23-2010, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Wine question for our friend in Sonoma

Well anyone really that knows about wine, please chime in. I'll admit, I'm not a sommelier (far from it actually). Give me a local brewed beer like Dogfish Head or Lagunitas and I am extremely happy.

Now onto my wine question.

I have a number of reds in my liquor cabinet and we had a hot spell last weekend. So it got me thinking, since I don't have AC in SF, have my wines lost quality for reaching 80 - 85 degrees? What is the optimal temperature to store reds and why? '60s?

I'm not getting a cellar anytime soon, but would consider a small wine fridge like this for under the counter if it makes sense:

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post #2 of 7 Old 06-24-2010, 08:39 AM
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I'm not an expert but I do keep mine in the basement since it's the coolest spot in the house and keep them laying on the side so the corks don't dry out.

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post #3 of 7 Old 06-24-2010, 09:30 AM
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I don't think a single time to 80 degrees is going to destroy the wine but it certainly isnt good. We live in Co Co County and it gets hotter here than there so we bought a rather large cooler and keep it in the garage. I keep it set for the mid or high 50's. That one has mostly Reds. In the house we have a smaller one for the whites and Champaign. That one is set as low as it can go mostly for the champaign. It is actually a little to cold for some of the whites but it is easier to warm them up than cool them down.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-24-2010, 10:02 AM
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I don't think a single time to 80 degrees is going to destroy the wine but it certainly isnt good. We live in Co Co County and it gets hotter here than there so we bought a rather large cooler and keep it in the garage. I keep it set for the mid or high 50's. That one has mostly Reds. In the house we have a smaller one for the whites and Champaign. That one is set as low as it can go mostly for the champaign. It is actually a little to cold for some of the whites but it is easier to warm them up than cool them down.

+1 .. Yup. Think caves for slow red nurturing, but honestly the way some reds are 'churned' out, they are about good to go off the shelf.

Rarely do I come across a red that needs to be set down for aging, but does need not to stay for any length of time above 60's or it'll have problems.

As for keeping correctly, low 60's seem to work for me, and that temp can be cooler but much below like below 40's destroys the taste IMO..... And do allow some moisture to the corks like a bit of water in there or you'll dry them out = bad taste....had an outdoor/cellar and managed to find that out the hard way.

Whites, like said, I like cool, and especially the sweet ones on a hot day like a GT or Rhine type. Dry are great that way too.

Your cooler/fridge should be just fine. The only time I had wine coolers were for the cases of Champagne needed with last g-friend, and they never seemed to keep cold for some reason

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post #5 of 7 Old 06-24-2010, 11:17 AM
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RED WINE
We keep our table wine and those we'll drink fairly quickly in the open, the house staying about 72 degrees.

For those that are expensive and or down for storage, we keep in a wine fridge similar to the one you show. We keep the temp at 58 degrees.

I agree, a single or even a few short forrays above 80 should not noticiably change the wine. Especially a table wine.

WHITE WINE
Most are drinkable when bottled and not designed for long-term storage. My experience is they are more suceptable to temperature variations. They always go in the cooler.

Of course, after the first eight glasses, I don't notice so much....
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-28-2010, 01:10 PM
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I store my wines in a custom cabinet in my cellar. Bordeaux on bottom of rack (slighly lower temp 1-2 degrees) and Burgundies (mostly Puligny-Montrachet) on top racks. It is a very modest collection of ~500 bottles. Temp is ~55-58 degrees, little fluctuation.

Invest in a decent unit and buy larger than you think you may need.

BTW, I rely on Robert Parker's suggested maturity dates.

Generally, the Bodeaux I collect have avg maturity of 10-15 years; the Burgundy Montrachets (Puligny and Chassagne) mature on average in six years.

Best advice I can offer

1 - Do not allow significant temp fluctuations in your stored wines +- 5 degrees or more

2 - Don't buy wines that will outlive your the projected actuarial tables

3 - Life's too short to drink pedestrian wine; purchase and consume the best wine that your budget will allow

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post #7 of 7 Old 06-28-2010, 05:18 PM
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3 - Life's too short to drink pedestrian wine; purchase and consume the best wine that your budget will allow




Amen

Sometimes when I open a bottle and someone notices the label they'll ask "Whats the occasion?" I shrug and tell them it is Wednesday.
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