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Formally this article is titled, “How Temperature Affects the Aging of Wine” and the author is “Alexander (Al) J. Pandell, Ph.D.”. <link>

Well Al has written an excellent article that I recommend you read. It is scientific but worth the effort. Here are some excerpts making the key points.

“There are three storage conditions of concern to collectors and consumers of fine wine: light, humidity and temperature.”

“The storage area for wine must be dark because ultraviolet (UV) light will damage wine by causing the degradation of otherwise stable organic compounds found in wine.”

“…higher temperatures markedly speed up the aging process and result in maturation of a wine over a very short time.”

“Another concern is that higher temperatures will result in undesirable chemical reactions taking place that were either too slow or nonexistent at the lower temperatures.”

“It is not going to matter what temperature YOUR cellar is if somewhere along the distribution line the wine is COOKED on the dock or in a hot warehouse.”

Living in New Zealand (previously) and going to tastings I’ve heard lots of chat about the impact of shipping wine through the tropics. This article suggests that if it isn’t refrigerated then it could be having an impact. And not a good impact. The final para I’ve selected reinforces that point.

“As a final thought… be sure to store your opened bottle of wine in the refrigerator. If you must keep an opened bottle of wine for a few days, the best place to store it is in your refrigerator which is typically at a temperature of about 41°F (5°C). The chemical reactions leading to spoilage (primarily oxidation-reduction) will be slowed down by a factor of 6 to 16 times compared with storage at room temperature (about 73°F). Therefore, a wine should last 6 to 16 times longer in the refrigerator than at room temperature.”

Thanks Al.

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