Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

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Frank Z
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Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#1 Post by Frank Z » April 5th, 2019, 9:29 am

I'm not sure if I'm searching the threads correctly, but I cant seem to find answers to this question.

I know it's a big no-no to keep wine in a hot car when tasting, and that most tasting rooms won't mind if you bring the wine in with you, but what if you have several cases of purchased wine? Do you bring them all into each tasting room that you have planned? Do you keep the wine in stryofoam inside wine checks in the car with ice packs? Perhaps bring a cooler and keep wines inside?

Looking for some help as I plan my trip to Napa (planning to bring back around 6 cases). Of course the first couple of days is relatively easy - less wine to manage, but what about later on? Of course I could ask wineries to ship, but I would prefer to take them with me.

Any thoughts and ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#2 Post by Nathan Smyth » April 5th, 2019, 9:57 am

1) How many days will it take you to accumulate 6 cases of wine?

2) How far do you live from Napa?

3) Will you cross any state lines on your way home? [In some states, importing 6 cases without a distributor's license could be a felony.]

4) What market segment will these wines be coming from? $15 Gallo or $300 Kapcsandy?

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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#3 Post by mike pobega » April 5th, 2019, 10:05 am

I'd opt shipping and travel easy.

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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#4 Post by Markus S » April 5th, 2019, 10:08 am

If you are planning on buying 6 cases, then simply have the winery ship them to you. Can't imagine lugging around more than a case of wine while traveling, but that's just me.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#5 Post by Frank Z » April 5th, 2019, 10:35 am

Nathan Smyth wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 9:57 am
1) How many days will it take you to accumulate 6 cases of wine?

2) How far do you live from Napa?

3) Will you cross any state lines on your way home? [In some states, importing 6 cases without a distributor's license could be a felony.]

4) What market segment will these wines be coming from? $15 Gallo or $300 Kapcsandy?
From the answers I've accumulated, I guess shipping is the way to go. But just to answer these questions:

1. It'll be over the course of 3.5 days. Will be visiting 12 producers total - 8 for pick up (including quick tastings of newer vintages of wines I enjoy and buy by the half-case/case), and 4 for full-on tasting appointments of new labels that I want to experience and grab a few bottles out of courtesy (planning to also bring a bottle or two to share)
2. I live in Los Angeles, but I drive up about twice a year so I try to grab all the Napa wines I need for the next six months - for gifting, entertaining, creating a vertical etc.
3. No state lines crossed! neener
4. On average I expect the bottle cost will be about $100 each (ranging 50-175).

Would it be possible to collect and ship them together myself (at a authorized shipper) in order to save on separate shipping costs?
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#6 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » April 5th, 2019, 11:12 am

A lot depends when you’re going; it might not be that hot.

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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#7 Post by Anton D » April 5th, 2019, 11:27 am

Hi, Frank! Sounds like a jolly good trip! Which places are you going to?

I love how us winos call it "wine tasting" but everybody knows we are just "day drinking." [cheers.gif]

I vote ship, as well, and there are places you can consolidate, but don't know if you'd really be saving that much.

If you decide to carry them: stryo-shipper boxes with the slots for "blue ice" are pretty awesome. They can get you through a morning or afternoon session and then pop the bottles into your hotel room (set at 65 degrees) in between.

We do that and have had perfect luck.

If you are going through St. Helena, don't miss the T-rex skeleton ‘Roosevelt’ on display in the Erin Martin Design showroom! Amazing and I want it.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#8 Post by J. Rock » April 5th, 2019, 12:00 pm

I'm planning to bring a couple large Yeti coolers when I got to Paso in June, but I wont be buying nearly as much wine as you.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#9 Post by Frank Z » April 5th, 2019, 2:51 pm

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 11:12 am
A lot depends when you’re going; it might not be that hot.
Very good point. I will be in the Valley in mid-May.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#10 Post by Frank Z » April 5th, 2019, 2:56 pm

Anton D wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 11:27 am
Hi, Frank! Sounds like a jolly good trip! Which places are you going to?

I love how us winos call it "wine tasting" but everybody knows we are just "day drinking." [cheers.gif]

I vote ship, as well, and there are places you can consolidate, but don't know if you'd really be saving that much.

If you decide to carry them: stryo-shipper boxes with the slots for "blue ice" are pretty awesome. They can get you through a morning or afternoon session and then pop the bottles into your hotel room (set at 65 degrees) in between.

We do that and have had perfect luck.

If you are going through St. Helena, don't miss the T-rex skeleton ‘Roosevelt’ on display in the Erin Martin Design showroom! Amazing and I want it.
Thanks for the recs Anton! I will definitely check it out (both the styro and the dinosaur), especially as most of my time will be spent in St. Helena this time. [dance-clap.gif]

And to answer your first question, I'll be hitting up Vice Versa, Arkenstone, Maxem, Dakota Shy, Myriad, among others in Napa, as well as Jean Edwards, Bedrock, and Occidental over in Sonoma. An overall good mix of both old and new!
Frank Zhang

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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#11 Post by Alan Rath » April 5th, 2019, 3:34 pm

mid-May can be fairly warm. Do I understand correctly you'll be driving up/back? If so, you can leave whatever wine you've already picked up in your hotel, then if you can't make a stop back at the hotel to drop off any wine you got that day, keep it in styro. If you can find shade to park your car for the next tasting, you'll be fine, otherwise worst case drag that wine in with with you. For the drive home I'd want to keep the wine in passenger area (not trunk), so you can know the AC will keep you and wine comfortable.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#12 Post by John Morris » April 5th, 2019, 4:52 pm

I've sometimes bought at wineries and left the box there to be picked up at the end of the day, so I'd guess if you're going to be there several days, it wouldn't be a problem to pick things up on the last day.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#13 Post by Wes Barton » April 5th, 2019, 6:29 pm

Also curious why you wouldn't be keeping previous days' wine at the hotel.

The 'no wine in the trunk' rule isn't universal. With my hatchback and a friend's SUV thingy, the "trunk" is cooler than the cab.

Styro, for sure. Blue Ice-type stuff is a good idea. (Freezer in your hotel room?) Definitely look to park in the shade. Also, heat reflective sheeting. I have an old heat reflective car cover in my trunk. I put groceries and all sorts of other stuff under it, not just wine. It makes a big difference.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#14 Post by Karen Troisi » April 5th, 2019, 6:37 pm

Buy a wine check with styro and put blue ice in one of the slots. It will stay cool the whole day. If you want to ship back home, recommend Bodega Shipping in Sonoma. And, we are looking forward to your visit!
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#15 Post by Peter Petersen » April 5th, 2019, 7:02 pm

As a person who lives down here, I always have wine shipped in fall, winter, spring. It’s a pretty wide window for shipping. Even over night in the summer is ok. But leaving stuff in your car in the sun is likely a bad idea for wine that is not cheap.

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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#16 Post by Mark Y » April 5th, 2019, 7:10 pm

Get two styro shippers.

Freeze 4 500ml plastic bottles of water. They become ice basically.

Put two in each styro. Leaving Each styro with 10 slots for wine.

cheaper than having to bring / buy blue ice.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#17 Post by GregT » April 5th, 2019, 7:16 pm

What they said above. Why would you carry yesterday's wine around in your car today? Put it in the hotel.

If you have some shippers and ice packs, you're good.

And if there are places you can pass by on your way home, leave those wines for pick up in a few days when you leave. Really for driving from Napa to LA, I wouldn't sweat it too much. It's not like you're going to Florida.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#18 Post by Steve Brickley » April 5th, 2019, 8:31 pm

I bring coolers with towels to separate bottles and some of those plastic blue cold things. When we stay overnight, I drag them into the room. Those days are gone for me now though. Plenty of Ceritas transported that way.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#19 Post by Frank Z » April 6th, 2019, 12:40 pm

Karen Troisi wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 6:37 pm
Buy a wine check with styro and put blue ice in one of the slots. It will stay cool the whole day. If you want to ship back home, recommend Bodega Shipping in Sonoma. And, we are looking forward to your visit!
Got it! Thanks for the recommendation! Looking forward to meeting you and John!
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#20 Post by Frank Z » April 6th, 2019, 12:44 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 3:34 pm
mid-May can be fairly warm. Do I understand correctly you'll be driving up/back? If so, you can leave whatever wine you've already picked up in your hotel, then if you can't make a stop back at the hotel to drop off any wine you got that day, keep it in styro. If you can find shade to park your car for the next tasting, you'll be fine, otherwise worst case drag that wine in with with you. For the drive home I'd want to keep the wine in passenger area (not trunk), so you can know the AC will keep you and wine comfortable.
Yes, I’ll be driving up and back! Also, I did initially think to stop back at the hotel between tastings, but thought it would be too time consuming (St Helena to Napa back to St Helena is over an hour drive)... however, after reading everyone’s comments, I think that’s what I might just do especially to make things more convienent at the next tasting!
Frank Zhang

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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#21 Post by GregT » April 6th, 2019, 2:05 pm

I used to go fishing with a Puerto Rican guy who loved to spend his days at the beach out in Long Island. He was hilarious. When he wasn't fishing, and even when he was, he'd get a big huge plastic tub in the trunk of his car, fill it with ice, and throw a bunch of six packs in there.

This would be like July / August, when the temps were in the 90s, and he'd pop the trunk and he and his buddies would drink wine all day and watch the girls. They'd be out there for a hours. I can't drink like these guys could but I do know that the beer stayed cold. So you can think like that and get a few coolers or plastic tubs at Target, grab some ice, and you're good to go! Where there's a will, there's a way.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#22 Post by Alan Rath » April 6th, 2019, 8:49 pm

Frank Z wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 12:44 pm
Yes, I’ll be driving up and back! Also, I did initially think to stop back at the hotel between tastings, but thought it would be too time consuming (St Helena to Napa back to St Helena is over an hour drive)... however, after reading everyone’s comments, I think that’s what I might just do especially to make things more convienent at the next tasting!
If you have to go that far out of your way, I would just keep it with you. A stryo shipper in the trunk, hopefully you can find shade for your car, should be just fine for several hours on all but the hottest days. Or get yourself a wine check, which is wheeled and more "presentable", and just wheel it in with you.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#23 Post by Frank Z » April 6th, 2019, 9:02 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 8:49 pm
Frank Z wrote:
April 6th, 2019, 12:44 pm
Yes, I’ll be driving up and back! Also, I did initially think to stop back at the hotel between tastings, but thought it would be too time consuming (St Helena to Napa back to St Helena is over an hour drive)... however, after reading everyone’s comments, I think that’s what I might just do especially to make things more convienent at the next tasting!
If you have to go that far out of your way, I would just keep it with you. A stryo shipper in the trunk, hopefully you can find shade for your car, should be just fine for several hours on all but the hottest days. Or get yourself a wine check, which is wheeled and more "presentable", and just wheel it in with you.
Thanks Alan for the recs. I’ll be staying at the Andaz Napa - do you know if they sell Wine Checks at stores near there, or does it have to be ordered online?
Frank Zhang

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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#24 Post by Alan Rath » April 6th, 2019, 9:12 pm

I'll bet Napa Valley Wine & Cigar sells them, Carrie and Randy here on the board. Or order one and have it delivered to the hotel :)
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#25 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » April 6th, 2019, 10:21 pm

I bring coolers with ice packs.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#26 Post by Eric Egan » April 7th, 2019, 2:18 am

When I buy wine from several places in France in July/August I fill the boot with plastic bottles of frozen water and set the air-con to cold while driving. Wherever I go I park in the shade;-)
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#27 Post by Eric Egan » April 7th, 2019, 2:19 am

If the latter's not an option you could always ask if they have a garage or somewhere else out of the sun to park your car at each winery.
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#28 Post by Gerhard P. » April 7th, 2019, 7:57 am

Seriously:
if you buy one or several cases on the day they will keep quite cool inside a car IF you park it consequently in the shadow -
I´ve done that for almost 30 years, and when I checked all the bottle have been still cellar-cool.
(I suppose you have AC)
When parkling in bright sunshine it´s another matter.

In the evening I usually unload the cases either in my room (ground floor) or in the cellar of a befriended wine-maker ... I have my preferred adresses ...
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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#29 Post by Dennis Borczon » April 7th, 2019, 8:10 am

This is supposed to be a fun trip right? Just ship them back! No reason to hurt your back pulling the wine in and out of the car, messing with frozen packs, etc. I imagine shipping in state is not nearly as expensive as shipping crossing state lines. If you are worried about some high end bottles, stick them in styro and keep in hotel room between trips. Styro is an amazing insulator for a day or two.

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Re: Where to keep wine purchased when tasting?

#30 Post by Richard Albert » April 7th, 2019, 11:37 am

For many years, I have transported wines in the trunk of my car during the hot weather for up to a day in wine country.
I got a roll of R-15 insulation and put some under the carpet on the floor of the trunk--think exhaust system heat and potential heat from road surfaces being reduced. Take the carpet out of the trunk and trace the outline on the insulation. Do your trunk lid too, heavy duty packing tape or duct tape to hold it in place.
Bring a couple of fluffy quilts to completely cover styro shipping boxes and you are set after a few of minutes of work.
Yes I seek shade parking.

If you are going to drive juice home, return to the Southland with an early AM start, it can hit 100 in May. If an early start is not feasible, move the boxes into the cabin. With $7K+ in the car, be sure it has been serviced and a/c checked recently.
As an alterrnative, I suggest shipping via GSO which gets shipments through the Valley at night. PM me for the details how to do cheaply, if interested.
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