So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

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So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#1 Post by Len Stevens »

I'm probably a bit more conservative than I need to be, but I was curious what other's opinions were? I generally wait a minimum of 4-6 weeks, usually 3 months or so.

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#2 Post by Keith_B »

I believe Williams Selyem suggests 8 weeks, it's on a card in the box with your shipment. I'd say my range is more around 4 weeks, depending on how bad I want to try something.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#3 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

As long as it takes to get to temperature.

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#4 Post by joejolesch »

Even as a relative newbie to the board, I believe the term is “Pobega.” In all seriousness though, depends on the bottle age and varietal, but generally 1-4 weeks.

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#5 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

In practice, usually a few months at least.

Young wine I'm not planning on drinking for a while anyway ends up being far more.

Anything that has recently landed in the country, especially champagne, at least a few months for sure.

Daily drinkers or summer roses that have come only a short way via ground I might open within a few weeks, but even those I mostly let settle for a bit.

I go to the trouble of aging wine, serving it at the proper temperature, standing up bottles with sediment, decanting when appropriate, using proper stemware etc. all with the goal of giving the wine its best chance to show well. Why undermine all that by risking it being boat goofy or travel shocked just because I'm impatient? There's always something in the cellar I'm excited to drink.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#6 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 7:13 am In practice, usually a few months at least.

Young wine I'm not planning on drinking for a while anyway ends up being far more.

Anything that has recently landed in the country, especially champagne, at least a few months for sure.

Daily drinkers or summer roses that have come only a short way via ground I might open within a few weeks, but even those I mostly let settle for a bit.

I go to the trouble of aging wine, serving it at the proper temperature, standing up bottles with sediment, decanting when appropriate, using proper stemware etc. all with the goal of giving the wine its best chance to show well. Why undermine all that by risking it being boat goofy or travel shocked just because I'm impatient? There's always something in the cellar I'm excited to drink.
Do you bring wine on trips?

I haven’t found the slightest bit of difference in wines I’ve carried places and drank and ones that have been sitting in the cellar for years; some of the best bottles I’ve ever opened have been ones I’ve brought somewhere by plane.

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#7 Post by Peter Baird »

Usually a month or so. But depends....

For wines I plan to age, I don't touch them for years.

For others meant for nearer term drinking, sometimes I'm incapable of restraining myself, and when I have several bottles of the same wine I'll open one to taste. Lack of impulse control, I know...
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#8 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 7:20 am
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 7:13 am In practice, usually a few months at least.

Young wine I'm not planning on drinking for a while anyway ends up being far more.

Anything that has recently landed in the country, especially champagne, at least a few months for sure.

Daily drinkers or summer roses that have come only a short way via ground I might open within a few weeks, but even those I mostly let settle for a bit.

I go to the trouble of aging wine, serving it at the proper temperature, standing up bottles with sediment, decanting when appropriate, using proper stemware etc. all with the goal of giving the wine its best chance to show well. Why undermine all that by risking it being boat goofy or travel shocked just because I'm impatient? There's always something in the cellar I'm excited to drink.
Do you bring wine on trips?

I haven’t found the slightest bit of difference in wines I’ve carried places and drank and ones that have been sitting in the cellar for years; some of the best bottles I’ve ever opened have been ones I’ve brought somewhere by plane.
I'm reusing this paragraph I wrote on the champagne thread...

"Sigh....yeah, I know. Lots of people say the same as you. I don't question your experience. Nor do I have any doubts about my own. I've flown dozens of times with champagne (and other wines) and never once, in at least 100 bottles, had a bottle perform at peak afterwards, most well below. So disappointing have our experiences been over the years, that now we only carry easy drinkers and young wines when we travel. There's no resolving this argument, and it's been hashed out again and again. If you don't believe in or perceive travel shock, by all means continue what you're doing. If you do perceive it, adjust accordingly."
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#9 Post by Mike C. »

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 7:27 am I'm reusing this paragraph I wrote on the champagne thread...

"Sigh....yeah, I know. Lots of people say the same as you. I don't question your experience. Nor do I have any doubts about my own. I've flown dozens of times with champagne (and other wines) and never once, in at least 100 bottles, had a bottle perform at peak afterwards, most well below. So disappointing have our experiences been over the years, that now we only carry easy drinkers and young wines when we travel. There's no resolving this argument, and it's been hashed out again and again. If you don't believe in or perceive travel shock, by all means continue what you're doing. If you do perceive it, adjust accordingly."
Not to fight your view, but curious as to whether you've had experiences where you've done all of the following: (1) brought a wine you just had at home a few days ago on a trip, (2) brought the same/equivalent wine glasses and (3) maintained a consistent serving temperature/conditions between the two experiences?
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#10 Post by John Morris »

Len Stevens wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 5:58 am I'm probably a bit more conservative than I need to be, but I was curious what other's opinions were? I generally wait a minimum of 4-6 weeks, usually 3 months or so.
Be forewarned, this is a highly contentious issue that has been the subject of many prior threads/arguments:

The myth of travel shock (2019)
How long should you let wine rest after shipping? (2019)
Let wine rest after shipping? (2018)

(FYI, I'm with you, as are many or most people in the wine trade, who taste wines multiple times and know when things are not right. Four to six weeks sounds pretty safe.)
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#11 Post by Ian Dorin »

Depends on how far it traveled, how old, whether it's natural or not, common carrier vs. a company's delivery truck.

If I shipped young wine across country, it's unlikely I will drink it young any way, but I would still wait 6-8 weeks. Old wine I tend to wait as long as I can (up to 12 weeks)
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#12 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

Mike C. wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 8:21 am
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 7:27 am I'm reusing this paragraph I wrote on the champagne thread...

"Sigh....yeah, I know. Lots of people say the same as you. I don't question your experience. Nor do I have any doubts about my own. I've flown dozens of times with champagne (and other wines) and never once, in at least 100 bottles, had a bottle perform at peak afterwards, most well below. So disappointing have our experiences been over the years, that now we only carry easy drinkers and young wines when we travel. There's no resolving this argument, and it's been hashed out again and again. If you don't believe in or perceive travel shock, by all means continue what you're doing. If you do perceive it, adjust accordingly."
Not to fight your view, but curious as to whether you've had experiences where you've done all of the following: (1) brought a wine you just had at home a few days ago on a trip, (2) brought the same/equivalent wine glasses and (3) maintained a consistent serving temperature/conditions between the two experiences?
Yes in all cases.

We've been repeatedly disappointed post-travel in wines we drink monthly and know very well, like Egly-Ouriet rose, just to name one example. Or Keller GGs we drink regularly and have been showing well. This has been a frequent occurrence (poor showings after travel of wine we just recently drank) because we've often chosen what wines to bring on a trip for that very reason - they JUST showed well at home.

We always travel with our own stems for rental houses, even to the point of using them on the plane when possible, or bring wine to restaurants that have stems of that caliber, or have our hotel supply good stems from the in-house restaurants.

We always serve wines at the proper temperature, and replicate whatever decanting we do at home. We store wine properly in rental houses, have hotels put fridges in our room, drop wine at restaurants days before to give as much rest as possible. We've done everything we can on the road to ensure proper treatment and conditions.

We are talking about so many bottles here that there's no way we'll ever travel with significant wines again. We've tried all ages, all varieties, all RS levels, to see what travels best. Of course we ruled out anything with significant sediment from the start. We have usually traveled with at least a case of wine all over the US, Europe and Asia. Believe - I would LOVE not to have this problem. It would have saved me and my husband countless disappointments with great wines, and embarrassment when opening great wines for collector friends in other countries.

No amount of discussion is going to resolve this question. Many of us perceive significant travel shock, many others do not. No matter how many examples are given on either side, that's not going to change.

To the original question, I believe in travel shock, and will never risk my recently delivered wines by opening them right away. I don't need to. There's no situation in which I need to drink this exact wine right now - I've got a cellar full of fun stuff to drink, and this bottle will be equally exciting a few months from now. Maybe even more so, as the anticipation will have grown. To me it's a no brainer: if there's a good chance in my mind it will show better with time to rest, I'm going to give it that time.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#13 Post by Marshall Manning »

I'm one who usually waits at least a few weeks if it's shipping up from CA. If it's something that just came over from Europe on a container, I'd wait even longer.

And if you're traveling somewhere, ask the hotel (or a local friend) if you can ship in wine ahead of time and have them hold it for you in order to give the wine time to settle. I've done that a few times in order to have aged wines when I travel places and it works really well. You don't want to bring a 20 year old Burgundy to dinner right off the plane unless you like a lot of sediment in your mouth.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#14 Post by Mike C. »

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 8:47 am
Mike C. wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 8:21 am
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 7:27 am I'm reusing this paragraph I wrote on the champagne thread...

"Sigh....yeah, I know. Lots of people say the same as you. I don't question your experience. Nor do I have any doubts about my own. I've flown dozens of times with champagne (and other wines) and never once, in at least 100 bottles, had a bottle perform at peak afterwards, most well below. So disappointing have our experiences been over the years, that now we only carry easy drinkers and young wines when we travel. There's no resolving this argument, and it's been hashed out again and again. If you don't believe in or perceive travel shock, by all means continue what you're doing. If you do perceive it, adjust accordingly."
Not to fight your view, but curious as to whether you've had experiences where you've done all of the following: (1) brought a wine you just had at home a few days ago on a trip, (2) brought the same/equivalent wine glasses and (3) maintained a consistent serving temperature/conditions between the two experiences?
Yes in all cases.

We've been repeatedly disappointed post-travel in wines we drink monthly and know very well, like Egly-Ouriet rose, just to name one example. Or Keller GGs we drink regularly and have been showing well. This has been a frequent occurrence (poor showings after travel of wine we just recently drank) because we've often chosen what wines to bring on a trip for that very reason - they JUST showed well at home.

We always travel with our own stems for rental houses, even to the point of using them on the plane when possible, or bring wine to restaurants that have stems of that caliber, or have our hotel supply good stems from the in-house restaurants.

We always serve wines at the proper temperature, and replicate whatever decanting we do at home. We store wine properly in rental houses, have hotels put fridges in our room, drop wine at restaurants days before to give as much rest as possible. We've done everything we can on the road to ensure proper treatment and conditions.

We are talking about so many bottles here that there's no way we'll ever travel with significant wines again. We've tried all ages, all varieties, all RS levels, to see what travels best. Of course we ruled out anything with significant sediment from the start. We have usually traveled with at least a case of wine all over the US, Europe and Asia. Believe - I would LOVE not to have this problem. It would have saved me and my husband countless disappointments with great wines, and embarrassment when opening great wines for collector friends in other countries.

No amount of discussion is going to resolve this question. Many of us perceive significant travel shock, many others do not. No matter how many examples are given on either side, that's not going to change.

To the original question, I believe in travel shock, and will never risk my recently delivered wines by opening them right away. I don't need to. There's no situation in which I need to drink this exact wine right now - I've got a cellar full of fun stuff to drink, and this bottle will be equally exciting a few months from now. Maybe even more so, as the anticipation will have grown. To me it's a no brainer: if there's a good chance in my mind it will show better with time to rest, I'm going to give it that time.
Thanks, appreciate hearing about your experiences. When travelling, I tend to bring young and simple (while enjoyable) wines (and have been more of a breadth v. depth collector in the past few years and tend to have fewer repeat experiences), so I haven't really noticed any issues. At home, I agree, nothing I need to drink right away so it ends up that I don't drink anything that hasn't rested for at least a couple months (not so much to avoid bottle shock as much as the practical reality of how much other wine there is...).
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#15 Post by c fu »

Depends - young wine? no wait.
older wine? let the sediment settle so i can decant sediment off and get a clean wine
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#16 Post by Howard Cooper »

Generally 2-3 months. I have a lot of wine in my wine cellar and this is very, very rarely a hardship.

As for flying with wine, I have done this a number of times. Sometimes the wine is just fine a day or two later. Other times, it has not seemed as good as other bottles of the same wine.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#17 Post by Nate Simon »

The folk myth that won't die.
Do you let your groceries "settle" for a few days due to travel shock?
The idea that physical movement or agitation will affect the chemical composition (and therefore gustatory qualities) of wine or any food is just silly. Then, after they "settle," what happens? The molecules which were perturbed by movement somehow go back into their original configuration? Their chakras realign?
As Charlie said, let them settle for sediment. Give them some time if recently bottled. Otherwise, fire when ready.

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#18 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 8:47 am
Mike C. wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 8:21 am
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 7:27 am I'm reusing this paragraph I wrote on the champagne thread...

"Sigh....yeah, I know. Lots of people say the same as you. I don't question your experience. Nor do I have any doubts about my own. I've flown dozens of times with champagne (and other wines) and never once, in at least 100 bottles, had a bottle perform at peak afterwards, most well below. So disappointing have our experiences been over the years, that now we only carry easy drinkers and young wines when we travel. There's no resolving this argument, and it's been hashed out again and again. If you don't believe in or perceive travel shock, by all means continue what you're doing. If you do perceive it, adjust accordingly."
Not to fight your view, but curious as to whether you've had experiences where you've done all of the following: (1) brought a wine you just had at home a few days ago on a trip, (2) brought the same/equivalent wine glasses and (3) maintained a consistent serving temperature/conditions between the two experiences?
Yes in all cases.

We've been repeatedly disappointed post-travel in wines we drink monthly and know very well, like Egly-Ouriet rose, just to name one example. Or Keller GGs we drink regularly and have been showing well. This has been a frequent occurrence (poor showings after travel of wine we just recently drank) because we've often chosen what wines to bring on a trip for that very reason - they JUST showed well at home.

We always travel with our own stems for rental houses, even to the point of using them on the plane when possible, or bring wine to restaurants that have stems of that caliber, or have our hotel supply good stems from the in-house restaurants.

We always serve wines at the proper temperature, and replicate whatever decanting we do at home. We store wine properly in rental houses, have hotels put fridges in our room, drop wine at restaurants days before to give as much rest as possible. We've done everything we can on the road to ensure proper treatment and conditions.

We are talking about so many bottles here that there's no way we'll ever travel with significant wines again. We've tried all ages, all varieties, all RS levels, to see what travels best. Of course we ruled out anything with significant sediment from the start. We have usually traveled with at least a case of wine all over the US, Europe and Asia. Believe - I would LOVE not to have this problem. It would have saved me and my husband countless disappointments with great wines, and embarrassment when opening great wines for collector friends in other countries.

No amount of discussion is going to resolve this question. Many of us perceive significant travel shock, many others do not. No matter how many examples are given on either side, that's not going to change.

To the original question, I believe in travel shock, and will never risk my recently delivered wines by opening them right away. I don't need to. There's no situation in which I need to drink this exact wine right now - I've got a cellar full of fun stuff to drink, and this bottle will be equally exciting a few months from now. Maybe even more so, as the anticipation will have grown. To me it's a no brainer: if there's a good chance in my mind it will show better with time to rest, I'm going to give it that time.
Have you noticed travel shock when driving a bottle across town to a restaurant?

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#19 Post by Paul Miller »

Nate Simon wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:11 am The folk myth that won't die.
Do you let your groceries "settle" for a few days due to travel shock?
The idea that physical movement or agitation will affect the chemical composition (and therefore gustatory qualities) of wine or any food is just silly. Then, after they "settle," what happens? The molecules which were perturbed by movement somehow go back into their original configuration? Their chakras realign?
As Charlie said, let them settle for sediment. Give them some time if recently bottled. Otherwise, fire when ready.
I was tempted to post the meme of the guy slapping his forehead saying, "Aw Jeez. Not this sh*t again."

The evidence seems anecdotal. If travel shock is a thing, is there scientific evidence to prove it, and to identify what is really happening? Otherwise, are we ruling out offlines? Taking wines to friends for dinner?

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#20 Post by Mike C. »

Nate Simon wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:11 am The folk myth that won't die.
Do you let your groceries "settle" for a few days due to travel shock?
The idea that physical movement or agitation will affect the chemical composition (and therefore gustatory qualities) of wine or any food is just silly. Then, after they "settle," what happens? The molecules which were perturbed by movement somehow go back into their original configuration? Their chakras realign?
As Charlie said, let them settle for sediment. Give them some time if recently bottled. Otherwise, fire when ready.
I think that oversimplifies what it could be. Given all of the compounds in wine, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were a temperature-dependent reversible reaction further accelerated by physical agitation (they make magnetic stirring plates/rods in chemistry for a reason).
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#21 Post by Scott Brunson »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 6:35 am As long as it takes to get to temperature.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#22 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Mike C. wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:21 am
Nate Simon wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:11 am The folk myth that won't die.
Do you let your groceries "settle" for a few days due to travel shock?
The idea that physical movement or agitation will affect the chemical composition (and therefore gustatory qualities) of wine or any food is just silly. Then, after they "settle," what happens? The molecules which were perturbed by movement somehow go back into their original configuration? Their chakras realign?
As Charlie said, let them settle for sediment. Give them some time if recently bottled. Otherwise, fire when ready.
I think that oversimplifies what it could be. Given all of the compounds in wine, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were a temperature-dependent reversible reaction further accelerated by physical agitation (they make magnetic stirring plates/rods in chemistry for a reason).
I mean, you're agitating the bottle by opening it. You're also agitating it by taking it out of the wine cellar and climbing stairs. Is there a difference between driving across town and driving across country? What about flying versus driving? Would a vibration dampening box help during a drive or shipment? In theory you could test it by taking two bottles from the same lot and having one flown across the country and back, then blind tasting both. I find it profoundly unlikely someone could identify the shocked bottle, but I'd be happy to see someone try to prove me wrong.

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#23 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:17 am
Have you noticed travel shock when driving a bottle across town to a restaurant?
I can't tell if you're being facetious or not, so I'll answer seriously - no, I haven't noticed any detriment from a 15 min Uber ride across town with bottles held carefully in my lap.

Mind you, I still take care to double decant off sediment beforehand, where appropriate, or better still drop off significant bottles a few days to a week early.

I honestly really don't care if travel shock is "real" or can be explained scientifically or is all in my head (or in my tastebuds, and the palates of those I drink with). Nor do I care if I could identify the bottle blind against another that didn't travel. That's an experiment, albeit potentially an interesting one, not a real life situation. I only care how my wine tastes to me and those I share it with. The wine doesn't taste as good to me, or my husband, if we open it soon after lengthy travel, so why do it? Why increase my chances of a bad experience? I'd rather have a great experience and I lose nothing by waiting. There's no downside at all for me. When we travel, we take delicious, young, modest wines which we love. Or we ship ahead. I'm not telling anyone else what to do with their wine or imposing my views on others.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#24 Post by Mike C. »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:42 am
Mike C. wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:21 am I think that oversimplifies what it could be. Given all of the compounds in wine, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were a temperature-dependent reversible reaction further accelerated by physical agitation (they make magnetic stirring plates/rods in chemistry for a reason).
I mean, you're agitating the bottle by opening it. You're also agitating it by taking it out of the wine cellar and climbing stairs. Is there a difference between driving across town and driving across country? What about flying versus driving? Would a vibration dampening box help during a drive or shipment? In theory you could test it by taking two bottles from the same lot and having one flown across the country and back, then blind tasting both. I find it profoundly unlikely someone could identify the shocked bottle, but I'd be happy to see someone try to prove me wrong.
My theory (taking no view whether the theory is right or wrong) is that temperature is the driver and agitation is the catalyst. Seems like low-hanging fruit for a MW candidate to test and write up.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#25 Post by c fu »

My uber rides to offlines sometimes take over a hour. The wines still show well. There's a lot of jostling on these socal freeways too!
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#26 Post by Robert M yers »

So no more splash decanting?
Think what the blender trick must be doing to those molecules :)

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#27 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

I wasn’t being facetious. The concept is that repetitive resonant frequencies would cause changes; presumably ground travel of any distance could cause it or is it specifically from air travel?

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#28 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Mike C. wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:54 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:42 am
Mike C. wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:21 am I think that oversimplifies what it could be. Given all of the compounds in wine, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were a temperature-dependent reversible reaction further accelerated by physical agitation (they make magnetic stirring plates/rods in chemistry for a reason).
I mean, you're agitating the bottle by opening it. You're also agitating it by taking it out of the wine cellar and climbing stairs. Is there a difference between driving across town and driving across country? What about flying versus driving? Would a vibration dampening box help during a drive or shipment? In theory you could test it by taking two bottles from the same lot and having one flown across the country and back, then blind tasting both. I find it profoundly unlikely someone could identify the shocked bottle, but I'd be happy to see someone try to prove me wrong.
My theory (taking no view whether the theory is right or wrong) is that temperature is the driver and agitation is the catalyst. Seems like low-hanging fruit for a MW candidate to test and write up.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#29 Post by Sean S y d n e y »

I’m conscious about not obsessing too much about the small stuff when it comes to wine, so if it is delivered or purchased that day and I want to try it, I’m team Charlie in that it goes into the wine fridge until it either needs to warm up or cool down further.

I think the human body - and brain - is far more fallible and variable than a static, chemically stable liquid.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#30 Post by Jeff L »

I can't reconcile how opening a bottle and swirling it in a glass is different than it moving in a bottle while in transit. Is there any scientific testing that shows a change in composition? I would think temperature is a bigger variable in enjoyment but I have no education on it.

It's intriguing so would love to see some studies
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#31 Post by Juliec »

Depends on many factors (listed above). My personal opinion is that it depend on type of wine/region, age, and most importantly (again for the wines I have seen, thanks M. Goodfellows for posting about this on the boards) the type of closure, wine makers style (reductive, amount of sulfur, etc) and for champagnes’ perhaps disgorgement date (if it is close to the time you are opening the bottle). I have a preference against Diam and other synthetic closures as they seem to need some serious time - 2-6 months to allow the sulfur to integrate.

If it’s Diam - for it to show best 6 months (min 2). Others, 2-4 weeks seem to do the trick assuming it’s not a bottle meant to age before drinking.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#32 Post by Marshall Manning »

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:50 am I honestly really don't care if travel shock is "real" or can be explained scientifically or is all in my head (or in my tastebuds, and the palates of those I drink with). Nor do I care if I could identify the bottle blind against another that didn't travel. That's an experiment, albeit potentially an interesting one, not a real life situation. I only care how my wine tastes to me and those I share it with. The wine doesn't taste as good to me, or my husband, if we open it soon after lengthy travel, so why do it? Why increase my chances of a bad experience? I'd rather have a great experience and I lose nothing by waiting. There's no downside at all for me. When we travel, we take delicious, young, modest wines which we love. Or we ship ahead. I'm not telling anyone else what to do with their wine or imposing my views on others.
I totally agree, Sarah. Just because something may not be scientifically provable with existing methods doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And why not make the effort to try to make the experience of a wine the best that you can? When I was ITB, I tasted a number of wines in France at the domaine, after shipment (in temp controlled containers/trucks), and then after a month or two in the warehouse. It was obvious to me that many wines are noticeably less effusive and are tighter right after being shipped. But if people don't believe it...that's fine. I'm not telling them what to do, just relaying my experience. And if they don't believe it, I'd suggest opening that bottle of Champagne as soon as it arrives on your doorstep...you'll only lose about 1/3 of it. champagne.gif
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#33 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s »

c fu wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 9:50 am Depends - young wine? no wait.
older wine? let the sediment settle so i can decant sediment off and get a clean wine
Young unfiltered "natural" wines can stand a little rest, as I have found out. Then do the same process you recommend above for older wine.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#34 Post by John Morris »

Marshall Manning wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 11:48 am Just because something may not be scientifically provable with existing methods doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And why not make the effort to try to make the experience of a wine the best that you can? When I was ITB, I tasted a number of wines in France at the domaine, after shipment (in temp controlled containers/trucks), and then after a month or two in the warehouse. It was obvious to me that many wines are noticeably less effusive and are tighter right after being shipped. But if people don't believe it...that's fine. I'm not telling them what to do, just relaying my experience. And if they don't believe it, I'd suggest opening that bottle of Champagne as soon as it arrives on your doorstep...you'll only lose about 1/3 of it. champagne.gif
And many people in the trade agree with you. I trust this perspective, because it's observation based on multiple tastings of the same wine. It's similar to the fact that ITB often realize when there is low-level TCA in a wine that is missing its normal fruit, even though no one picks up TCA itself.

Just because we don't have an explanation for travel shock doesn't mean it's not true. A lot of human knowledge is based on careful observation. Not every truth is susceptible to laboratory proof.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#35 Post by John Morris »

Jeff L wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 11:15 am I can't reconcile how opening a bottle and swirling it in a glass is different than it moving in a bottle while in transit. Is there any scientific testing that shows a change in composition? I would think temperature is a bigger variable in enjoyment but I have no education on it.

It's intriguing so would love to see some studies
In the 2017 "The myth of travel shock," William Kelley quoted a very interesting post from 2009 that lays out possible scientific explanations, and described a relatively controlled experiment for travel shock:
Jeff Pf0h1 wrote:
Travel shock.

Yes it exists.

Chemical kinetics can be altered with temperature, pressure and motion (vibration). You can slow some and speed others depending on which variables you play with. Some are REVERSIBLE, and some are not.
(temperature is generally not reversible)

High frequency vibrations, as they exist in transit (cars, planes) do push some reversible chemical reactions faster and stop others completely. Luckily, unless you subject wine to high frequency vibrations for days, the newly made chemical compounds resulting from the high frequency vibrations are not stable and will revert back to their pre-ship state (almost). Older wines suffer more than younger and need more time to recover and don't recover as completely (fewer active chemical compounds). A few hours is about the amount of time needed to induce travel shock. A drive across town will not do it to a noticeable (taste/smell) effect. FedEx easily, even a cross country trip via air.

LOW frequency, like hiking with wine in your backpack, does not induce such reactions. Well it does but you would need low frequency for WEEKS, some believe months. (cognacs shipped around the world for instance, but they also expose those to temp swings so.....)

One test that me and some friends did was ship some bottles, and handcarry others from France. Identical bottles from the winery. We're talking cases to remove any bottle variation. Noticeable differences in taste/smell existed when they were all back in the USA. We ran some GC/MS because we're geeks and saw measurable chemical differences. But after 6 months all the wines became chemically similar again (within our measurement abilities and statistics) with GC/MS.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#36 Post by John Morris »

That said, in view of all the earlier threads....

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#37 Post by GregT »

Next time I see you I'm going to do an experiment.

Without letting you know which is which, I'll take a bottle, pour some wine into a glass and pour some into the blender and then put that into a different glass.

I've been doing this once in a while lately just because I didn't believe the story by Myrvold. Besides, a mutual friend suggested it as he'd done it as well and I didn't believe him either.

The blender will warm the wine a bit, so you need to account for that - you can put the glass in the freezer for a few seconds or warm the other glass, and it will make bubbles, but those go away pretty fast.

After ten minutes, you can't really tell the difference with most wines.

You can if there was a lot of sulfur, and in that case, shaking the bottle actually helps sometimes too.

Shaking is a mechanical action. The things that affect wine are chemical actions. Other than shaking up sediment, which I understand, it doesn't seem that a bit of shaking will affect the chemistry of the wine.

Here's an article in which they studied the effects of high-frequency vibrations on wine. They found some changes in acid and in alcohol composition. But they looked at the wine over a period of months, not hours or days and I've not seen anything further that's dispositive.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 7508001178
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#38 Post by HoosJustinG »

Varies dramatically for me based on the circumstances. A bottle sent from California via FedEx/UPS (whether ground or air) had a much rougher ride than a specially organized wine shipment in a refrigerated truck which I then go pick up in my personal vehicle from an offsite storage (and keep in an insulated bag on the way home since it’s 2 hours)... or even a bottle that’s lived an offsite storage for months that I go pickup in my personal vehicle.

When traveling internationally, I try to pickup wine at Duty Free in the last major airport I hit.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#39 Post by john stimson »

When this thread is finished, maybe we can revisit topics questioning whether wine glass shape or size makes any difference, or whether giving a wine air, or decanting, improves a wine..........

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#40 Post by Paul Miller »

john stimson wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 1:19 pm When this thread is finished, maybe we can revisit topics questioning whether wine glass shape or size makes any difference, or whether giving a wine air, or decanting, improves a wine..........
And what about Bottle Shock? Has that been discussed?

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#41 Post by Mark Y »

Young wine / no sediment - no issue at all..
Old wine - no issue if u can decant for sediment.. If you are lugging it on a flight and immediately open it upon landing, that'll cause an issue for sure.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#42 Post by Chris Seiber »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 7:20 am
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 7:13 am In practice, usually a few months at least.

Young wine I'm not planning on drinking for a while anyway ends up being far more.

Anything that has recently landed in the country, especially champagne, at least a few months for sure.

Daily drinkers or summer roses that have come only a short way via ground I might open within a few weeks, but even those I mostly let settle for a bit.

I go to the trouble of aging wine, serving it at the proper temperature, standing up bottles with sediment, decanting when appropriate, using proper stemware etc. all with the goal of giving the wine its best chance to show well. Why undermine all that by risking it being boat goofy or travel shocked just because I'm impatient? There's always something in the cellar I'm excited to drink.
Do you bring wine on trips?

I haven’t found the slightest bit of difference in wines I’ve carried places and drank and ones that have been sitting in the cellar for years; some of the best bottles I’ve ever opened have been ones I’ve brought somewhere by plane.
Same for me, and I take wine with me for travel all the time.

I’ve never seen any persuasive evidence for travel shock from anywhere, and it would be very easy to test — taste bottles that just arrived blind against bottles that arrived a few months ago. Does anyone want to bet me any money whether they could discern? I’m not really a gambling guy, but I’d put up big money on that.

Anyway, the idea has a strong hold on the imaginations of wine geeks, we’ve argued this many times, and people can do whatever they want.

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#43 Post by Hal Blumberg »

I thought the whole game was to have the wine bottle opened before the delivery truck is out of view?

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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#44 Post by HoosJustinG »

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:50 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 10:17 am
Have you noticed travel shock when driving a bottle across town to a restaurant?
I can't tell if you're being facetious or not, so I'll answer seriously - no, I haven't noticed any detriment from a 15 min Uber ride across town with bottles held carefully in my lap.

Mind you, I still take care to double decant off sediment beforehand, where appropriate, or better still drop off significant bottles a few days to a week early.

I honestly really don't care if travel shock is "real" or can be explained scientifically or is all in my head (or in my tastebuds, and the palates of those I drink with). Nor do I care if I could identify the bottle blind against another that didn't travel. That's an experiment, albeit potentially an interesting one, not a real life situation. I only care how my wine tastes to me and those I share it with. The wine doesn't taste as good to me, or my husband, if we open it soon after lengthy travel, so why do it? Why increase my chances of a bad experience? I'd rather have a great experience and I lose nothing by waiting. There's no downside at all for me. When we travel, we take delicious, young, modest wines which we love. Or we ship ahead. I'm not telling anyone else what to do with their wine or imposing my views on others.
When you double decant, do you find restaurants are generally willing to open wine that has already been opened? There’s only one restaurant in town here with proper wine service, so I’ll bring a bottle by early afternoon and ask them to decant it per my best guess from CT, but other than that I generally just bring “pop and pour” bottles to other restaurants. Curious what your experience has been...
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#45 Post by John Morris »

GregT wrote: July 22nd, 2020, 1:04 pm Next time I see you I'm going to do an experiment.
I thought you were going to say you were going to shake me! Or put me in a blender!
GregT wrote: Shaking is a mechanical action. The things that affect wine are chemical actions. Other than shaking up sediment, which I understand, it doesn't seem that a bit of shaking will affect the chemistry of the wine....
You’ve just assumed away the question, which is whether and how mechanical actions affect the chemistry.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#46 Post by Kris Patten »

Couple hours to a day depending on time and day of arrival.

If I am buying back vintages I may actually let them rest a few weeks.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#47 Post by GregT »

You’ve just assumed away the question
Seemed like the best approach!

neener

More seriously, I wonder if people know how wine is sold at the wholesale level. In Manhattan, it's dragged around the streets all day long, taken on subways up and down stairs, and shaken to smithereens. Then sometimes those same bottles are taken out the next day and the next.

The people buying for restaurants and stores make their decisions after drinking wine that's been shaken cruelly and without mercy. There's no other way to do it.

In other parts of the country, the wine might be driven about in a car, but it's still hand carried in and out of places and shaken quite a bit.

If the vibrations really had a noticeable effect, I would think that the cumulative shaking for a few days would be noticeable.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#48 Post by Geoff F. »

Travel shock isn't a thing: https://www.decanter.com/learn/travel-s ... ty-422821/

I'm on the "no wait for young wine, a week or two for old wine to settle" team.
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#49 Post by Antonio_G »

60 days fro under 5 year old wine, 90 days for everything else
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Re: So how long do you let shipped wine "settle"?

#50 Post by Chris Seiber »

The consumer gets squeezed here. Retailers like Los Angeles Wine Company say no returns after a month or two. But if you didn't like the wine in that window, it's your fault because you opened it during "travel shock."

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