shipping during the heat snap -- frustrating

Months ago I bought some of the older Copain pinots that were going for a song on Winebid. I told them to ship when the weather was good, and then forgot about it, assuming they would check temps before shipping. Well, they checked the date but not the temperatures – they shipped it out earlier this week when half the country was setting high temperature records for early October. Based on the shipment tracker, the wine transited Indianapolis in a UPS truck when the high temperature was 91 degrees. I’m going to assume it will be OK because wine is usually more durable than you think it is, and it’s impossible to fix now, but it’s frustrating when what should be sophisticated / experienced operations like Winebid ship based on the date and not based on the actual weather report. This is going to be a bigger issue with the inexorable advance in global warming as the shipping season moves back, so be careful!

Given the shortness of the heat, and the thermal mass of the styrofoam shipper, your wine should be OK.

I purchased from a local retailer who I thought was using local truck delivery… they used UPS on a day it was 80F. I bought 1 wine to try now and 2 wines to cellar… the 1 wine I tried now was heat damaged or just a bad bottle… not sure what to do with the 2 wines I planned to cellar. Any advice?

that’s my hope, but 1) don’t know if there was a styro shipper at all, and 2) if it’s OK to just stick aged pinot in the back of a truck for delivery on a 90+ degree day, then why don’t we all just ship during the summers?

The styrofoam shipper has negligible thermal mass, only the wine and the glass. It has some insulating ability.

Inside CA, I don’t worry about it much unless it’s exceptionally hot. Cross country when it’s hot, I pay more to have it not go ground.


I have three shipments in process to me. All three are from California wineries that were given explicit instructions on dates that they ignored.

80 degrees for part of a day did not cook your wine.

Agreed. The problem with UPS however, is that they don’t pick it up from the retailer and take it to your house. It usually has to make a stop at a warehouse and be processed. Otherwise drivers would be freelancing on UPS’s dime. But even so, the conditions probably weren’t all that bad and keep in mind that most retail stores aren’t fanatic about keeping their temps in the 60s either.

As far as shipping across country, either request that it be done only November through March, or pay for overnight or two day delivery. I have a few cases coming in from various auctions and those will be shipped in December.

It’s not the temperature outdoors, it’s the temperature inside the dark brown truck that counts.

Forget about the year. I have never had wines shipped to me this early. It is always hot somewhere on the route. I wait until late October or early November.

Sorry Marcus,

That sucks.