Shipping wine in the Cold

I kow the dangers of heat damage in wine, but i just received a shipment and it is 32 degrees or so here. Is this wine in any danger of being harmed?

unless actually frozen such that the cork might have moved (in which case, perhaps drink earlier rather than later), I would not be concerned.


I just got a shipment from Garagiste, and have my Scarecrow order in route and was having the same concerns. Ground shipping with consecutive nights below freezing? I’m hoping my stuff hasn’t been sitting in the tail end of a van outdoors. I’ll be checking corks ASAP.

Mine was from Garagiste and everything seems in place…I don’t think anything actually froze, but the bottles are really cold to the touch.

Have a read here:

Remember, wine doesn’t freeze at 32F. What you want to avoid are long ground shipments in the dead of winter across the northern tier of states when nighttime temps hit 5 or 10. A few hours at 32 or so won’t hurt. Looking at the night time temps across the top of the country, I’d not want wine coming to Seattle from Chicago or the Twin Cities. NYC to FLA or Texas? Eh. Fine. Up and down either coast is fine. Across the north? I’d not do it ground.

Yeah that would suck if your wine had to go through 14 degree weather all night (ground shipment). Thank goodness my wine only had to go from Seattle, to Salt Lake City (21) to Denver (14) to Kansas City (24) to Dallas (27 last night), which is totally different from your scenario from Chicago (24) to SLC (21) to Boise (24) to Seattle (32). I totally dodged a bullet!

FWIW, I’ve had a 12 pack of beer forgotten in the back of my truck for the last 2 weeks, sitting outside in the driveway. Recovered it this afternoon. Yesterday’s high here was 19, the low was 10. The beer at 5-6 ABV was not frozen. I really don’t think there’s going to be any problem with wine in transit, styro containers, higher ABV, etc. The only downside, if like me you pop a bottle shortly after delivery, is that they may be a little bit cold for serving, and will need to be brought up in temperature:)


A friend of mine accidentally had a 6 pack of Jamet shipped a few winters ago. Froze. Corks pushed. The wine was fine to drink, even a couple of years later, but you don’t feel comfortable aging it when that happens.

I find that in cardboard/styro tests, you have to get below 22F to even begin to freeze it, and stay there for a day or more to freeze it to the point where it pushes the cork out at all. It takes a while for cold or heat to change the temps of the wine when it has been in a warehouse until hitting the truck for the final delivery. For heat, if you are going ground, even if it is 80F outside, the wine needs to be in that temp for about 10 straight hours to get through the cardboard/styro and turn the wine that temp. The wine spends a lot of time moving “ground” at night and in hubs, which never get all that warm or cold. With rare exceptions, you can almost ship to anyplace from Nov-Mar and be okay 95 times in 100. With basic precautions, checking the 10-day forecast and making sure the destination temp is under 80F, you will be fine virtually every time. I know all the truck routes too, so I also make sure the route is not 80F as well, something some others do also.


I ship when highs are 33 and lows 20s in Minneapolis and never had a problem. I did have the wine freeze when I told a winery not to ship and it sat 36 hours (?) outside when it was 15 below. The wine was frozen and no corks popping out.

4 cases arrived at Noon today in styro, all in fine shape…overnight low was 16 here last night…I also think people get too concerned over the cold…heat is obviously another matter

Frankly I’m not particularly concerned, I just like busting Rick’s nuts a bit. Also, jflegler, as a UT graduate, former Texas Cowboy, and sworn nemesis of Mr. Stoopid, I find your avatar offensive.

I’ll try to find it, but Jim Laube wrote an interesting article on the best way to preserve wine…by freezing it (that is, if you had some, but want to have the rest, but wont be around. Freeze, come back a week later from a trip, reconstitute, drink.)

Freezing opened wine works extremely well. I wouldn’t do it with unopened bottles, though, because it will expand and push the cork out. But say you open a great bottle the day before you leave town for a week, realize you’re only going to get to half of it that night. Cork it and freeze it (or better still, pour it into a plastic water bottle or something, allowing a little room for expansion, then freeze it), and the wine will experience almost no loss during the time you’re away.

For me personally, I wouldn’t worry at all about too cold weather for shipping, except in maybe the most extreme cases (e.g. ground shipping from Vermont to Seattle in January during some record cold snap). I think wine is hardier than most wine geeks think, and I think the packing, truck and surrounding shipping items buffer it from the full brunt of the winter cold temperatures.

I have often had this same outlook, but at times I wonder if it makes sense. Are parcels sent on planes in pressurized, climate controlled areas? I have thought for some reason that at least sometimes they are not. Is that not correct? If it is, isn’t there a whole lot of cold up there? Would low pressure be a factor?

freezing definitely works, have done it several times…you do get some solids floating in glass though, which is weird

understand your reaction to the pic, but hey Demarco is a stud Cowboy rookie now so you can’t hate him anymore :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the replies…just had no experience with this. I figured because of the alcohol I would be ok but wanted to check nonetheless.

Giscours 2000 does not travel well at 10F, especially if shipped in loose styrofoam “peanuts”. pileon


Those were the highs. Look at the lows… in the mid-teens in some areas across the north.