Wine Temperature

I have wine being shipped from Ca. to Az. once a month. I told the company you can't ship wine to Az. after April to Oct. due to the heat of 100+F. They ship UPS and there is no A/C and I said the wine will be ruined. They said if you're not satisfied with it they'll ship again. I'm thinking what part of you can't ship in the heat don't you get? Am I right or wrong?


Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

I am assuming you are dealing with a retailer in California - or is it a wine club or perhaps a winery with regular monthly offers? I suggest, first, you review the terms and conditions of sale which should be posted on their website; if not, you should request a copy. There may be requirements which they, as the seller, can legitimately impose which are relevant to your circumstances. Some merchants actually inform customers that they will delay shipment of a wine purchase until weather conditions are suitable. Some may limit the time they will store wine after the purchase date. A few add an insurance premium to cover possible damages in transit. What the company is telling you is not reassuring, particularly when you are completely in the right. Sooner or later, a shipment during the hot months will arrive with corks pushed up and the wine damaged. Then you will have to go back to them, prove the damages, and generally have the frustration of resolving the problem. Shipping the same wine again - provided it is still available - during the same period is hardly a smart solution. I don't know your reasons for dealing with this company, or why you need to ship every month. A retailer (or any seller) should want to do everything reasonably possible to help a loyal client. I suggest you advise them that their policy is unacceptable and will force you to go elsewhere. If they still won't change, my advice is to find a purveyor who will respect your wishes.


About The Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.

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