In the dead of summer, my apartment's daytime temperature often approaches 90 degrees. There's a wine fridge to keep worthy bottles at ideal temperature, but spillover is unavoidable. I understand that higher temperatures encourage wine to age faster and less gracefully, but how much heat can a wine withstand before it crosses over into cooked? Can I pile excess bottles into the regular fridge during the hottest months? What do somms do? They can't all own gigantic EuroCaves. –Sweaty
You’re not alone. Summer wine storage is a much-discussed topic in sommelier circles in places like New York, where the annual schlep of the window AC unit is as shared an inconvenience as avoiding sludge puddles from snowmelt in winter. Most of us don’t have the luxury of a proper cellar—which holds bottles at a steady 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in a dark, humid space—and giant EuroCaves both take up a large amount of space and eat up a costly amount of electricity. I’ve seen all manners of MacGyver’ed storage solutions, the most common of which being the converted closet.