Unopened Wine Left In Hot Car? What Will Happen?

Making wine requires a lot of work on the part of the winemaker, but transportation is frequently overlooked. Even if you are just bringing wine home from the grocery store, it is crucial to consider temperature, heat, and light. Wine is a drink that responds differently to temperature. But wine reacts strongly to heat, light, and sudden temperature changes.

Does wine deteriorate in a hot car? Yes, a hot automobile may quickly ruin the wine, although not all wines are equally sensitive to heat. The wine undergoes chemical changes that alter how it tastes when it is left in a hot car.

You will discover in this post how wine can spoil in a hot car and what you can do to avoid it., the largest wine retailer in the world, is your best option if you wish to discover new wines and are seeking a superb, reliable online wine vendor. They provide in-demand and difficult-to-find wine from the world’s top wine regions and vineyards.

What Degree Of Heat Is Too Much?

Establishing the precise temperature and amount of time spent in the heat is challenging to ascertain what will modify your wine-drinking experience because every wine is a bit different.

Even red wines should generally be refrigerated between 53 and 57 degrees. Over 70 degrees Fahrenheit is too hot for wine, and by 80 degrees, the wine is already heating in the bottle.

It is common knowledge that interior temperatures in cars can rise far above outdoor temperatures. Furthermore, a vehicle’s temperature can change drastically, leading to possible issues. Even with cracked windows, an automobile may easily reach close to 100 degrees, even though the outside temperature is only 75 degrees.

Unopened Wine Left In Hot Car? What Will Happen?

Discover how heat affects Wine and how to keep it fresh. Check out this thorough article to discover more about how wine might be affected by storage at room temperature. Learn how exposure to sunshine may harm and degrade wine.

How Long Till There Is The Damage?

Wine is complicated, so how long it should be left in a hot car will vary on both the heat and the wine. The best strategy for avoiding wine damage is to be ready.

  • There are more vigorous wines than others.
  • Compared to other varieties, pinot noir requires more upkeep.
  • Two strong wine choices are Cabernet and Chardonnay.
  • For champagne to stay stable, the temperature must be relatively consistent.
  • The most robust wine of them all is port.
  • Two strong wine choices are Cabernet and Chardonnay. Compared to other varieties, pinot noir requires more upkeep.
  • For champagne to stay stable, the temperature must be relatively consistent.
  • The most vital wine of them all is port.
  • Considering these details, Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Port wines can be kept in hot cars for longer than Pinot Noir or Champagne.
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A wine cooler is a wise investment if you wish to keep your wine at the right temperature. Reds, whites, and even sparkling wines like Prosecco go well. This is one of the top models that are now affordably priced on Amazon. Visit it to see reviews from actual customers.

How Can Heat Affect Wine?

A few adverse effects occur when a wine is exposed to intense heat. First, the extra pressure inside the bottle will push the cork upward. This frequently results in it popping out completely or losing over a short time. Although this phenomenon sounds like it belongs in the category of “corked wine,” that isn’t the case.

The wine will then start to “cook” and become what is known as a heated wine. As a result of the heated preservatives in the wine, the flavors are drastically altered. These two incidents are related in various ways. You have a significant issue when the cork has been pressed so far that wine has started to leak out. Oxygen might enter if wine could escape.

Wine in bottles does not do well with oxygen. Wine ages prematurely, as a result, losing its fruitiness and becoming bland. But unlike some of your favorite beverages, the wine typically doesn’t get sour to the point where it hurts you.

Unopened Wine Left In Hot Car

However, determining if a wine has genuinely been spoilt in a form that will impact the contents might be a little challenging. In the next part, we go over the telltale indicators. There is no precise agreed-upon time or temperature range at which wine fails. Due to factors like content and cork type, it differs from wine to wine.

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I don’t advise doing this, but some people claim that wine is good even when exposed to the sun for days. Others believe that even 1 or 2 hours is excessive and will cause the wine to taste worse.

However, most experts concur that wine will eventually spoil, though when and how depends on the precise characteristics of the storage space.

Permanently storing wine away from direct sunlight is a safe move. Wine is susceptible to spoilage in the intense heat. Even the sun’s UV rays are harmful to wine. Wine ages prematurely due to UV radiation (just like it does to our skin). The wine soon breaks down due to molecule breakdown.

Wine exposure to heat causes the flavors bound to glucose to release. As a result, the wine ages more quickly and changes in flavor. The chemical processes also result in the wine’s darkening or browning. Heat causes wine to go through a stage of deterioration. The wine expands when it becomes heated in the bottle.

This may harm the cork’s seal and lead it to start pushing out from the bottle, allowing air inside and resulting in oxidation. When wine is cooked, it develops a sour flavor, and the citrus flavors turn acidic.


When wine ages, it needs to oxidize and should be given time to do so before consumption. Oxygen enters the bottle and increases oxidation when the wine is overheated, and the cork deteriorates. It can significantly alter the flavor, making it taste loose or “off.”

How to Recognize Damaged Wine

Unopened Wine Left In Hot Car

You should inspect the bottle for any deterioration before consuming wine exposed to heat for an extended period. Examine the bottle. Your wine may have been harmed by the heat if the cork seems to protrude rather than being washed with the neck of the bottle. Take a look at the bottle’s side. A leaked wine may be visible throughout the cork and down the bottle’s edges.

  • Both red and white wine will deepen in color when heated.
  • There can be a bulge whereby a   cork is pushed past the neck’s tip.
  • A sticky substance (wine) can be around the area where the cork has loose.
  • It is best to consume the bottle as quickly as possible if you see any red indications.
  • If the seal is intact, a bulging cork can still be acceptable. However, if any wine remnant has managed to escape, oxidation will cause the wine’s quality to degrade over time.
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How to Keep Wine Fresh From the Store to Your Home

When purchasing and shipping wine, it should always be your top responsibility to keep it fresh.

If you’ve left your purchases out in the heat, always check them over. Any bottles moving in warm weather should be monitored to ensure they survive the trip.

These are a few easy suggestions to keep your wine fresh for the next trip:

  1. Think ahead. Make sure to pick up your wine before leaving for the day and returning home.

This is a foolproof method to ensure that your wine stays fresh, despite its seeming simplicity.

It will shield it from the intense heat of the sun and extended periods spent in the car.

  1. Place your automobile in the shade or purchase a cover for the windows that face the sun.
  2. Bring an insulated bag or cooler to maintain your wine cold. This point is crucial if you have a long trip ahead of you.
  3. Just as you would if you had a dog, leave some of your windows open.
  4. Purchase wine online. We’re not advocating that you buy all of your wine online, but you might be able to have more expensive wines delivered.

Cooked Wine 

The wine expands due to its chemical reactions being sped up when it gets too warm. The flavor of the wine may become bland and jam-like as it boils.

Most wines lose their flavor within a day or two of being opened. But a Coravin Wine Protection system, which you can get on Amazon for a great price, will help keep your opened wine fresh for weeks or even months. It is fantastic. Check it out and determine whether it fits your lifestyle before committing.


Although wine can spoil in a hot car, in some instances, you can still drink your wine. If you can take the taste, drinking wine that has suffered heat damage is unlikely to make you sick.

The most excellent method to avoid having to worry about drinking your favorite bottle of wine is to be planned when buying wine to minimize heat damage.

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