A heat wave in the dead of winter strikes fear into the hearts of wine makers. Last week Buenos Aires experienced an unexpected spike in temperature leaving all improperly stored wine at risk.

We received several nervous phone calls from wine makers warning us to serve their wine at the proper temperature. We assured them all of the wine is stored in a 12 degree Celsius wine cabinet.

The heat wave caught me off guard as well. I spent my day working around the city in a wool sweater with a long sleeved undershirt.. My wooly inferno reminded me of the Argentine summer and the sensation of being slowly cooked alive.

I passed several supermarkets. Eyeing their wine aisles stocked with out a temperature control system and chock full of Alamos, Santa Julia and Vasco Viejo, I thought that like me these wines knew how a roasted goose might feel.

Some of the best restaurants in town are guilty of cooked wine as well, storing their wine on shelves in the back, or worse yet above the grill.

On a hot night last February I learned the importance of proper wine storage. I buy wine from every price range and try to keep an open mind. I found a blend for 8 pesos and proceeded to the check out. To my surprise the wine had been discounted to 6 pesos.

Suspicious to say the least. If you wonder what cooked wines tastes like imagine the fruit knocked off the pallet and a dull syrupy sensation lingering in the mouth. Cooked wine also tends to make me feel ill. After a few sips I sent half the bottle down the drain and half into the oven over a roasted prime rib.

Proper wine storage requires a cool dark space. For more tips on how to keep your wine check out http://www.basic-wine-knowledge.com/proper-wine-storage.html

When shopping for wine be sure to note conditions. Is the space climate controlled? Most local supermarkets are not and it is well worth the extra stop to a wine shop.

As for me, after a long day of suffocating in my own clothes I looked forward glass of nice crisp white wine.

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