Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
MY AC unit broke and it's been 85° F in the house for three days! Are my wines at risk for heat damage?
—Dana, New Jersey
Your wines are almost certainly fine. That’s a relatively minor shift up from room temperature, and that alone wouldn’t impact the quality of your wines. (Just don't serve them at 85° F, unless you really like hot wine!) There’s no formula for how hot is too hot before a wine starts to exhibit “cooked” qualities, but for short-term temperature swings, the very conservative low end of the danger zone generally begins in the high eighties. Room temperature certainly isn’t ideal for long-term storage, and may result in wines that age a bit prematurely, but it won’t “ruin” your wine.