How to Prevent Serving Heat-Damaged Wine to Your Customers

As a restaurateur, you understand the importance of providing your customers with the right atmosphere for a memorable dining experience. This means carefully providing the right glassware, proper serving temperature and remarkable service. The only thing you cannot provide your clients is probably the perfect dining partner to complete the picture.

Part of the picture includes providing the perfect wine. But wine is sensitive to temperature, whether too low or too high, transforming the flavor. In addition, your wine’s overall quality and freshness can be compromised by fluctuations in temperature. Just as your other produce arrives in refrigerated trucks, so should you expect for the delivery of wine to your restaurant’s back door.

What Cooked Wine Tastes and Looks Like
Many industry experts might reluctantly agree that wine is often shipped under less than optimal conditions. Winemakers work hard to bring what nature has provided. When wine cooks on the truck, it is not the same wine that went into the bottle. At the very minimum, the wine will lack freshness and fruit.

At its worst, the cock will be noticeably popped up, with leakage coming from the foil capsule. The wine’s level in the bottle will be significantly lower than others.

Your First Line of Defense is Your Distributor
How well do you understand the storage and delivery practices of your distributors? While many claim to have temperature-controlled storage, Take time to go down and investigate their claims. Here are a couple of questions you could ask as you inspect their premises:

  • Do they have a room for high-dollar wines only or are they operating a warehouse for their entire inventory?
  • If they have a fully temperature controlled warehouse, do they ship coast to coast in non-refrigerated trucks?
  • Are they using large semi-trailers loaded up and left outside overnight for run of deliveries next day?

How to Inspect Your Wine Delivery
Receiving your wine deliveries should be just as important as checking your meat and other produce orders. Consider taking these steps:

  • Have the product taken inside immediately
  • Open one case and stick your hand inside. If the wine bottles feel warm, this is a red flag
  • Inform that salesperson immediately. However, a reputable distributor will stand behind his or her product
  • Taste the wine. If the taste is off, refuse the entire shipment and have it picked up and credited

Leakers and popped-up corks are a rare thing with reputable wine transportation professionals, wholesalers and producers who care for their day-to-day wine handling procedures and have good warehouse storage. In short, the entire chain should show the same care for the product.

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    Author: Greene Connor

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