A Guide to Shipping Wine in Extreme Weather

Having wine shipped any time of year can be stressful, but especially in winter and summer as temperatures fall and rise to precarious levels. How long will it take to get to you? Will it be sitting in a (cold or hot) truck all day? How much damage can extreme temperatures really cause, anyway? Will shipping wine heat damage or cold damage affect my wine’s quality?

Take it from us, the dedicated experts at Bottle Barn, when temperatures rise and fall it's better to be safe than sorry, but you have a few options depending on your situation to ensure your valued wine arrives in the best condition possible!

Here are a few things to know before getting started: 

1. Your wine is coming direct from our store in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, California: “Where Wine Country Buys Wine.”

How far away from the Santa Rosa wine store do you live? For locals and most Northern Californians, ground shipping all year long should not pose an issue. The further away you get however, the more of a risk in terms of wine shipping temperature you take by choosing ground shipping. You know your area best—if temperatures are consistently over 80 degrees F or below 30 degrees F at the time the wine would arrive, you may want to consider delaying shipping.

2. We ship with both UPS and FedEx

Depending on the state you are shipping to, we use either UPS or FedEx. However, their warehouses may not be temperature controlled, and neither are the delivery trucks. This means once your wine leaves our warehouse, we cannot guarantee what temperature it will be stored at in transit.

3. The majority of what we ship is not packed in Styrofoam

While Styrofoam can insulate well, it is not great for the environment so for the majority of our orders we opt for sturdy cardboard and pulp options. This means we also cannot offer ice pack add-ons.

4. Ground shipping generally takes three to five business days, depending on your distance from the Santa Rosa wine store 

This means precisely how long your wine may be out there in the world making its way to you, which does not include weekends. Wine is usually shipped next business day but during the summer we hold for the best opportunity depending on where we are shipping. If you have concerns about the shipping date, please contact us.

5. Wine does not like to be warm or extremely cold

In fact, even relatively minimal exposure of a few days can quickly change the properties of the wine. To learn more about how much heat it takes to ruin wine, read this. For shipping wine in cold weather, beware that wine has the potential to freeze, not only changing the wine’s quality but potentially forcing the cork to rise from the bottle, leaving room for oxidation.  Again, conditions are controlled by the shipping company.

6. Mondays are best

For every purchase, you have the option to choose the ship date on which your order leaves our warehouse. We recommend choosing Mondays to avoid having your wine sitting in warehouses of unknown temperatures over a weekend. Again, we will not always be able to ship on specific dates depending on the temperatures and will notify you if this is the case. 

Now that you understand the basics of wine shipping temperature and conditions, here are the options Bottle Barn provides for those requiring FedEx or UPS shipping: 

1. Place your order with expedited shipping 

If you live further away and need your wine ASAP, expedited shipping is your savior. We offer 3-Day, 2-Day, and Next Day Air to most of the country; the prices will vary. Again, shipping on  a Monday is best regardless of the shipping method.

2. Place your order with ground shipping to be shipped immediately 

Again, if you live locally, this is probably fine. If you live farther away and are experiencing temperatures consistently below freezing or over 85, perhaps not. Please take weather conditions into consideration.

3. Place your order for In Store Pick-Up

If you put in a northern California shipping address at checkout you will see the option for In Store Pick-Up.

Select this option and you will receive an email notification letting you know your order is ready at our Santa Rosa wine store. Then simply come in, give us your name, and one of our friendly staff members will bring the order to your car.

Questions? Please reach out to us anytime at support@bottlebarn.com.

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