View Single Post
  #3 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 27-09-2008, 09:22 PM posted to
cwdjrxyz cwdjrxyz is offline
external usenet poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 912
Default Eurocave froze bottles

On Sep 27, 2:13*pm, wrote:
Youch!!! *Went into my eurocave last night for the first time in some
weeks (no time for drinking lately) and the bottles on the back of
bottom shelf frozen!!!!
in cave...with instant read was 17F !!!!

Two bottles with popped corks...others iced over.

Defrosted slowly.

I doubt if much damage has been done to the wine, provided the corks
have not been forced completely out. Since the freezing causes
expansion, considerable pressure likely was built up that caused
partial or complete expulsion of a few corks. Of course any bottles
with completely popped corks should be dealt with at once. It might be
best to leave them frozen, cover the neck with something, and put them
in a freezer until you are ready to thaw and drink them. Very little
air can penetrate the frozen wine. For those in which corks have moved
just a bit, I would try pressing the corks in after the temperature is
back to normal to see if they will move. If they will not move,
likely little or no air will be pulled back into the bottle, but it
would be safest to drink such wines in the fairly near future.

For the bottles for which the corks have not moved, I doubt if any
serious damage has been done. In general, lowering of temperature
slows down chemical reactions. The extreme cold may have caused
sediment to form, mainly tartrates, that is less soluble in cold wine
than in wine at normal temperature. Some of the tartrates may go back
into solution over the long haul. Many wines form tartrates if not
cold stabilized by chilling them to a low temperature briefly, before
separation of the wine and bottling. This likely does nothing useful
other than preventing sediment from forming in wine before it is sold
and causing alarm and rejected sales by some. Some wines are not cold
stabilized, such as many of the best German late harvest wines. You
should see the large amount of tartrate crystals in some of the better
German 1976 late harvest Rieslings. There is even a story, perhaps an
urban myth, that one US wholesaler tried to reject a shipment of fine
German wine because he thought the wine had broken glass in it!.

There are over-under temperature alarms that I suggest anyone with
much valuable wine should have in their cellar or wine storage unit.
As you found out, malfunctions of refrigeration equipment can happen.
Usually the unit quits cooling. Howeve,r in rare cases, the unit cools
all of the time as apparently happened in your case. Sometimes a relay
hangs closed and causes this problem. A malfunction of a thermostat,
especially an electronic one, also could cause this problem.