Whine on Wine-Waiting Woes

And other Winey anecdotes.

This has been my week—waiting for wine. You may already know this, but J is a wine collector. He started this hobby when we lived on the Central Coast, in wine country, and the house we lived in had a proper wine cellar.

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of that beautiful cellar, or the beautiful wine, older photos have all been put on disk, which are currently in a box in a storage warehouse, in a galaxy far away.

But here is the story. J got into wines, he became a wine snob (a good thing), and he started an enviable collection. We even went to France and Italy for wine, and he has some bottles of French Bordeaux worth over $1,000 each. He didn’t pay that for them, but that’s what they’ve become worth in the decade he has stored them.

Then he got that weird illness and we moved to the desert. We had to buy a wine fridge to store the wine in, and it is full. So he has had to quit most of the wine clubs, except for two he can’t bear to let go of, Talley and Kosta Browne, which you can’t find and you can no longer join their clubs—they’re closed to new members. So they’re exclusive, and J has stayed with them. They make lovely, exquisite wine. Not that we drink it, mind you, we just tend it. We drink supermarket wine like everybody else.

At one point we were members of way too many wine clubs, and I miss those wonderful wines that came twice a year, spring and fall, but storing the wine has become a hassle. Case in point: Last summer, two days before we were to leave for the coast for 6 weeks, I noticed the temperature on the wine fridge was climbing. By the hour. J was out on an errand, then we got busy, and I forgot all about it.

Until that night. Just as I was drifting off to sleep I remembered. “J, wake up! I almost forgot to tell you, the temperature in your wine fridge is 70!” (Wine likes to be 55-ish.) In full panic mode, we took the wine out of the fridge and turned down the AC. Remember, it was summer, with daytime temps in the triple digits, and nights not much cooler. Even when we were gone we set the thermostat at 93, but that is not cool enough for wine or any other living thing. It’s a hostile environment out there. 

The next morning, a Sunday, J got the wine into storage (I did nothing, J and the wine guy did all the work) and all was well. Eleventh-hour disaster averted! We eventually got the empty wine fridge repaired, and when we move into the new house the wine will come home. Temperatures are much lower at the new digs, by the way, so the fridge won’t have to work as hard. Sidebar: Our garage fridge died, too. We lost three refrigerators out there. Anyway, when we came to the coast last month, we moved the wine from the storage vault in the desert to one in The OC. You may remember I came up with that idea when faced with the prospect of schlepping many cases of wine up 24 stairs.

Okay, so that’s the backstory, what’s it got to do with this week? Well, we have been waiting for a shipment since Monday. It was sent to the old address in HOT La Quinta by mistake, it got put back on the truck, brought here to the coast, then the delivery man couldn’t get past the gate (unknown to us), and, finally, after several phone calls and tracking SNAFUs, we have located the wine and it is to be delivered today. We have been house-bound waiting for this delivery each day for four days.

Which all boils down to this: I have nothing to report for the week except a good case of Cabin Fever. We did get an invite to go on a pre-drywall house tour next week, the general contractor offered to show us the wiring and plumbing et al that will eventually be hidden behind the walls, so if we have any problem in the future we’ll know where to look. That’s the idea, anyway. He obviously doesn’t know who he’s dealing with, LOL.

Life is short. Drink your wine!


  1. Wine for dinner is already breathing. Grocery store wine for every night eating. We had the first wine fridge die while we were gone in the summer. Lost all that. The current one survived last summer. Normally, when we leave for Tahoe we have put all the red in the fridge and have not lost a bottle.

    Cheers! Miss you!

  2. My knowledge of wine is that white is cold and red isn't. AND, I know that the more I pay for a bottle, the better it is. I would really like that $1000 worth !!
    Enjoy the "open" house tour. I found that the house looked very big….and I kept reminding myself that it still needed walls and furniture and was 19,000 sf. But we were able to change some light locations and outlets. And it gave me better perspective than looking at blue prints.

  3. Has the wine shown up by now? What an incredible story! Great wine is not something you want to lose track of! I hope when it shows up you drink a really good bottle to celebrate its return. And I wish I was there to drink it with you; sounds like a fantastic collection.

  4. Three fridges broke down? That was really a story to remember. And I hope it will never happen in your new house. And speaking of your house, I've seen the progress on your April 15th post, and there's still a lot of things to work on. But what important is that it's getting into shape. Your contractor's pre-drywall tour offer sounds great. Somehow you can take your mind off with the construction and learn about the wiring and plumbing stuff at the same time. Score! How does it go, btw?

    Monica, Village Plumbing & Home Services


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