As many of you know, importer Kermit Lynch is one of my heroes. Mostly because he's a wonderful writer and a discoverer of excellent small production wines from France. That alone would be enough to win my admiration. However, he has furthermore won a special place in my heart and in many others' for his tireless use of and evangelization for refrigerated shipping of wine. Lynch has long maintained that shipping across the ocean or across the country exposes wines to fluctuations in temperature that significantly affect its quality.
Unfortunately, despite blatantly obvious proof that he is right, much of the wine distribution world continues to ship their wine however they darn well please, buyer beware.
Sake is just as heat sensitive as wine (some say more so) and now thanks to the techno-magic of RFID tags, sake manufacturers have come up with a fail-safe way of ensuring their sake stays cool.
Leave it to the Japanese and their insistence on freshness to come to the rescue. In conjunction with technology giant NTT, a group of companies has developed a system utilizing RFID tags, Bluetooth, and 3G networks to provide the ultimate in temperature monitoring for bottles of sake on their way to retailers. It's a very interesting system with many features which you can read about if you care to, but the upshot is that every bottle arrives at the store with the complete history of temperature changes stored on the RFID chip on the bottle. One swipe through a reader-device and you can tell whether your bottle has been cool as a cucumber or cooked like a chicken.
If it works for sake, it will work for wine. It's only a matter of time. I plan on speeding things along by asking about it every time I buy a bottle. People like me will eventually get annoying enough, and costs will eventually get low enough that the ROI will be clear, and Kermit Lynch can finally say "I told you so."
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
Vinography Images: Unglamorous Work A Lesson in the Loss of Denis Malbec I'll Drink to That: Kimberly Prokoshyn of Rebelle Restaurant Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/19/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 12, 2016 Warm Up: Richebourg I'll Drink to That: Jean-Nicolas Méo of Méo-Camuzet Vinography Images: It's Nice to be King It's Time for American Wineries to Grow Up I'll Drink to That: Joy Kull of La Villana Winery
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune