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I live in Kaneohe on O'ahu in Hawai'i in an air-conditioned condo, and usually buy wine from Costco in Honolulu or R. Field Wine Company in Kailua. These stores tend to have ambient temperatures around 75-78 (I think). They're usually in the trunk of my car for the 30 minute drive home, and then into an Electrolux half-height wine fridge set at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. I bought a thermometer that I keep in that fridge, and I see that the Electrolux frequently lets the temp get up to 60 and stay there for a while, before it cycles on and gets it back down to 55.

I'm having a whole lot of bad experiences in which wines I've had before that I thought were terrific don't seem to survive this ordeal (or maybe they were ruined on the journey from the winery to the store?). My favorite examples are the 2008 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cab, and the 2010 Mondavi Napa Valley Cab. When I first had them, they had nice balanced fruit, silky texture, smooth tannins...just-right alcohol. But most of the time, when I pull one out of this fridge, it tastes flat, too-much alcohol, too-much tannins, no fruit and no balance...not silky by a mile.

Other than the stores (1) receiving cooked/corked wines to begin with, or (2) their room temperatures being too high for too long ----- both of which I have no control over, can I fix anything myself? Is the observed 5-degree very-frequent temperature swing of the Electrolux more than should be expected/allowed for? Please let me have your thoughts on what you think the culprits are, proposed solutions, if you too have a lot of bad luck with this, and if so, is it a viable solution to buy wine directly from its winery, paying for overnight shipping, thus minimizing all of the in-between steps? Or is that unnecessarily expensive, or unlikely to result in taste success anyway?
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as described, the transport from store to home is unlikely to be a factor. >12 months at 80°F at costco may start getting into the range to start wondering.

three other questions that may help shed light:
how long do you let the wine stand after removing it from storage before drinking (just long enough to find the corkscrew, a week?)
how long are the wines being stored by you prior to drinking? (a couple weeks or years later)
can you define the frequency of the temperature cycling? (1/day, 2x/hour, 1/week)?
Why do you put the wine in your trunk? Do you ride around with no AC? If you have AC in the car, why don't you put the wines in with you?

The fact that the temps in the wine cooler can fluctuate isn't that big a concern. The air in the fridge can and will have much larger swings than that wine in the bottle. You take a bottle out of the fridge and put it on the counter and it still feels cool for quite a while. So your wine isn't getting cool and warm and cool and warm even though the surrounding air might be.

In any event, what you're describing does not sound all that much like your wine was cooked. Maybe the Mondavi Napa Cab just wasn't as good as you remember? There are better wines in the Mondavi line.
I agree that the fridge won't be the problem. The air temperature may fluctuate, but the wine temperature won't. That's not a fault of your fridge; it's typical of how they work. If the fridge had to keep the air temperature at a steady 57 degrees, the compressor would be running constantly.

Since those are relatively recent vintages, could it be that they've simply shut down? They may have been lively and primary when you first tried them, but I wonder if they've now entered a dumb phase where they aren't showing much of anything. Perhaps you need to let them sit for a few more years.

But I haven't tried recent Silver Oak or Mondavi entry level bottlings, so this is a bit of a guess.
I'll start carrying wine in the passenger seat rather than the trunk (impossible when I have a companion). My girlfriend agrees that we're experiencing tremendous inter-bottle variability that is very very frustrating (again, between bottles of the same vintage, valley, varietal & winery).

I hear you on the dumb phase possibility. But if this effect can be so noticeable between bottles purchased only weeks apart, how can one ever know what is a 'good' bottle to purchase for a get-together? If every single bottle is a 100% gamble every time, this hobby might be killed before it starts for us.
as PH says, definitely let the wines get up to room temp first.

Also if the time from purchase to consumption is <3months, storing them in a cooler isn't critical, and the performance of your cooler probably has nothing to do with your experience. As long as they are out of direct light and not some place that gets hot (over a stove, next to a dishwasher, adjacent to refrigerator exhaust). If your consumption is usually spontaneous, this would alieviate the issue with having to wait for them to warm up out of the cooler.
If the wines are being damaged by heat/temperature changes, I would suspect it would be during the transport phase to Costco, or sitting in Costco, not the trip home or your storage fridge. Imagine a cargo ship leaving San Fran or Seattle and then heading out to Hawaii - if the cargo containers are exposed to the elements, they could really heat up.

You really can't control how the wine is shipped out to the islands, and how Costco stores it. You can only try to find different vendors who might take more care in how the wines end up in their stores.

If you are concerned at all about the trip home, bring a cooler with some cold packs, and use that to store the wine during the drive.
You could consider purchasing these wines directly from the wineries. Unfortunately, I think Costco costing will trump those prices, and the added cost of shipping could make this not such a cost-effective endeavor

BUT, if you found a label you liked, this might be a worthy splurge at least for one or two labels especially if they are not so broadly distributed to retail outlets.

Also agree with other posters that there are a ton of Napa cabs worth exploring beyond the very well marketing and extremely broadly distributed Mondavi and Silver Oak brands

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