Wine is a perishable commodity, as anyone who has ever gotten a bad bottle as part of a wine gift basket can tell you. The real problem comes when you’re talking about high end French (or other European if you’re a Freedom Fries knid of guy) wine which is shipped across the Atlantic Ocean on a container ship.
The average container ship is not air conditioned. That, as you might expect, is a major problem for wine.
Do you want your $100 bottle of Italian Sangiovese to have been sittting at the top of the cargo hold? If you’re wondering why the top might be a proble, often wine transports do NOT include a roof! The sun could be beating down directly on your wine for well over a week. Of course when you pick it up in a store, you might have no idea what has happened!
Of course, for every yin there is a yang. Without these massive transport ships the wine industry basically would not exist!