Wine

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Oct 9, 2005
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There used to be (and maybe still is) a publication of consumers' ratings of wine that is similar to the Zaggat's publication for restaurants. (Sorry I can't remember the name of the publication.) One of the criteria was how well an opened bottle of wine improved over the next four or five days. My point is that a lot of wine intended for daily drinking really does improve during that period of time. I regularly drink left over wine and I've never used any device intended to keep it as fresh as when it was opened.
My son has a nitro system, and that's his big complaint, nitro'd bottles don't open up.
 
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We drink California Cabernet most of the time. South American Malbecs are also in the rotation when I find some good bottles.

My wife swears by the Vacuvin stoppers and we use them regularly. I haven't found much difference. One bottle of wine rarely lasts more that 2 days. Probably no need to do anything for such a short time.
 
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Interesting to read about different approaches to wine. It appears that most people on this forum drink mostly red wine. What do you drink with fish?
 
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Here's my solution to storing unfinished bottles:

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The stopper is made of a soft plastic or rubber material, and with the ridges it seals very tightly and holds the seal virtually indefinitely.

All stoppered wine goes into the fridge to minimize oxidation. Α bottle will stay there until we have appropriate food for it another night. For example, last night we had steak cooked on the grill. I opened a nice cabernet to accompany it, and about half the bottle was left. It will stay stoppered in the fridge until my wife uses the leftover steak to make another dish later this week. The wine will be almost as good then as it was last evening.
 
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I'm convinced that those stoppers are all that's needed. I've got some but I usually just use a cork or return the screw cap to the bottle.

Why does keeping the wine colder minimize oxidation? By the way, the tannins in red wine minimize oxidation; white wines are more likely to oxidize because they have so little tannin. I've never had a wine change color or taste, which are the symptoms of oxidation.

We probably drink slightly more red wine than white wine in our household. Favorite white wines off the top of my head include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling (always dry), Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc, Assyrtiko, Gruner Veltliner, Albarino, Verdejo, Semillon and others.
 
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P.S. I don't use those stoppers in bottles with screw caps...I think replacing the cap works fine.

I tried the Vacuvin system a few years ago but found that the rubber stoppers that came with it soon hardened so that they wouldn't seal properly.
 
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Oxidation produces a "nutty" "dry cardboard" taste that has elements of a dry sherry/Madeira in it. Often the term maderized is used. Wine will lose fruit and fresh components before they show signs of oxidation.
 
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I don't know how to quantify that, but clearly a half-full bottle has much more oxygen available to react with the wine.
The reason I asked if anyone has ever quantified it is because I've never heard of it being done. If oxidation is such a problem, considering all the universities throughout the world researching and teaching everything there is to know about the science of wine, I would think it would have been made public knowledge if oxidation really is a problem of any significance. That's just one of the reasons I'm skeptical that it's a common problem.

The half-full bottle has two characteristics -- more oxygen and a larger surface in the wine. Is one factor more important than the other? Does the size of the surface matter at all?
 
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Some wines will oxidize faster, even when unopened. I suspect it is varietal-specific, but I don't know which varietals are worst. It is also related (probably more so) to how the wine was made—I can remember some horrendous Soviet and E. Europe wines from the 80s. In contrast, the current release of the white Rioja from R López de Heredia, Viña Gravonia, is 2008. We had a 2003 two years ago with Spanish Jamón Serrano ham: in a word, exquisite! A 2007, with less wood age last year was searingly acidic.
 
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