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Wine Spoilage


JoNorvelleWalker
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I find that white wine keeps long enough for me to drink it.  European and Californian red wines keep for a couple days and are pleasantly drinkable a while longer.  Australian Shiraz turns bitter and vile if it is not consumed the evening it is opened.  Why is this?

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I've never understood this myself. There are two different Northwest U.S. Pinot Noirs that I drink that keep well for a few days, and another one that doesn't keep well at all. There's also a French Pinot Noir I like that keeps well.

I use one of those Vacu Vin gadgets, and rarely keep an open bottle over three days. I also refrigerate open bottles. I don't buy expensive wines since I don't have the sort of palate that can appreciate expensive wines.Also, I don't have the sort of budget that can afford to buy them, so everything works out nicely.

Edited by Arey (log)
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"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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Get a 375 ml bottle...drink half your wine...pour into that bottle your un drank wine..place in fridge..may help your problem...but that factor is based on structure and balance. Based on fruit/tannin and alcohol

Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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I had a refrigerated 3-day-opened French rose turn bitter on me the other day.  Was quite surprised.  No idea why that happens.

 

It happens because it oxidizes, which is what happens to all wines when they are exposed to air for a while. Three days is quite a long time to me... I usually cork it and put it back in the fridge and drink the next day if I can't finish it all in one night.

 

Jo, I'm not sure of the cause in the discrepancy you're seeing between red and white table wines. It's not one I've really noticed myself, though I have found that sweeter Rieslings will last a bit longer opened in the fridge. In my experience it's been bolder wines, meaning those with a big nose and strong fruit flavors, that last longer--it seems like they can cover up the off smells that naturally occur.

 

A few perhaps related points: fortified wines such as port last considerably longer than table wine, due to their higher alcohol and sugar content. Madeira can last open for months or years and may actually improve as it is exposed to air. Of course, Madeira is also a higher alcohol (and in some styles residual sugar) wine, but was intentionally exposed to heat and air during production, so it's a lot more resilient. I know that some sommeliers swear by opening their Madeira days before serving it, and some of my favorite wine programs have included a spread of Madeira bottles that have been open for months. Personally, at home, I can't keep an open bottle around for more than a week--it's just that delicious.

Edited by Fernet-Bronco (log)
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Other people have mentioned these things, I'm probably repeating them here. There's no cut-and-dried answer to this. So much depends on the particular wine. In general, white wines have more acidity than red; red wines have more tannins than white; dessert wines have more sugar than either. All these factors will help a wine hold its flavor longer.

 

Red wines have a plush fruitiness compared to whites, and that fruitiness declines rapidly after the bottle is opened. That's what's most noticeable to me. My red wines stop being fun to drink after a couple days, unless they're big wines that are very tannic. Then a couple days on the counter helps them out.

Edited by djyee100 (log)
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My original point seems to have gotten lost:  the problem is that Australian Shiraz turns bitter once opened, if not consumed the same evening.  Tonight I enjoyed the last half of a perfectly nice Californian Zinfandel that had been in the refrigerator for several days.

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I still maintain that there is some other effect going on with Australian Shiraz.  And it's not just one bottle, it's been several bottles.

 

Has not anyone else tasted this?  I don't believe I've had the same experience with other Australian grapes.  I suppose I could test some California Shiraz and see what happens.

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Dunno... Warm-climate syrah is often high alcohol and unbalanced, meaning it tends to fall apart quickly once opened. You say you're not experiencing this with your CA zinfandel, but much of that is made in the same style. I've had restrained Ridge Geyserville that lasts for a couple days opened, but riper, bigger Turley that falls apart in a few hours, let alone overnight. I've experienced what you're talking about, wine getting bitter and acrid overnight; it just hasn't been limited to Australian shiraz.

Edited by Fernet-Bronco (log)
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I've not experienced this to the same extent. What specific brands are you talking about? It may be related to the wines you are buying rather than the whole category; as dyjee100 says above some of the big tannic wines actually open up and become more pleasant over time; albeit not over three days.

 

I'd also support using a vac-u-vin or getting a spray-in heavier than oxygen wine preserver and storing the treated wine in the refrigerator to extend its life. 

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I've not experienced this to the same extent. What specific brands are you talking about? It may be related to the wines you are buying rather than the whole category; as dyjee100 says above some of the big tannic wines actually open up and become more pleasant over time; albeit not over three days.

 

I'd also support using a vac-u-vin or getting a spray-in heavier than oxygen wine preserver and storing the treated wine in the refrigerator to extend its life. 

 

The specific wine is Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz Barossa.  I seem to recall (but I am not positive) the same spoilage effect in other Australian Shiraz.  The Zinfandel, in contrast was Ravenswood, which is a regular in my refrigerator.  And as I said above, European wines don't seem to have the problem either.

 

I have played with evacuating wine in my Polyscience, but it never seemed worth the trouble.  Never tried with the Jacob's Creek however.

 

Maybe the solution is just to drink more.

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""  Maybe the solution is just to drink more. ""

 

I can confirm this works fine.  maybe 'Fizz it Up' on day 2 ?

 

another idea might be this :   I lived in (E)Spain for two years a long time ago  1960 +

 

we got there on a Ship so came back on a Ship.  i got a small and real wine cask, and gave it to my father.  it was new.  

 

it sat around for a long long time.  30 + years ? snappy looking it was too.

 

eventually it migrated here, and I saw or read or both that Richard Olney 

 

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=richard+olney&tag=googhydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=20354578527&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4197952860684837984&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_86gid7g7zw_b

 

had this same 'barrel' in his country house.  he put the 'dregs' of his evening wine in it and made Home Made Wine vinegar  he had the Wort or what its called

 

and I though this would be a fine thing to do.  'rehydrated' the cast it got dry and a bit loose.  worked fine.

 

so a friend and I were going to do this and share the wine vinegar .

 

unfortunately both he and I never had any dregs in the bottle   1/4 bottle ? gulp gulp

 

a fine project and I bet a terrific one bit the dust

 

( BTW  Richard Olney sued Martha Fellow not once but twice  and won both encounters. )

 

if you see some of his old books  he was at the Vanguard of Fine Eats back in the day.

 

had to be   he lived in France !

 

​so   1 ) glug glug  or if you can stand it, make some vinegar 

 

BTW  ' Simple French Food "  by R.O. is 40 years old.

 

I have a very old Penguin copy from GB that's about 35 years old   :raz:

Edited by rotuts (log)
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i haven't had that experience with Australian shiraz (and I have had plenty). I agree with the suggestion of decanting leftover wine into a half-bottle and storing that in the refrigerator. A glass of red wine can be brought to room temperature by putting it into the microwave for about 12 seconds on medium power (depending on the power of your MW). Then swirl.

 

The best method I have found for wine storage is using the aircork (aircork.com). Remember to rinse the balloon after use and store the wine in the refrigerator.

 

Cheers!

Edited by Ozcook (log)
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For reds, I drink mostly pinot noir and gamay, and I find that they keep quite well in the fridge - somtimes for 3 days or longer.

 

Decent recent Burgundies often improve after 24 hours' exposure to the air.

 

For whites, Savennières definitely gain in complexity and length once opened… 24-48 hours in a decanter does them wonders.

 

Experiment - you may be surprised.

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It happens because it oxidizes, which is what happens to all wines when they are exposed to air for a while. Three days is quite a long time to me... I usually cork it and put it back in the fridge and drink the next day if I can't finish it all in one night.

 

Lots of wines get sort of flat and blah tasting when they've been opened for more than a day.  Very few get that weird bitter metallic thing that my rose did or that the OP describes.  Maybe that flavor was underneath all along and just came out when the "good" flavors oxidized, but I'd be curious to know if that's actually the case or if there is another chemical reaction going on. 

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