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  #1  
Old 11-24-2006, 12:28 PM
NinjaChick NinjaChick is offline
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Does an open bottle of wine need to be refrigerated?

Stupid, simple question. I have acquired a bottle of red wine. On the one hand, I know that as a non-dairy, alcoholic beverage, it's not likely to go bad if I just leave it in the cupboard. On the other hand, when my parents opened a bottle of wine but didn't finish it, they always put it in the fridge.

The bottle says to serve at room temperature, and I am new to this wine thing (in case my needing advice on how to deal with my 3.50 bottle of wine doesn't already tell you that.)
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2006, 12:32 PM
According to Pliny According to Pliny is offline
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Yes, cold retards all spoilage. Vinegar is caused by microorganisms.
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2006, 12:36 PM
x-ray vision x-ray vision is offline
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Yes, the cold will slow down the oxidation process. Don't expect it to keep for more than a couple of days though. A wine stopper and pump will help it keep a little longer.
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Old 11-24-2006, 12:41 PM
NinjaChick NinjaChick is offline
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Thanks - good to know.
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  #5  
Old 11-24-2006, 12:56 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x-ray vision
Yes, the cold will slow down the oxidation process. Don't expect it to keep for more than a couple of days though. A wine stopper and pump will help it keep a little longer.
In my experience, even a stopper and pump will only extend a bottle of red wine 2-3 days. Note that removing air doesn't prevent fermentation that occurs rapidly after the bottle is opened, as it is an anaerobic process; it just reduces oxidation. Refrigeration should slow all chemical reactions, aerobic and anaerobic, but doesn't seem to do all that much in practice, honestly. Red wine is a social drink, to be shared with friends (or, if you're a wino like me, drunk in splits or whole bottles.) Reds should be served lightly chilled (60 degrees F to "room temperature") depending on the sugar content and personal preference.

White wine should last somewhat longer after opening--I get about four or five days--and should be chilled (45-55 degrees F) regardless.

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  #6  
Old 11-24-2006, 01:21 PM
ReggieB ReggieB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train
Refrigeration should slow all chemical reactions, aerobic and anaerobic, but doesn't seem to do all that much in practice, honestly.
Experience has taught me that after a couple of days, the difference between a refrigerated and an unrefrigerated open bottle of wine is a huge one.
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  #7  
Old 11-24-2006, 01:27 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReggieB
Experience has taught me that after a couple of days, the difference between a refrigerated and an unrefrigerated open bottle of wine is a huge one.
Perhaps, but they're both "off" by that time and (IMHO) undrinkable.

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  #8  
Old 11-24-2006, 02:38 PM
psycat90 psycat90 is offline
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Yes, refrigerate it. When you want to drink it just pull the bottle out of the fridge and let it warm up a bit on the counter.

I'm constantly preserving open bottles of wine, lately I'll have anywhere from 2 to 6 open at a time. (For educational purposes, of course. )

I will always consume my wines within 1 week of being opened though. Any table wines not consumed by then I dump. Fortified wines will last longer.
I've found the pumps to be fairly worthless, so I stick to one method now - a few shots of gas (a mixture of N2, CO2, and Ar, the one I use is called Private Preserve, but there are other brands) and a Steel Cork, then the fridge.
While oxidation will still occur, I've noticed the least amount of difference in the wines from the first day tasted to the last using this method.
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  #9  
Old 11-24-2006, 03:06 PM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
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Tsk, tsk to all you people who are tossing out wine that has been open for more than a couple of days - if it hasn't gone completely to vinegar, it's still perfectly good for cooking at that point and would make a lovely beef stew, for example.
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  #10  
Old 11-24-2006, 07:35 PM
Xema Xema is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train
removing air doesn't prevent fermentation that occurs rapidly after the bottle is opened
I've always been curious about this. The original fermentation (that turned the grape juice into wine) ceased because the product of that fermentation (alcohol) reached a level that pretty much killed the yeast. How does fermentation re-start in the presence of this alcohol?
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2006, 07:45 PM
psycat90 psycat90 is offline
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It's a different type of fermentation. Not yeast and sugar to alcohol like the original, but alcohol and bacteria to acetic acid.
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2006, 12:14 PM
According to Pliny According to Pliny is offline
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One thing that my wine-loving brother in law swears by is a nitrogen cartridge bottle re-capper he got at a wine snob shop. Looks big like a coffee urn. You put the partly used bottle in and it fills the top with nitrogen and re-corks it.

He only does this for the super-premium and novelty (e.g. Maltese) wines he likes to force on all his guests but that they never finish.
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  #13  
Old 11-25-2006, 12:23 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by According to Pliny
He only does this for the super-premium and novelty (e.g. Maltese) wines he likes to force on all his guests but that they never finish.
The words all seem to be in English but I can't parse their meaning. He has people over, they open a bottle of wine, but don't kill it off? I...I...I just...don't understand.

Every time I have people over--pretty rare, admittedly--I usually end up with at least a couple of dead soldiers. I'd feel like a complete failure as a host if there were more than a few drams in the bottom of the bottle. But then, I'm not a wine snob (though some might contest, owing to my utter revulsion of the grape-scented lighter fluid sold under the label of Two Buck Chuck), not into novelty wines, and general regard opening a bottle of wine in company as part of a social contract that requires that it be finished off before the conversation dies.

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  #14  
Old 11-25-2006, 12:43 PM
psycat90 psycat90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by According to Pliny
One thing that my wine-loving brother in law swears by is a nitrogen cartridge bottle re-capper he got at a wine snob shop. Looks big like a coffee urn. You put the partly used bottle in and it fills the top with nitrogen and re-corks it.

He only does this for the super-premium and novelty (e.g. Maltese) wines he likes to force on all his guests but that they never finish.
These systems are fabulous. A couple of my co-workers have them and one of my friends works for this company that makes a couple of them.
Definitely on my wish list, it's basically a fancier version of the system I use now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train
The words all seem to be in English but I can't parse their meaning. He has people over, they open a bottle of wine, but don't kill it off? I...I...I just...don't understand.
We haven't had company lately, but when we do, I almost always end up with at least 3 or 4 bottles that don't get finished and 3 or 4 that do. I'm no wine snob, but I do try to open a lot of bottles and a lot of different varietals. I don't think we've ever killed every one. Not for lack of trying though!
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  #15  
Old 11-25-2006, 12:44 PM
According to Pliny According to Pliny is offline
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The thing in wine snob circles is to open many, many bottles of wine and sample them all.
This leaves a lot of partials. The cheaper ones get drunk at the next dinner or two and the expensive or hard-to-get ones live another day to amaze and amuse another group.
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  #16  
Old 11-25-2006, 08:00 PM
guizot guizot is offline
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J think it's an issue of how much did you spend for this wine, how much you really appreciate it, and how much space you have in fridge. Also, how much you drink wine in general. And what is "room temperature" where you live.

Is this wine so special that you want to make sure it's of ''premium quality' for the next time? Then find some space in the fridge. But if that indeed is the case, then perhap you're misconsuming. Use it up, and go to Trader Joe's to get a new and better one,. at a better price.
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  #17  
Old 11-25-2006, 08:04 PM
Ass For A Hat Ass For A Hat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycat90
I've found the pumps to be fairly worthless, so I stick to one method now - a few shots of gas...
I agree with your assessment of the pumps and the gas.

Over the holiday, I happened to read a Consumer Reports review of these wine saving systems. Their conclusion was that there was no difference between the pumps, the gas, and just sticking a cork in the bottle. My experience has been quite contrary to this, and their testing methodolgy was pretty dumb, IMHO. They tested three bottles, a Chardonay, and Cab Sauv and a Zin. They stored three samples of each with each of the three methods (pump, gas, cork only). They re-opened the Chardonay after three days, the Cab after eight days, and the Zin after twenty two days. Their "experts" found the differences to be negligible between the three methods in each case.

The thing that they failed to make clear, was what the point of the eight and twenty two day waiting periods were in the first place. All I want out any wine saving mechanism is three days. Eight days would be a miracle. Twenty two is just stupid.

They then went on to make wine recommendations. But that's for another forum.
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