Leaky wine bottle

In my kitchen pantry, I have a few sealed wine bottles stored on their sides. Granted, it’s not a controlled wine cellar, but the shelves are out of direct sunlight, has a closed door, and the air temperatures are not wildly fluctuating (generally 65 to 70ish maybe getting up to a few rare 80 or so degree days over the year). One bottle has sprung a small leak past the cork and the seal, leaving a sticky puddle of dried wine on the shelf - what would be a likely cause? Would it still be OK to drink or should it be ditched?

If the cork is made of, well, cork;), it would seem to have gone bad. Likely due to temp changes and the cork shrinking a bit.

Wine getting out means oxygen getting in, so yes, the wine has likely gone bad. No reason not to taste it but if the leaked wine is dried on your shelf, the leak is old and the wine has likely been vinegar for a while. You’d know from the taste.

Yeah, the chances are high that the bottle has gone bad. If wine is leaking out, that means oxygen is going in, which means vinegar. It might be useful for cooking if it’s not gone too far.

No. Never cook with anything you aren’t willing to drink. Dump it and try not to let bottles sit around so long.

I’ll crack it soon, it’s only been sitting there for about 10 years…

Guitar questions for WordMan, what are your opinions about an early '70s Electra(a Les Paul knockoff/lawsuit) and Hohner’s Rockwood (strat-like) series? Thanks.

Too funny!

  • Some Electras are good. You need to understand if the neck is bolt-on vs. glued in like a normal Les Paul, and also if the body is truly solid or has a chamber in it. For some reason a lot of lawsuit LP’s were built that way by Greco, etc. A bolt-on and a chambered body are NOT deal breakers - they can be good guitars - but you should be able to get them for a lower price.

  • Hohner - no clue, haven’t played them. Since Prince played his Hohner Tele with the tortoiseshell pickguard, they have been pretty well regarded, so I would assume a Strat-type would be similar.

Definitely worth researching to understand going prices, whether the specific guitars you are considering were built in years when they were using the main factory that has the reputation for quality. In Japan, many lawsuit guitars were built at Fuji-Gen, but some were not and should not be priced the same way.

I owned my share of lawsuit Les Pauls - a couple of really nice Burny’s that I got for well under $1000. Good guitars.

Contrary to what most people think, there aren’t too many wines that will hold up for 10+ years anyway, so there’s a good chance the wine would be on the downward trend, tastewise, even without the leak. Really good (red) wine will age well, but most of the stuff we buy peaks within that timeframe.

Heck, I think the figure is 95+% of all wine is meant to be consumed within a year of purchase. If you just plunked it into the pantry, you didn’t buy a wine from the 5% that does benefit from aging.

Thanks for the quick response :slight_smile:

The Electra was acquired for swapping out with a basic no-name acoustic… the previous owner just wanted a non-electric. It’s a little dinged up, but stays in tune fairly well, neck is a bolt-on and still straight n solid, moderate fret wear, and still has the original ‘violin’ case with 40 years of wear on the neon orange fuzzy lining. Its color is a lemon yellow and burgundy burst. No idea what exact year or original company made it.

The Hohner was cheap ($25!) from Goodwill, nice condition with a maple neck and fretboard, dark green body with a white pickguard, straight neck, good frets, and seems to have been set up decently - action not too high or low. And it had a pair of drum keys in the gig bag.

Also got a pawnshop bargain acoustic Fender - a Catalina, black body, has a traditional Fender 6/0 headstock, rosewood finger board. and a electric-like neck. The tone is kinda bright but at least it’s cool to look at. :stuck_out_tongue:

As an aside, a friend had an original '57 Gretsch, Chet Atkins signature model, original leather-trimmed case, orange finish, inlays with the figures, branded ‘g’, and wear n sweat stains all along the neck lacquer - all from his owning it its whole life. Talk about a rich, warm tone…

Sounds like you got what you need wine-wise. And guitar-wise, too! That all sounds great and like you got some good stuff at good prices.

The '57 Gretsch is a whole 'nother level of cool - I used to have a '55. Amazing guitars, but their neck joints don’t always age well ;).

Completely true, the wine may have deteriorated even without the cork problem. As you said, very little of the wine sold in the US would benefit from aging.

The part I bolded above suggests you need to find a different place to store your wine. Temps that high will undoubtedly damage or ruin a bottle of wine. Ideal storage temp for wine is considered to be around 55F though as high as 70 shouldn’t be to much of a problem.