14 December 2008

How to resuscitate a bottle of dead wine with electromagnetic radiation

If you and your 2-winged companions have had enough wine for one evening, what do you do with the rest of the bottle? I cork mine and put it in the refrigerator. As far as I am concerned, it'll still be drinkable for 2 more evenings.

In the The A.V. Club section of the print edition of last week's the Onion, some food experts offer their ideas on what to do with leftover wine. But for starters, the restaurateur Curtis Alfred asks "if the wine's that good, why was it left over anyway?" Likewise, the professional wine instructor Philip Prifold notes that "...most wines are typically dead within several hours after opening them." Right, but, the idea is to enjoy it without getting drunk, you know.

Apparently, saving the leftover wine for drinking it later is anathema to these people. However, various recipes are offered for turning the wine into something else for future use. Mr. Prifold makes vinegar out of his leftover wines. A couple of formulae are also offered to create miserable-sounding concoctions laden with "pumpkin pie spices, cloves, anise, cinnamon" and you name it.

Thank you very much, but I'll pass your witches' brews and stick to my refrigerated Cabernet Sauvignon.

And how do I bring it back to room temperature? I microwave it, of course!


Frank Anderson said...

Dead within a few hours? Huh? My palate must not be very sensitive.

With whites, they can be corked and go back in the fridge. Reds can sit on the counter for quite some time and still be quite drinkable (though some do go flat or vinegary within a few days). To keep reds fresher, you can use a small vacuum pump to pull the air off them before capping them, though I'm not sure it makes much difference.

Some reds can last for a long time at room temperature. Case in point: my wife and I are still drinking the red wine we had at the AMS meeting this summer. It has been sitting on our kitchen counter since July. I'm ashamed to admit it, but it is boxed wine. The good news is that it has a fancy spigot, so it's not exposed to much air, and that may be why it's still pretty good months later. It was pretty low-end stuff to start with, though, so it's not like it could get much worse without turning into vinegar.

There are only a few glasses left, so I think I may mull it this week in honor of the holiday season. Yes, I am going to make a miserable-sounding concoction! Mulled wine is a winter classic, and it can actually be quite good.

Katie said...

Dead in a few hours? I certainly would not be able to tell.

Cooking is also another good option for left-over wine. Works wonders in many dishes.