Preferred wine preservation system

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Preferred wine preservation system

Post #1  Postby T. Johnson » July 19th 2010, 12:32pm

Hello all. I can't find an earlier thread related to this subject (although I'm sure it's been discussed before). Anyhow, curious to know peoples preferred system for preserving an opened bottle (one that will be consumed slowly over 2-3 days)? I currently use a vacu-vin, but some of my more astute wine friends warn of the loss of aromatics from this method. I don't worry with regards to young wines, but wonder if vacu-vin might be harmful to older bottles? Thanks in advance for any helpful info.

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Rick Gregory
 
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #2  Postby Rick Gregory » July 19th 2010, 12:38pm

I know folks who swear by vacu-vin, but I've never been confident that the seal really does that much more than recorking the bottle nor that the vacuum really alters the amount of oxygen that the wine comes in contact with. So... If I know I'm not finishing a bottle I'll open the bottle, decant half into a clean 375ml half bottle, cork that and put it in the fridge. Yes, I expose it to air decanting it, but virtually all of that air is displaced by the wine and it then goes in a cold environment where reactions will be pretty slow. This works well if I'm finished 1/2 of a bottle which I almost always do if it's a good wine. If iI don't finish even half of the bottle I simply recork the full bottle with whatever's left and refrigerate it. Not optimal, but it works fine for a day. Note that this whole approach pretty much assumes you'll be drinking a bottle over 2 or maybe 3 days. If you're drinking it over a full week... well... drink faster!
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #3  Postby Roberto Rogness » July 19th 2010, 12:40pm

The Vacu Vin requires that you believe two things: A) that it creates a significant vacuum. B) that if it did, the wine wouldn't boil away. Both are false.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #4  Postby Richard Jennings » July 19th 2010, 2:31pm

I think the vacu vin does virtually nothing, so I haven't used it for years. For a number of years I used argon gas, as I had a supplier in L.A. who was able to refill my tank every year or so as needed, and that worked great, and would keep the wine intact indefinitely. In the last couple years, I've moved to just having different size bottles--175 ml, 350, 500--so I can use whichever I need and fill it to the top, eliminating excess oxygen from the bottle, with whatever amount of wine I have remaining. I seal it with a plastic cork that I think is probably a tighter seal than just reusing the old cork. This method seems to work fine for keeping wine for 1 to 3 days. I don't recommend it beyond that point.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #5  Postby Roberto Rogness » July 19th 2010, 2:49pm

Our dear departed (as in passed away, miss you Steve) Porto and Spirits manager used to keep wines, porto and more sealed in Schweppes club soda bottles in a small refrigerator in his house for YEARS with minimal degradation. You have to make sure they are sterile, have food grade plastic liners and you fill them to the TOP.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #6  Postby Rob Hansult » July 19th 2010, 4:35pm

Glad to see little support given to the ridiculous concept of the vacu-vin. The inert gasses don't work either because the wine has already taken up the oxygen. The topped 1/2 bottle in the fridge thing works pretty well in the way described & since the bottle has already been open a while & being poured, it really doesn't add very much air to the wine. Have to admit I don't usually have to worry about any of these alternatives 'cause the bottle ends up empty! Cheers! "[cheers.gif]"
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #7  Postby Peter Tryba » July 19th 2010, 5:16pm

The gas techniques function well if you commit to drinking a certain volume of wine before you open the bottle. Simply pour the quantity you're going to serve then immediately gas the remainder. If you pour a few rounds over time then decide to gas the rest, you're doing it incorrectly and can't blame the gas.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #8  Postby Rob Hansult » July 19th 2010, 5:48pm

[quote="Peter Tryba"]The gas techniques function well if you commit to drinking a certain volume of wine before you open the bottle. Simply pour the quantity you're going to serve then immediately gas the remainder. If you pour a few rounds over time then decide to gas the rest, you're doing it incorrectly and can't blame the gas.
Peter, I'm afraid your comment is misleading & you've misread my post if you think I'm doing it incorrectly. I use inert gas in the winery, but not in bottles of wine I'm drinking. For one thing, who drinks like that? That is not how these inert gas dosers are being sold, or certainly the users view of them. If used as you say, the wine will certainly be OK for a day or two, but it would also be fine in the fridge not even topped up for the same amount of time. In a topped bottle it would do as well, or better than your method, and I've done tasting trials of all permutations that back what I'm saying up. The only problem is the vast number of buyers are using the gas to "save" the bottle after they've been drinking it for an hour or so, and in that case, it is virtually useless.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #9  Postby T. Johnson » July 19th 2010, 7:10pm

Thanks for the cogent info guys. It's interesting to note that the preferred system (fill a smaller bottle completely) also is simpler. I've had my doubts about vacu-vin when I've opened a bottle and it's painfully obvious the stopper didn't fully seal. Will give your advice a try. Thanks again.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #10  Postby L e o F r o k i c » July 20th 2010, 3:59am

I love to freeze whatever I don't use and when I'm ready to drink it again I just put botle in luke warm water and after half hour is ready to drink.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #11  Postby Peter Tryba » July 20th 2010, 6:44am

Rob, I did misread your personal use of gas preservation systems. I'm not suggesting that the purveyors of the gas canisters give coherent instruction on the use of their products. I am describing the method of use that produces positive results. I do agree that vacu-vin sucks and freezing, or refrigerating at minimum, is the best technique available for wine preservation these days.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #12  Postby mikeycook » July 21st 2010, 2:20pm

Personally, I have tried several preservation techniques but in my opinion none of them protect the wine from significant degradation. So, instead I don't use any techniques. I try to buy more half bottles and I avoid opening my nicer bottles unless we intend to finish them.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #13  Postby Randy Sloan » July 21st 2010, 6:30pm

I've always had trouble figuring out how to have a bottle last until the second day. "[snort.gif]" But circumstances this past week had me opening several of our wines for a tasting that didn't happen. I Vacu-Vined the bottles with the idea that I would check in on them on Day 2 to see how they would fare and if they'd be usable for the next day's tasting. The next day, for giggles I opened fresh bottles as well. In one case, the vacu-vin stopper had an unnoticed small crack and wine leaked. That bottle had degraded. In the other cases, the bottles compared quite favorably with their recently opened counterparts, seeming to imitate significant decanter time. I've never been a huge believer in the Vacu-Vin before and don't think I will be a big user in the future, but they did work out for me this week. Better than nothing?
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #14  Postby Randy Bowman » July 21st 2010, 6:38pm

We sell "Private Preserve," a carbon dioxide, nitrogen gas and use it in our bar on "by the glass" bottles. It works real well on Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, holding them for about a week. Chards and reds will hold up two or three days, but all taste like they have had three to four hours in a large decanter, tanins very soft. Carrie can accurately tell if a wine has been gassed, saying she can taste it. I can't "taste" anything and am only about 50% on picking gassed vs long decant.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #15  Postby Peter Kleban » July 21st 2010, 6:57pm

I've been using sixpack San Pellegrino bottles (250ml, so exactly 1/3 a std wine bottle) or Perrier (330ml, a bit less than half). If you fill them exactly to the top, there is no oxygen problem except for what gets in during the pouring. (Incidentally, the openings are the same size as a wine bottle so pouring is easy--assuming you haven't drunk too much already "[wink.gif]" . You can seal them with the caps they came with, tho I prefer to use screwcaps from other wine bottles, since they are designed for wine--can't really say if this make a difference or not, tho. I put them in the fridge. This works fine for several days, even weeks (in the few cases I've tested), others claim they will hold for months. I tend to believe that, since no O2 gets in and the temp is low. If I don't have enough left for a whole bottle, I use vacuvin on it. My impression is that this doesn't work as well, but I can't say I've really tested it. Caveat: my wife thinks I'm crazy. But what else is new "[snort.gif]" ?
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #16  Postby Ron Kramer » July 21st 2010, 7:32pm

If the leftover will not be consumed the next day it gets frozen NEVER a problem but I use a cool water bath to have it come to temperature. If I'm having the next day it goes into glass vessel close to the volume left and then the wine is brought to the top with glass marbles.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #17  Postby Linda Baehr » July 21st 2010, 10:17pm

[quote="P. Robert"]What is this half empty bottle thing of which you speak?
+1 I've never frozen wine, but I have to think it might change the acidity levels of the wine. This is what we do with whites to make sure they are cold stable- it gets the tartrates to drop out of solution. It could push the pH higher or lower depending on the starting pH of the wine.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #18  Postby Bob Wood » July 23rd 2010, 3:05pm

[quote="P. Robert"]What is this half empty bottle thing of which you speak?
The opposite of half full. "[snort.gif]"
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #19  Postby PeterJ » July 23rd 2010, 6:35pm

[quote="Rob Hansult"] The only problem is the vast number of buyers are using the gas to "save" the bottle after they've been drinking it for an hour or so, and in that case, it is virtually useless.
[quote="Peter Tryba"] The gas techniques function well if you commit to drinking a certain volume of wine before you open the bottle. Simply pour the quantity you're going to serve then immediately gas the remainder. If you pour a few rounds over time then decide to gas the rest, you're doing it incorrectly and can't blame the gas.
I'm interested in what is is you'd say makes so many people believe that gassing after an hour DOES help wine last longer. I long ago concluded that, like so much else with wine, much of this has to do with palate sensitivity and experience, but it's a little hard to conclude that the wine would be exactly the same with or without gassing the way most people use it. It's too big a business for it to not work at all.................. or is that naive? What's the scientific evidence that enough air has been absorbed into the wine in an hour to make preservation useless?
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #20  Postby Rob Hansult » August 5th 2010, 12:48am

[quote="PeterJ"]I'm interested in what is is you'd say makes so many people believe that gassing after an hour DOES help wine last longer. I long ago concluded that, like so much else with wine, much of this has to do with palate sensitivity and experience, but it's a little hard to conclude that the wine would be exactly the same with or without gassing the way most people use it. It's too big a business for it to not work at all.................. or is that naive? What's the scientific evidence that enough air has been absorbed into the wine in an hour to make preservation useless?
Peter, I'd say the evidence that so many people believe that gassing after an hour helps the wine last longer is seeing what & how people are using these inert gas products, which is gassing the wine that's left when they are finished & there is wine leftover. Have you been witnessing a different sort of behavior? Scientific evidence? I suppose you could measure dissolved O2 & correlate it with the wines decline, but if you've got a decent nose & palate it's a pretty easy exercise to perform, & the conclusion is pretty evident, even without measuring O2 uptake. I'm not trying to be a naysayer, but . . . Peters technique should have some effect, but again, how many people use the product(s) in that manner? just sayin' . . . Cheers to finishing the bottle! "[cheers.gif]"
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #21  Postby PeterJ » August 5th 2010, 6:30pm

[quote="Rob Hansult"] Peter, I'd say the evidence that so many people believe that gassing after an hour helps the wine last longer is seeing what & how people are using these inert gas products, which is gassing the wine that's left when they are finished & there is wine leftover. Have you been witnessing a different sort of behavior? Scientific evidence? I suppose you could measure dissolved O2 & correlate it with the wines decline, but if you've got a decent nose & palate it's a pretty easy exercise to perform, & the conclusion is pretty evident, even without measuring O2 uptake. I'm not trying to be a naysayer, but . . . Peters technique should have some effect, but again, how many people use the product(s) in that manner? just sayin' . . . Cheers to finishing the bottle! "[cheers.gif]"
Rob, I may not have been clear. You said "The only problem is the vast number of buyers are using the gas to "save" the bottle after they've been drinking it for an hour or so, and in that case, it is virtually useless." What I'm interested in is the reason that so many people continue to use these products as you say they do........... after the bottle has been open an hour........... if the truth is that it doesn't do any good. Do they all have such weak sensitivity that they can't tell oxidized wine? Is the wine not really degrading much, so the whole process is a waste of time? I agree that even the best gas preservation products would be best used immediately upon pouring (as evidenced by the method employed in closed system units, like Enomatic). But, as you are aware, most people don't use the devices that way. So.................. why do they keep using them? I guess I should be honest and say that my own evidence really doesn't support your claim. Injected Argon seems to work well for up to a week in most cases. But, having said that, I DO believe that the ability of any preservation method to work is as much or more in the palate sensitivity of the taster as in the method or device. Again.................... just sayin'.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #22  Postby Peter Tryba » August 6th 2010, 7:29am

What Chaad and PeterJ said
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #23  Postby Dick Krueger » September 6th 2010, 10:57am

We never have wine left in a bottle, except for some Ports and Madeiras. We've even been known to argue over who gets to finish the bottle. Therefore I have never tried any methods for keeping wine. Over the years there have been a couple bottles that i put back in the cellar with just a clean cork stuck back in. After an indeterminate period of time, the wine was still very drinkable.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #24  Postby Rob Hansult » September 6th 2010, 5:33pm

[quote="PeterJ"][quote="Rob Hansult"] Peter, I'd say the evidence that so many people believe that gassing after an hour helps the wine last longer is seeing what & how people are using these inert gas products, which is gassing the wine that's left when they are finished & there is wine leftover. Have you been witnessing a different sort of behavior? Scientific evidence? I suppose you could measure dissolved O2 & correlate it with the wines decline, but if you've got a decent nose & palate it's a pretty easy exercise to perform, & the conclusion is pretty evident, even without measuring O2 uptake. I'm not trying to be a naysayer, but . . . Peters technique should have some effect, but again, how many people use the product(s) in that manner? just sayin' . . . Cheers to finishing the bottle! "[cheers.gif]"
Rob, I may not have been clear. You said "The only problem is the vast number of buyers are using the gas to "save" the bottle after they've been drinking it for an hour or so, and in that case, it is virtually useless." What I'm interested in is the reason that so many people continue to use these products as you say they do........... after the bottle has been open an hour........... if the truth is that it doesn't do any good. Do they all have such weak sensitivity that they can't tell oxidized wine? Is the wine not really degrading much, so the whole process is a waste of time? I agree that even the best gas preservation products would be best used immediately upon pouring (as evidenced by the method employed in closed system units, like Enomatic). But, as you are aware, most people don't use the devices that way. So.................. why do they keep using them? I guess I should be honest and say that my own evidence really doesn't support your claim. Injected Argon seems to work well for up to a week in most cases. But, having said that, I DO believe that the ability of any preservation method to work is as much or more in the palate sensitivity of the taster as in the method or device. Again.................... just sayin'.
Peter J, Ignorance of wine is the reason many continue using a "preservation" system that does little to preserve a wine from the effects of oxygen. Ignorance of wine is, unfortunately a keystone of the wine biz on the consumer & occasionally "expert" side - sad to say, but that's a whole 'nother thread. Ignorance: the state or fact of being ignorant : lack of knowledge, education, or awareness. "pileon" I'm not surprised you believe your "evidence" disagrees with my claim. You do sell gas preservation systems - be pretty hard to do if you couldn't stand behind the product & theory in some way. just belaboring a point . . . Again . . . "[cheers.gif]"
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #25  Postby Victor Hong » September 7th 2010, 5:45am

[quote="T. Johnson"]Hello all. I can't find an earlier thread related to this subject (although I'm sure it's been discussed before). Anyhow, curious to know peoples preferred system for preserving an opened bottle (one that will be consumed slowly over 2-3 days)? I currently use a vacu-vin, but some of my more astute wine friends warn of the loss of aromatics from this method. I don't worry with regards to young wines, but wonder if vacu-vin might be harmful to older bottles? Thanks in advance for any helpful info.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #26  Postby Rob Hansult » September 7th 2010, 6:10am

[quote="Victor Hong"][quote="T. Johnson"]Hello all. I can't find an earlier thread related to this subject (although I'm sure it's been discussed before). Anyhow, curious to know peoples preferred system for preserving an opened bottle (one that will be consumed slowly over 2-3 days)? I currently use a vacu-vin, but some of my more astute wine friends warn of the loss of aromatics from this method. I don't worry with regards to young wines, but wonder if vacu-vin might be harmful to older bottles? Thanks in advance for any helpful info.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #27  Postby PeterJ » September 8th 2010, 12:31am

[quote="Rob Hansult"] Peter J, Ignorance is the reason many continue using a "preservation" system that does little to preserve a wine from the effects of oxygen. Ignorance, unfortunately is a keystone of the wine biz on the consumer side - sad to say, but that's a whole 'nother thread. "pileon" I'm not surprised you believe your "evidence" disagrees with my claim. You do sell gas preservation systems - be pretty hard to do if you couldn't stand behind the product & theory in some way. just belaboring a point . . . Again . . . "[cheers.gif]"
Sure. I DO sell preservation systems, but I do that because of years of examples of experience that it works. And the experience isn't just my own, but that of many, many people with much more expertise than I possess. You're, of course, entitled to your position, but I find it completely mind-blowing that so many otherwise knowledgeable people go to all that trouble and expense for no reason. It's also odd that they will do controlled tests and conclude that one type of preservation is better than another. What I really think is behind this is the likelihood that people have such a wide range of palate sensitivity that some can distinguish even the slightest oxidation, while others can't. When I owned my wine shop and tasting room I had a customer who could pick out just about any bottle that had been open more than a day............... no matter what I did to preserve it. That makes much more sense to me than a blanket dismissal of the efficacy of preservation. [BTW, I think the same could be said about sensitivity to TCA. At least that would seem to explain why so many people say they rarely have a corked bottle when the industry states would say otherwise.]
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #28  Postby Rob Hansult » September 8th 2010, 1:50am

Peter, Having been in & around the business of drinking, making, growing, selling & collecting wine since the late 70's I'm not the least bit surprised that "so many otherwise knowledgeable people go to all that trouble and expense for no reason." When people are not that knowledgeable, or ignorant about wine they tend to do a lot of silly thinks. You give your customers & other "experts" more respect than I do quite frankly. I don't think your argument holds up. You can chalk it up to my opinion. How many people pay too much for poor wine - over & over & over. "Otherwise knowledgeable" people going through all that trouble & expense for no reason. You said you've sold wine, so you must have seen this phenomenon. How many "knowledgeable" people smell the cork given them by the Sommelier. An absolutely useless exercise. I'm not trying to disparage you or your preservation system, but I'm sure the "They" doing the testing are connected to the manufacturer. Besides that, as I said somewhere above - I've got a pretty sharp palate for both flaws & positive attributes of wine & I have tried these experiments myself & the only time I see any effect that can be sensed is when as soon as the bottle is opened, 1/2 the contents are poured into a split & gassed & put in the Fridge. The biggest factor that I'M blown away by & that you don't accept is that the majority of the uses of products like this are after a decent amount of time in which the wine has unquestionable absorbed a decent chunk of oxygen. It's dissolved in the wine & is & will be reacting with it no matter what you do. It's at this point that most of these systems are used - after the wine has absorbed dissolved oxygen. I don't think I need to be Einstein to know what's happening to that wine. The average wine drinkers sensitivity, or lack of for all sorts of flaws is another reason they may not really notice the deterioration in the wine. That's all I'm saying. To me these things seem pretty self evident & I'm surprised so many Disagree with me. Anyway - those are the points I wanted to make, & maybe they are slightly clearer now, or we'll just have to agree to disagree, K? Cheers "[cheers.gif]"
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #29  Postby chaad thomas » September 8th 2010, 10:00am

[quote="Rob Hansult"]Peter, Having been in & around the business of drinking, making, growing, selling & collecting wine since the late 70's I'm not the least bit surprised that "so many otherwise knowledgeable people go to all that trouble and expense for no reason." When people are not that knowledgeable, or ignorant about wine they tend to do a lot of silly thinks. You give your customers & other "experts" more respect than I do quite frankly. I don't think your argument holds up. You can chalk it up to my opinion. How many people pay too much for poor wine - over & over & over. "Otherwise knowledgeable" people going through all that trouble & expense for no reason. You said you've sold wine, so you must have seen this phenomenon. How many "knowledgeable" people smell the cork given them by the Sommelier. An absolutely useless exercise. I'm not trying to disparage you or your preservation system, but I'm sure the "They" doing the testing are connected to the manufacturer. Besides that, as I said somewhere above - I've got a pretty sharp palate for both flaws & positive attributes of wine & I have tried these experiments myself & the only time I see any effect that can be sensed is when as soon as the bottle is opened, 1/2 the contents are poured into a split & gassed & put in the Fridge. The biggest factor that I'M blown away by & that you don't accept is that the majority of the uses of products like this are after a decent amount of time in which the wine has unquestionable absorbed a decent chunk of oxygen. It's dissolved in the wine & is & will be reacting with it no matter what you do. It's at this point that most of these systems are used - after the wine has absorbed dissolved oxygen. I don't think I need to be Einstein to know what's happening to that wine. The average wine drinkers sensitivity, or lack of for all sorts of flaws is another reason they may not really notice the deterioration in the wine. That's all I'm saying. To me these things seem pretty self evident & I'm surprised so many Disagree with me. Anyway - those are the points I wanted to make, & maybe they are slightly clearer now, or we'll just have to agree to disagree, K? Cheers "[cheers.gif]"
I don't think you can call sniffing the cork an "absolutely useless" exercise, particularly if you're faced with a wine of uncertain condition.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #30  Postby PeterJ » September 8th 2010, 10:22am

[quote="Rob Hansult"] I'm not trying to disparage you or your preservation system, but I'm sure the "They" doing the testing are connected to the manufacturer. Actually, they're not. These have been independent testers of my system as well as others who use their own gas methods. The average wine drinkers sensitivity, or lack of for all sorts of flaws is another reason they may not really notice the deterioration in the wine.
I don't really want to belabor this discussion as we obviously are coming at it from very different perspectives. But.............. I would really like to know if you have any scientific knowledge as to the absorption rate of oxygen in air into wine. It does seem obvious that it happens (or wineries wouldn't need to sparge), but what would seem important to ask about is the rate at which it happens and the relationship between that and the sensitivity to it's result on the palate of tasters. The one thing you'll never shake me on is the belief that palate sensitivity varies wildly between individuals. Anyway............ no issue with you personally, except with the possibility that I do think the word "ignorant" is a bit over the top in describing those who don't share your own experience. Cheers back "[cheers.gif]"
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #31  Postby Rob Hansult » September 8th 2010, 12:04pm

[quote="chaad thomas"][quote="Rob Hansult"]Peter, Having been in & around the business of drinking, making, growing, selling & collecting wine since the late 70's I'm not the least bit surprised that "so many otherwise knowledgeable people go to all that trouble and expense for no reason." When people are not that knowledgeable, or ignorant about wine they tend to do a lot of silly thinks. You give your customers & other "experts" more respect than I do quite frankly. I don't think your argument holds up. You can chalk it up to my opinion. How many people pay too much for poor wine - over & over & over. "Otherwise knowledgeable" people going through all that trouble & expense for no reason. You said you've sold wine, so you must have seen this phenomenon. How many "knowledgeable" people smell the cork given them by the Sommelier. An absolutely useless exercise. I'm not trying to disparage you or your preservation system, but I'm sure the "They" doing the testing are connected to the manufacturer. Besides that, as I said somewhere above - I've got a pretty sharp palate for both flaws & positive attributes of wine & I have tried these experiments myself & the only time I see any effect that can be sensed is when as soon as the bottle is opened, 1/2 the contents are poured into a split & gassed & put in the Fridge. The biggest factor that I'M blown away by & that you don't accept is that the majority of the uses of products like this are after a decent amount of time in which the wine has unquestionable absorbed a decent chunk of oxygen. It's dissolved in the wine & is & will be reacting with it no matter what you do. It's at this point that most of these systems are used - after the wine has absorbed dissolved oxygen. I don't think I need to be Einstein to know what's happening to that wine. The average wine drinkers sensitivity, or lack of for all sorts of flaws is another reason they may not really notice the deterioration in the wine. That's all I'm saying. To me these things seem pretty self evident & I'm surprised so many Disagree with me. Anyway - those are the points I wanted to make, & maybe they are slightly clearer now, or we'll just have to agree to disagree, K? Cheers "[cheers.gif]"
If you think giving a cork a sniff is an "absolutely useless" exercise, your palate may not be as sharp as you think.
Hey Chaad, Let me ask you a question just to clarify: Do you hold with what I would call the myth of smelling the cork at table? If so, why? I'm sure we've both tasted our share of corked wines. I'm just curious as to what you think smelling the cork can consistently tell you about the wine in the bottle.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #32  Postby chaad thomas » September 8th 2010, 12:16pm

[quote="Rob Hansult"][quote="chaad thomas"][quote="Rob Hansult"]Peter, Having been in & around the business of drinking, making, growing, selling & collecting wine since the late 70's I'm not the least bit surprised that "so many otherwise knowledgeable people go to all that trouble and expense for no reason." When people are not that knowledgeable, or ignorant about wine they tend to do a lot of silly thinks. You give your customers & other "experts" more respect than I do quite frankly. I don't think your argument holds up. You can chalk it up to my opinion. How many people pay too much for poor wine - over & over & over. "Otherwise knowledgeable" people going through all that trouble & expense for no reason. You said you've sold wine, so you must have seen this phenomenon. How many "knowledgeable" people smell the cork given them by the Sommelier. An absolutely useless exercise. I'm not trying to disparage you or your preservation system, but I'm sure the "They" doing the testing are connected to the manufacturer. Besides that, as I said somewhere above - I've got a pretty sharp palate for both flaws & positive attributes of wine & I have tried these experiments myself & the only time I see any effect that can be sensed is when as soon as the bottle is opened, 1/2 the contents are poured into a split & gassed & put in the Fridge. The biggest factor that I'M blown away by & that you don't accept is that the majority of the uses of products like this are after a decent amount of time in which the wine has unquestionable absorbed a decent chunk of oxygen. It's dissolved in the wine & is & will be reacting with it no matter what you do. It's at this point that most of these systems are used - after the wine has absorbed dissolved oxygen. I don't think I need to be Einstein to know what's happening to that wine. The average wine drinkers sensitivity, or lack of for all sorts of flaws is another reason they may not really notice the deterioration in the wine. That's all I'm saying. To me these things seem pretty self evident & I'm surprised so many Disagree with me. Anyway - those are the points I wanted to make, & maybe they are slightly clearer now, or we'll just have to agree to disagree, K? Cheers "[cheers.gif]"
If you think giving a cork a sniff is an "absolutely useless" exercise, your palate may not be as sharp as you think.
Hey Chaad, Let me ask you a question just to clarify: Do you hold with what I would call the myth of smelling the cork at table? If so, why? I'm sure we've both tasted our share of corked wines. I'm just curious as to what you think smelling the cork can consistently tell you about the wine in the bottle.
Inspecting the cork, both visually and by smell, can help you understand the condition of a wine. For example, if a wine seems to be less fruity than you would expect, yet you don't notice the definite mustiness of cork taint, a sniff of the cork, if it smells musty or dank, would be another factor in determining the wine "off" or tainted.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #33  Postby Rob Hansult » September 8th 2010, 12:19pm

[quote="PeterJ"][quote="Rob Hansult"] I'm not trying to disparage you or your preservation system, but I'm sure the "They" doing the testing are connected to the manufacturer. Actually, they're not. These have been independent testers of my system as well as others who use their own gas methods. The average wine drinkers sensitivity, or lack of for all sorts of flaws is another reason they may not really notice the deterioration in the wine.
I don't really want to belabor this discussion as we obviously are coming at it from very different perspectives. But.............. I would really like to know if you have any scientific knowledge as to the absorption rate of oxygen in air into wine. It does seem obvious that it happens (or wineries wouldn't need to sparge), but what would seem important to ask about is the rate at which it happens and the relationship between that and the sensitivity to it's result on the palate of tasters. The one thing you'll never shake me on is the belief that palate sensitivity varies wildly between individuals. Anyway............ no issue with you personally, except with the possibility that I do think the word "ignorant" is a bit over the top in describing those who don't share your own experience. Cheers back "[cheers.gif]"
Hey Peter, I wouldn't mind having a look at you testing results. I don't have exact scientific knowledge of the rate/amounts of oxygen uptake in wine after a bottle is open other than my palate . . . yet. You've got me curious. I'll check with my lab & see if they can test for dissolved oxygen. BTW - I edited my "ignorance" remark. Not sure if you'll agree with it now or not, but it is accurate & what I meant to convey. Another point: I totally agree with you on the variability of tasters palates & the effect that can have on our discussion. I thought that was implied in what I'd said, but just to be clear. Thanks & Cheers!
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #34  Postby Rob Hansult » September 8th 2010, 12:49pm

[quote="chaad thomas"][quote="Rob Hansult"][quote="chaad thomas"][quote="Rob Hansult"]Peter, Having been in & around the business of drinking, making, growing, selling & collecting wine since the late 70's I'm not the least bit surprised that "so many otherwise knowledgeable people go to all that trouble and expense for no reason." When people are not that knowledgeable, or ignorant about wine they tend to do a lot of silly thinks. You give your customers & other "experts" more respect than I do quite frankly. I don't think your argument holds up. You can chalk it up to my opinion. How many people pay too much for poor wine - over & over & over. "Otherwise knowledgeable" people going through all that trouble & expense for no reason. You said you've sold wine, so you must have seen this phenomenon. How many "knowledgeable" people smell the cork given them by the Sommelier. An absolutely useless exercise. I'm not trying to disparage you or your preservation system, but I'm sure the "They" doing the testing are connected to the manufacturer. Besides that, as I said somewhere above - I've got a pretty sharp palate for both flaws & positive attributes of wine & I have tried these experiments myself & the only time I see any effect that can be sensed is when as soon as the bottle is opened, 1/2 the contents are poured into a split & gassed & put in the Fridge. The biggest factor that I'M blown away by & that you don't accept is that the majority of the uses of products like this are after a decent amount of time in which the wine has unquestionable absorbed a decent chunk of oxygen. It's dissolved in the wine & is & will be reacting with it no matter what you do. It's at this point that most of these systems are used - after the wine has absorbed dissolved oxygen. I don't think I need to be Einstein to know what's happening to that wine. The average wine drinkers sensitivity, or lack of for all sorts of flaws is another reason they may not really notice the deterioration in the wine. That's all I'm saying. To me these things seem pretty self evident & I'm surprised so many Disagree with me. Anyway - those are the points I wanted to make, & maybe they are slightly clearer now, or we'll just have to agree to disagree, K? Cheers "[cheers.gif]"
If you think giving a cork a sniff is an "absolutely useless" exercise, your palate may not be as sharp as you think.
Hey Chaad, Let me ask you a question just to clarify: Do you hold with what I would call the myth of smelling the cork at table? If so, why? I'm sure we've both tasted our share of corked wines. I'm just curious as to what you think smelling the cork can consistently tell you about the wine in the bottle.
Inspecting the cork, both visually and by smell, can help you understand the condition of a wine. For example, if a wine seems to be less fruity than you would expect, yet you don't notice the definite mustiness of cork taint, a sniff of the cork, if it smells musty or dank, would be another factor in determining the wine "off" or tainted.
Chaad, Smelling the cork, not visually inspecting it was the discussion point here. Naturally a cork should be visually inspected. I have had horribly corked wines where there is no aroma of TCA,TBA or any off aromas in the cork & some pretty funky corks that the wine was completely without cork or any other taint. A wine you're familiar with having seemingly diminished fruit certainly is one of the possible signs of TCA, but usually if you can notice the diminution of fruit, the wine should smell at least mildly corked. Smelling the cork is not gunna tell you much, and certainly not consistently. And there will be times where the cork is funky & the wine is corked, but the funkyness of the cork has nothing to do with the wine containing TCA,TBA. I just think it's an extremely silly, inconsistent & unreliable, misleading exercise that becomes ever more useless & silly the less knowledge & trained palate you have, & it's just not really good for wine in general. You didn't really answer my question: Do you think restaurant patrons should "sniff the cork?"
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #35  Postby PeterJ » September 8th 2010, 12:57pm

[quote="Rob Hansult"] Hey Peter, I wouldn't mind having a look at your testing results. [quote] Rob, They aren't scientific testing results. The guys at a well-known local wine webcast/website have been doing some testing of the unit and have said they're up to 7 days with no apparent oxidation. Also, another wine blogger of some repute has said he was fine with it after three days (he didn't try more because that's his personal limit for any opened wine). My own observation is a week or so, depending on the wine, but I know my palate is not as sensitive as that of others, so I've asked for independent evaluations. The argon I use is specifically targeted to the food & beverage industry and is used more and more by wineries for sparging and for topping off tanks. I recently received some info that debunked the rather widely-held notion that whatever gas is used forms a layer on top of the wine. The argon apparently begins mixing with the wine almost immediately, so the methodology is to inject enough argon into the space to create an argon-rich environment. Just how much argon seems to depend on palate sensitivity, but the ultimate (which squares with your thought) is to inject enough to purge virtually all the air. I've been able to create a matrix of how long to inject gas in relation to the amount of empty space. "[drinks.gif]"
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #36  Postby chaad thomas » September 8th 2010, 1:31pm

[quote="Rob Hansult"][quote="chaad thomas"][quote="Rob Hansult"][quote="chaad thomas"][quote="Rob Hansult"]Peter, Having been in & around the business of drinking, making, growing, selling & collecting wine since the late 70's I'm not the least bit surprised that "so many otherwise knowledgeable people go to all that trouble and expense for no reason." When people are not that knowledgeable, or ignorant about wine they tend to do a lot of silly thinks. You give your customers & other "experts" more respect than I do quite frankly. I don't think your argument holds up. You can chalk it up to my opinion. How many people pay too much for poor wine - over & over & over. "Otherwise knowledgeable" people going through all that trouble & expense for no reason. You said you've sold wine, so you must have seen this phenomenon. How many "knowledgeable" people smell the cork given them by the Sommelier. An absolutely useless exercise. I'm not trying to disparage you or your preservation system, but I'm sure the "They" doing the testing are connected to the manufacturer. Besides that, as I said somewhere above - I've got a pretty sharp palate for both flaws & positive attributes of wine & I have tried these experiments myself & the only time I see any effect that can be sensed is when as soon as the bottle is opened, 1/2 the contents are poured into a split & gassed & put in the Fridge. The biggest factor that I'M blown away by & that you don't accept is that the majority of the uses of products like this are after a decent amount of time in which the wine has unquestionable absorbed a decent chunk of oxygen. It's dissolved in the wine & is & will be reacting with it no matter what you do. It's at this point that most of these systems are used - after the wine has absorbed dissolved oxygen. I don't think I need to be Einstein to know what's happening to that wine. The average wine drinkers sensitivity, or lack of for all sorts of flaws is another reason they may not really notice the deterioration in the wine. That's all I'm saying. To me these things seem pretty self evident & I'm surprised so many Disagree with me. Anyway - those are the points I wanted to make, & maybe they are slightly clearer now, or we'll just have to agree to disagree, K? Cheers "[cheers.gif]"
If you think giving a cork a sniff is an "absolutely useless" exercise, your palate may not be as sharp as you think.
Hey Chaad, Let me ask you a question just to clarify: Do you hold with what I would call the myth of smelling the cork at table? If so, why? I'm sure we've both tasted our share of corked wines. I'm just curious as to what you think smelling the cork can consistently tell you about the wine in the bottle.
Inspecting the cork, both visually and by smell, can help you understand the condition of a wine. For example, if a wine seems to be less fruity than you would expect, yet you don't notice the definite mustiness of cork taint, a sniff of the cork, if it smells musty or dank, would be another factor in determining the wine "off" or tainted.
Chaad, Smelling the cork, not visually inspecting it was the discussion point here. Naturally a cork should be visually inspected. I have had horribly corked wines where there is no aroma of TCA,TBA or any off aromas in the cork & some pretty funky corks that the wine was completely without cork or any other taint. A wine you're familiar with having seemingly diminished fruit certainly is one of the possible signs of TCA, but usually if you can notice the diminution of fruit, the wine should smell at least mildly corked. Smelling the cork is not gunna tell you much, and certainly not consistently. And there will be times where the cork is funky & the wine is corked, but the funkyness of the cork has nothing to do with the wine containing TCA,TBA. I just think it's an extremely silly, inconsistent & unreliable, misleading exercise that becomes ever more useless & silly the less knowledge & trained palate you have, & it's just not really good for wine in general. You didn't really answer my question: Do you think restaurant patrons should "sniff the cork?" I agree the cork ain't gonna tell you much, but having your opinion that a wine is off, funky, or otherwise damaged to be validated (or backed up) by a look and/or sniff of the cork isn't useless, particularly if you were uncertain about what you were tasting in the first place. Regarding the restaurant custom, I see no harm in presenting the cork to the diner, but admit that I would only smell it, as a diner, after tasting the wine if I had cause to think it "off." As a sommelier or waiter, I always smelled the cork before pouring wine to taste, because almost invariably, a corked cork means a corked wine, and I'd rather just grab a new bottle rather than grab a new bottle and a new glass! That said, if you don't smell well, then yeah, sniffing the cork is pretty pointless. :)
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #37  Postby Rob Hansult » September 8th 2010, 2:14pm

Chaad, You still haven't actually answer my question. What we have here is a failure to communicate . . . and flawed methodology. Not really surprising in the world of wine where "experts" can create themselves out of thin air merely by proclamation. "[cheers.gif]" "With my super powers of observation I'm sensing . . . Thread Drift." attributed to Darryl Zero
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #38  Postby chaad thomas » September 8th 2010, 4:46pm

[quote="Rob Hansult"]Chaad, You still haven't actually answer my question. What we have here is a failure to communicate . . . and flawed methodology. Not really surprising in the world of wine where "experts" can create themselves out of thin air merely by proclamation. "[cheers.gif]" "With my super powers of observation I'm sensing . . . Thread Drift." attributed to Darryl Zero
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #39  Postby PeterJ » September 8th 2010, 7:47pm

[quote="Rob Hansult"]Chaad, You still haven't actually answer my question. What we have here is a failure to communicate . . . and flawed methodology. Not really surprising in the world of wine where "experts" can create themselves out of thin air merely by proclamation. "[cheers.gif]" "With my super powers of observation I'm sensing . . . Thread Drift." attributed to Darryl Zero
I think it's time to give up on this one. "[truce.gif]"
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #40  Postby Udo Hoerhold » September 12th 2010, 5:04am

I actually did a semi-scientific experiment on preservation methods a couple of years ago. I preserved bottles of wine with plain stopper, plain stopper with Private Preserve, and Vacu-Vin. I kept one bottle with each method in the fridge, and one on the counter. I tasted all 6 bottles, plus a freshly opened bottle 1, 3, and 5 days after opening, all tasted blind. I tasted every bottle initially to make sure they were pretty consistent. Long story short, the only difference that I could reliably detect was the bottles kept in the fridge all tasted a little fresher. I couldn't reliably differentiate any of the closure/gas methods. I wish I had added the "pour into a smaller bottle" method, but I've never tried that because it seems a little high-maintenance for me. In any case, I haven't used vacu-vin or gas since then. Just my $.02. Image
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #41  Postby Marlene Rossman » September 12th 2010, 5:34pm

Here is a very effective and inexpensive way to keep RED wine fresh for a couple of days. Buy yourself an inexpensive 375ml "halfsie" bottle of wine. Drink with pizza or burgers. Rinse out and turn upside down in a dish rack to dry. The night you are having a really good bottle and only drink half, pour the remaining half into the smaller bottle. Push the cork as far down as it can go. Most of the time, I can get the cork completely into the bottle. Put in a dark place in the kitchen where it will not be exposed to light or heat. A couple of nights later, when you want to finish the good stuff, just uncork. I have been doing this for years and it never fails. "[welldone.gif]" Caveat: Do not try this with an older bottle of DRC or First Growth Bdx.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #42  Postby PeterJ » September 12th 2010, 11:15pm

[quote="Marlene Rossman"]Here is a very effective and inexpensive way to keep RED wine fresh for a couple of days. Buy yourself an inexpensive 375ml "halfsie" bottle of wine. Drink with pizza or burgers. Rinse out and turn upside down in a dish rack to dry. The night you are having a really good bottle and only drink half, pour the remaining half into the smaller bottle. Push the cork as far down as it can go. Most of the time, I can get the cork completely into the bottle. Put in a dark place in the kitchen where it will not be exposed to light or heat. A couple of nights later, when you want to finish the good stuff, just uncork. I have been doing this for years and it never fails. "[welldone.gif]" Caveat: Do not try this with an older bottle of DRC or First Growth Bdx.
Hi Marlene, The small bottle solution is very good for home users and is covered way up in this topic. The only additional caveat I'd add would be that, depending on your home temp and personal preference, refrigeration is indicated as part of an anti-oxidation plan. At first it seemed to me that having just exactly a half-bottle left over was problematic, but somewhere I saw a post about pouring half the 750 into the empty 375 BEFORE you begin drinking it. That way you are always OK. What I've been learning about lately, which actually floored me, was the idea that you can freeze the small bottles with good results too. I still find it hard to get my mind around that, but it's been verified by some people I tend to trust. Just to refresh your memory, we met in the wine shop my wife and I used to own in Laguna Niguel. Are you still involved with Grape Radio? The guys there have a few of my Argon devices and have been very happy with the results. It's really aimed at restaurant BTG programs and at tasting bars where the smaller bottle method just isn't practical.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #43  Postby Mont Stern » September 13th 2010, 5:07pm

I just thawed a 2006 Walter Hansel "Hansel Family Vineyard" chard that was in my garage freezer for well over a year to have with some soft shell crabs that was still rockin. I had to decant some tartrate crystals off the last glass but this wine was not wasted.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #44  Postby Joe G a l e w s k i » September 13th 2010, 9:00pm

Here is my setup, a Wine Saver tap hooked up to an argon welding tank. I initially bought a wine saver home, but the little argon tanks are at least $10 each and only good for 7-8 bottles. So I hooked up a single tap to a small argon welding tank. Someday I might hook up the wine saver home unit to the argon welding tank, but I rarely have more than 1 bottle open at a time.
Argon Setup 1.jpg
Argon Setup 2.jpg
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #45  Postby PeterJ » September 13th 2010, 11:18pm

[quote="Joe Galewski"]Here is my setup, a Wine Saver tap hooked up to an argon welding tank. I initially bought a wine saver home, but the little argon tanks are at least $10 each and only good for 7-8 bottles. So I hooked up a single tap to a small argon welding tank. Someday I might hook up the wine saver home unit to the argon welding tank, but I rarely have more than 1 bottle open at a time.
Argon Setup 1.jpg
Argon Setup 2.jpg
Now THAT'S cool! [Great for home use, but not so useful for a restaurant or other commercial use.] "[winner.gif]"
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #46  Postby mulan chan-randel » December 28th 2010, 11:02pm

My preferred wine preservation system is REALLY simple and effective. I am pretty much addicted to this kombucha tea drink that I buy at Whole Foods. Each glass bottle is 420ml (yep, a little more than half a bottle). As soon as I crack open a new bottle, I immediately fill the bottle to the very top, making sure there is no ullage..cap it and throw it in the fridge. Now I only have 330ml to deal with. At any given time I might have 4-5 of these topped off bottles in the fridge, and suffer no guilt about opening or not finishing a particular bottle of wine. I'll get to it when I get to it. In my experience, argon/nitrogen preservers, vacu-vin and (especially) wine preserva work great, but I would rather spend my hard earned pennies on wine!
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #47  Postby Pat D » January 28th 2011, 6:10pm

I leave the wine in my decanter in a 60°F cellar if I am going to drink it all in 48 hours. I find some wine is much better that second day. I see no need to get overly fancy!

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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #48  Postby Rob Hansult » January 29th 2011, 2:29pm

I am not in the least surprised that this thread is still playing out . . .

If you have a palate, you may have figured it out already . . .

just sayin' . . .

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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #49  Postby CWun » January 29th 2011, 3:36pm

I think inert gas works to a degree to "preserve wine" (aka displace O2)...but it's not perfect. Once the original bottle has been opened and a wine has been poured from bottle to clean, empty half bottle O2 has been introduced. Anyone telling you that Argon forms a perfect gas layer over wine is full of crap. Filling the half bottle to near top, gassing, and putting in a fridge is just delaying the inevitable.

I do a combo of what people have mentioned previously. Upon opening a bottle, I immediately pour half of it into a clean half bottle. Depending on how anal I feel, I'll use Private Reserve or Argon, then cork it as far as I can push. Then placed into fridge. I rarely let wine last more than two days, so I always get perfect results.
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Re: Preferred wine preservation system

Post #50  Postby PeterJ » February 10th 2011, 2:25pm

CWun wrote:I think inert gas works to a degree to "preserve wine" (aka displace O2)...but it's not perfect. Once the original bottle has been opened and a wine has been poured from bottle to clean, empty half bottle O2 has been introduced. Anyone telling you that Argon forms a perfect gas layer over wine is full of crap. Filling the half bottle to near top, gassing, and putting in a fridge is just delaying the inevitable.


Agreed! The best preservation I've had reported for my Argon unit is 7 to 10 days, and that certainly depends on the wine and the palate of the taster. At first I bought the gas "layer" concept but further research seems to prove that while Argon is 'heavier' enough to purge air in equal proportion to the volume introduced, there is no real 'layer' formed (except possibly for a very few seconds). What results is a gas-rich blend of the gas and air, so the more Argon you inject the richer the blend (the less O2 remains) and the greater the preservation.

In a commercial (restaurant/winebar) environment transferring the leftover wine to smaller containers is problematic. At home, I think you're absolutely right.
Peter J@ckel

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