non-alcoholic wine and oxidation in general

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Aaron Munn
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Joined: December 7th, 2016, 8:30 pm

non-alcoholic wine and oxidation in general

#1 Post by Aaron Munn » December 21st, 2016, 7:32 pm

I've kept non-alcoholic wine (Sutter Homes Fre) in the refrigerator for about two months and it still was drinkable. On the other hand, I've noticed obvious degredation in an (alcoholic) merlot over the course of a week, even taking some measures to reduce oxygen exposure (like decanting into progressively smaller bottles). Is it because the non-alcoholic wine doesn't have as much flavor to start off, or perhaps due to more preservatives, or lack of alcohol?

Also, at Thanksgiving my brother had a bottle of mead. He gave me a glass to try. The bottle had been sitting around for a whole year outside the fridge at 75F, opened. I was very surprised but the mead tasted fine, though it did have a high alcohol content (15%). Is there something different about mead that would allow it to have such a long life?

I've had bottles of sake that were similar- they didn't even really taste stale after a year sitting around partially consumed.

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non-alcoholic wine and oxidation in general

#2 Post by PeterH » December 21st, 2016, 8:18 pm

An oxidation product of alcohols is aldehydes, in particular acetaldehyde. That would account for the difference between the real wine and non-alcoholic wine.
Another is acetic acid, AKA vinegar. That reaction requires the presence of acetobacter, so it doesn't happen spontaneously.

Perhaps the acetaldehyde and/or acetic acid blends into the other flavors of mead and sake in a way that is not unpleasant.

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Steve Slatcher
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non-alcoholic wine and oxidation in general

#3 Post by Steve Slatcher » December 22nd, 2016, 3:50 pm

Don't know about mead, but Sake oxidises pretty quickly, and gets Sherry-like flavours. That's the acetaldehyde Peter refers to. You might not think it is bad (after all, people like Sherry), but it does not taste of fresh sake.

Maybe the one that stayed OK for a year was shot before you opened it even? It varies from sake to sake, but typically it should be drunk within several months of bottling, and then within a couple of weeks of opening. I understand that a large proportion of sake in the UK gets too old before it is purchased.

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