Saturday, July 3, 2010

ICE WINE?


I've mentioned before that if you have some left over wine and don't plan to drink it over the next few days, then the best storage option is to freeze it. This works best for long storage as sealing and refrigerating can make the wine last a long time if there is not much airspace in the bottle. I find that refrigerating is good for those bottles left after a party where they have been opened but bugger all is drunk from them, or if you have a half bottle to pour the wine into leaving minimal airspace. The wine of course will have already been exposed to extra oxygen on opening which will accelerate its ageing but it should be OK for a week or so. For longer keeping though, freezing is best. I wouldn't bother freezing wine unless there was at least 3/4 of a bottle (note, when freezing allow for expansion so don't freeze a bottle that is full or it will break or force the cork out).






When you want to use the wine you will obviously have to allow time for it to thaw, unless you are an Eskimo and want the wine at room temperature.

 Gentle microwaving is acceptable, just be careful not to cook the wine. When the wine is frozen, potassium bitartrate deposits will precipitate. These are harmless but unsightly. Given time they will dissolve and 'disappear'. If you decant the wine away from these the taste will only be slightly different from the original. The wine should have most if not all of the characteristics of when it was first opened except for the fact that it will have been exposed to more oxygen. It won't be oxidised or taste like vinegar but the extra exposure will accelerate the ageing.
Some people I know will scoff at this saying things like "no wine ever gets left over at my place" Ho Ho! What about when you have had a dinner party or worse, a party where some moron opens up too many bottles and they are left unused. Do you scoff the lot and go into an alcoholic coma or tip it out?
Give the freezing option a chance sometime.



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Given time they will dissolve and 'disappear'. If you decant the wine away from these the taste will only be slightly different from the original. The wine should have most if not all of the characteristics of when it was first opened except for the fact that it will have been exposed to more oxygen."

It all starts of sounding really great, but then come the cons. Personally I'd just poke a cork in it and leave it in the cabinet until I was too pissed on home brew to notice the difference.

THE WINE GUY said...

My grandmother used to keep wine that way. She would put the cork back in and leave it in a cupboard for god knows how long. I pitied the poor gusts who were served a glass.

You have just identified yet another con against home brew.

TwistedScottishBastard said...

Thanks for the tip TWG.
I've never tried this method, but if I ever have some left, I'll give it a go. My problem is that it may be a while, I have a tendency to finish off open bottles very quickly.

For example, I'm writing this at 8 in the morning, and have discovered the remains of a bottle of a 2008 Drylands Hawke's Bay Merlot from last night, so I'm just finishing it as I type.

The title of this post made me wonder if you have tried the other "Iced Wine". This is where you freeze the wine as before, but just as the ice forms, decant off the alohol containing liquid. It ends up at around 30 proof.

THE WINE GUY said...

Yes. I marketed two types of ice wine - Selaks Ice Wine from NZ which is made by freezing the grape juice and racking off the ice thus concentrating the sugars and making a sweet wine with all the flavours of the original grapes (Gewurtztraminer and Riesling) and Inniskillen, a Canadian true ice wine where the grapes are frozen on the vine and processed frozen . The sugars are similarly concentrated as the ice is racked off. This is a much, much more expensive wine.

THE WINE GUY said...

"For example, I'm writing this at 8 in the morning, and have discovered the remains of a bottle of a 2008 Drylands Hawke's Bay Merlot from last night, so I'm just finishing it as I type."

Mmm. I know that they make them tough up in Scotland but Merlot at 8 in the morning?
At least it is a decent Merlot. And yes, I marketed Drylands too. It was one of my special brands as the Drylands winery in Marlborough is built on the site of my great great grandfathers house which was named Rose Tree Cottage. He owned 3000 hectares of land in the area which includes where Cloudy Bay, Drylands, Stoneleigh, Forrest Estate, Jacksons, Hunters etc now stand.