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How to Keep Wine, for a Day or a Decade

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at 2015.10.23
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For our tenth wedding anniversary, I needed to get my husband, Bryan, a sweet present to reveal how much Im looking forward to the next 10. Additionally, we love wine. I splurged on a bottle of Bordeaux from Chateau Margaux, which is in an area of France weve seen. To help it age nicely (so we can appreciate it together on our 20th), I turned to a specialist to learn how best to keep wine…

First, I wanted some help picking out the bottle, so I place my faith, and $100-ish cost limitation, in my local wine shop, whose clerks understand (all too well) our preferences and purchasing habits. If youre thinking of a long term wine purchase also, make an effort to get some help from a seller who understands which wont and which wines from which wineries will become finer with age.

My present proved to be a huge success. Bryan adored it, voicing a man-like, This is AMAZING, and instantly snatching his Wine Bible to read up on it. We tucked away it on its side in one of our miniature kitchens cupboards, where we expect it’ll keep nicely and we’rent tempted to snatch it on a random Wednesday night. And where we seriously expect our toddle cant get to it.

Holding on to a bottle for 10 years looks easy enough, but midway into its life that is stored, Ive been wondering if I could do a better job of maintaining it. Do the temperatures in my New York flat change too much? Additionally, instead of 10 years, what about 10 days? We share bottles over dinner on our small balcony but occasionally the same night, we dont complete them. Do you know the rules for keeping regular wine fresh at home?

I called the manager of national sales for Napa Valleys Vineyard 29, Holly Anderson, which is famous for its Cabernets and state of the art winery. Holly is a supporter of wine purchases that are sentimental. When her daughter was born six years back, she painstakingly studied the finest bottles to save for her to drink on her twenty first birthday and wedding day. I would like my woman in order to drink wines as old as her at the important landmarks in her life, Holly said. Plus, she pointed out, time and its manner more cost efficient than to track down a 2009 bottle in 2030 to purchase and save.

The secret to keeping wine, Holly told me, would be to be sure that it stays in a cool, dark location. Too much light and fluctuating temperatures can ruin a wine, turning it into a brew that is vinegary. Not everybody knows this, but a lot of local wine shops will keep your bottles that are special for a fee, or, if its only one, they might be kind enough to locate a place that is free. Thats a great storage scenario, but in the event it cant swing, she urges buying a local secondhand wine refrigerator for less than $100 on Craigslist.

However, what if, I inquired, you live in an area that is tiny with no room for a wine refrigerator, or simply don’t have any interest in getting one? Think of the coolest, darkest spot in your own home, she indicates a high ledge for example, in a dark cupboard and keep it there. If it’s one, to block out light keep it in its carton. (Funnily enough, a buddy of Hollys keeps a case of wine in his offices computer server room because its so consistently great and dark.)

Whatever you do, understand this: Routine fridges, are not too hot for long term storage. Plus, Holly says, Youll see it every day and youll likely only drink it! And dont keep the bottle standing erect, Holly suggests. Wines ought to be kept long term on their side together with the cork angled downward, or down in their own carton. By keeping the cork in contact with liquid, it is prevented from shrinking, drying out and letting air in.

Thus, now that Im transferring my 20-year bottle out of the kitchen… what about the Pinot Noir sitting on the counter from this week thats 1/2 full? An open bottle of wine is similar to a half-eaten apple. When its exposed to atmosphere, it begins going bad. Usually, however, the specialists say that if it tastes OK to you, its fine and safe to drink.

Here are seven more suggestions for optimum storage of regular wine:

Red survives longest. The larger and bolder the wine, the more it’ll keep. Five days is an excellent outer limitation for any red that is opened. Keep it corked in a room that is cool, or at least to a hot range.

Cool it out. Keeping an open bottle of red in the refrigerator isnt perfect, but nevertheless, it may be useful to place it in there for a couple of minutes before serving. Some defects will be hidden by including a small chill to a red, Holly says, if its been open for a day or two. (Its fine to keep corked white wine in the refrigerator for several days while youre ending it.)

Drink whites quicker. Whites are tougher than reds to maintain. About white wine you enjoy if its the fruity, crisp, fresh flavor Holly says to prepare yourself: that facet of white wine is the initial thing to deteriorate, within a couple days of launch.

Vertical is right. Keeping short term bottles virtuous is just great, and its own practical: an open bottle kept vertical is less likely spill.

Finish the bubbly. Champagne and other sparkling wines will lose its fizz fast. Make an effort to drink those bottles they are opened by you, Holly warns. (Within a day or so, you can attempt the raisin trick to jump start disappearing bubbles.)

Bypass the gadgets. There are a ton of wine preservation doodads out there, including high-priced alternatives that guarantee months of preservation. The majority of these aren’t the panaceas youre looking for. But if youd like to attempt something, argon gas cartridge systems are recommended by Holly. They will help keep open bottles tasting perfect for a couple more days and re comparatively cheap.

When in doubt, cook. Once a wine has seen better days, it can still be used for cooking! Consider it part of your spice rack. An several-day old bottle of red was flavoring Hollys carnitas the nighttime we talked, and she enjoys using left over dry white wine for risotto, or reddish for deglazing a pan-seared chicken breast rather than broth. Yum!

Have you got a special-occasion bottle youre holding on to? (Now were inspired to get one!) What are your suggestions for keeping wine? We adore these wine stoppers.

P.S. 11 thoughts for hostess gifts and 7 hints for purchasing the perfect glass of wine.

Erin Geiger Smith lives in New York and composes a string for Cup of Jo on beer, wine and cocktails. She gives to a lot of publications, including The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

(Photograph by Henri Cartier Bresson, Paris, 1954.)

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