ABBY NASH: In this section, we're going to help you keep those bottles of wine you don't finish from fading or expiring. First of all, refrigerate. It doesn't matter whether it's red or white or sweet or dry or fortified, refrigerate. Everything keeps better refrigerated. You just have to remember to take those red wines out half an hour or so before serving, or just run a little warm water on it.
Can you microwave wine to take the chill off it? I'm sure you can, but I've never been able to figure out how to do anything but take boiling wine out of the microwave. The best thing to do, and the simplest, if you can-- and you can't always do it-- is to get the original pork back in the bottle in the same direction it was in there. That, after all, was a very good seal in the first place. So here's the cork from this bottle of Borsao, and I'm just going to try to hammer it back in here. You never really know if it's going to work or not, and it did. If you have carpal tunnel risk, you can just bang this against the counter.
Next, however, are those situations where you can't get the cork back in. Let's try this one here. I'm kind of skeptical. You see how the cork has swelled out since it's removed from the bottle? This indicates that the wine was fairly recently bottled, and this cork still hasn't really shrunk to conform to the size of the bottle. And this makes sense, because this vintage 2000 Austrian wine actually still hasn't even been released to the market yet. So I'm not even going to bother to try to bang this back in the bottle. All I'm going to do is end up breaking it off.
So in this situation, try something like the Vacu Vin. What the Vacu Vin does is, it pumps the air out of the bottle, creating a vacuum. So first, you put this rubber stopper in the bottle, and then you just pump until you get a lot of resistance, like filling up your bicycle tire. And as we didn't pour any wine out of here, I don't expect that to take very long. And voila, you're done. If I remove this rubber gasket, I should hear some kind of a little poof, a pop, indicating there's pressure in there. Indeed. And you can buy extra rubber stoppers for the Vacu Vin.
A little more high-tech is something called the private preserve, and what this does is, with the aid of a little tube that's so easy to lose, is one pumps a mixture of nitrogen and carbon dioxide into the bottle-- which, after all, is what wineries do before they insert the corks. And this works very well. You give it a few shots, and then, with the cork at the ready, you just jam the cork back in.
Another thing you can do is decant partial bottles into empty half-bottles that you say for the purpose, and put them back in the fridge, and thereby you have less air space, less exposure to air. Some wines aren't good candidates for keeping once they're open. Aged wines should be finished in one go. They just don't hold up open. White wines from Germany, especially Riesling, Alsace, and Austria, keep very well for at least a week. Nearly all young wines are good in the fridge least a few days. Well, now that we know how to keep open bottles, next we move to cellaring unopened bottles of wine.
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Join Abby Nash, lecturer in the Hotel School, for the basics of wine appreciation in a 'How To' format. Starting with your basic senses, you'll learn to discern flavor through smell and taste. Moving on, you'll learn the art of buying, serving and storing wines, how to open and preserve wines, manage the restaurant experience, and select wine and food pairings.
This video is part 5 of 10 in the Wine Appreciation series.