Tom's blog

Preserving opened wines a crapshoot

Over the past several weeks I have entertained a number of house guests -- an insurgence that is more about Florida's warm winter weather than it is about me. The relentless assault on my wine cellar has taken its toll, but despite the depletion it is nice to be able to share good wine with friends who appreciate it.

Because I opened several bottles at a time to allow for comparison and the vagaries of picky palates, there remained a glass or two in several bottles. With guests safely in bed, I recorked the wines for future consumption. Alas, I didn't use a vacuum pump to preserve the wine but I did put it back in the cool cellar. (It's rare for me to have leftovers because I usually open one bottle for my wife and me).

I discovered the next day the obvious: young wines didn't show any depreciation the next day, but the older wines did. A 2003 Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape and a 2007 Hall cabernet sauvignon were essentially ruined from oxidation. 

None of this should be a surprise to me, but it reinforce a lesson I learned long ago. In short, older wines must undergo some preservation system to retain their quality overnight. If you want to enjoy a special wine the next day, put it to bed in a sober moment.