Tom's blog

Strange suggestions on saving bad wine

I do a lot of public wine tastings and invariably a question comes up that starts with, “Is it true….?” Rarely, it is. Here are some of those questions:

  1. Will a raisin save a sparkling wine that has gone flat? This has been an idea floating around the internet for some time. Respected journals and scientists have debunked it. A raisin, because of its crinkly nature, will excite what carbon dioxide is left in sparkling wine. But it won’t manufacture new bubbles. I experimented with this and found that a sparkling wine opened longer than 40 minutes will get no reaction from the raisin. Once flat, always flat.

  2. Will a penny dropped in a corked wine eliminated the foul taint? I was in a restaurant when a salesman tried this to save a precious French wine he had poured to wine writers. Not only did the attempt fail, but it was pretty disgusting to consider drinking anything fouled by a dirty penny. There has been evidence that plastic wrap bunched in wine will remove cork taint successfully — but unfortunately acidity and flavors are also removed.

  3. Will putting red wine in a blender accelerate the breathing process? A modernist chef recently promoted this and there is some validity to the idea. Setting the blender to high for 30 seconds will certainly reduce the time a wine would spend in a decanter to achieve the same result. But do you really want spin wine in a vessel used last night for a tomato sauce? Even if it was cleaned, is there soap residue left?

    Some times there are no cures or short cuts to enjoying a good wine.