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Message in a bottle: wine lessons for dummies

“I don’t drink wine, I taste wine” – Yoshiko Dobben –

Yoshiko is the sommelier of &samhoud places and has a lot of basic wine tips & tricks for dummies. Today some tips about preserving wine after opening.

Once you open a bottle of wine the air begins to interact with it. At first, this is a good thing. That’s one of the reasons why you decant wine or pour wine into a glass and leave it for 20 minutes. The oxygen softens the tannins (chewy, aggressive structure of wines) and helps the wine “open up” to allow some of the softer flavors to come out. But if the oxygen exposure is too long, the wine will turn into vinegar. And that’s not what you want. Thus the key is to slow down the oxidation process.

It’s actually needless to say but: refrigerate it.  Chemical reactions are much less rapid at lower temperatures, and hence the process of oxidation that will eventually make the wine undrinkable, occurs much more slowly than it otherwise would. Second, use a vacuumpump. After placing a rubber stopper in the bottle, a hand- or electronic pump is placed over it to remove all the air form the bottle. By taking out some of the oxygen, it helps keep the wine fresh by preserving some of its aromas and flavors. By using a vacuum pump, you can keep the wine for 7 days. An alternative for using a pump is fully decanting the wine into a smaller bottle and re-cork it. The smaller vessel results in a smaller amount of oxygen will help to preserve the wine a little bit longer.

But don’t forget, even if you use this methods to store your open wine: you’ll never get the same taste after just opening a bottle. Wine has the best taste when you drink it on the first day of opening the bottle. If you then, despite all tips, leave the wine open for too long, you can always use it to cook with.

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