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Mar 10, 2010 03:26 PM

Very new to wines, one basic question.


Until yesterday, I didn't like wine, as a matter of fact, I don't know if I like wine now. The story is this:

I have a bottle of cabernet sauvignon because I put some wine in my sauce. I just purchased it because it was cheap and the clerk told me that it is a pretty nice wine for drinking, so I thought that it should be good for my sauces too.

Anyway, I didn't like it in my sauce, it has a pretty strong taste.

Yesterday, I had some canned tuna and I tasted a bit of this wine with that and the result was extremely pleasant to me! I want to think that for some more sophisticated dishes and with a better combination of wine it will be perfect.

I went to buy a bottle to combine with my rare rib eye. Full exposure to pure meat taste. The clerk suggested a California Cabernet Sauvignon, also he told me to buy a new one because when the meat is under cooked, the best wine should have more tannines. The problem I have is this: The clerk told me that from the time I open this bottle, I must drink it in 1-2 or 3 days max because it will go bad. He also told me that this applies to all wines!!!

But I am one person, I don't think I will drink one bottle in 2 days and I don't want to throw it away when it is more than half full!!!

Any suggestions??? Are there small bottles on sale? What do you do in such cases?

Also, the cabernet sauvignon I had yesterday with my tuna, is open for one month now and I really enjoy it with the tuna. What was that? Did I drink vinegar and I liked it?

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  1. I'm no expert on wine myself, but my dad (who used to make his own wine and be generally sort of serious about the stuff) would use a vacuum pump thing like these: on unfinished bottles of wine. I believe that you're trying to prevent the wine from oxidizing (i.e. chemically reacting with the oxygen in the air) more than keeping it from turning into vinegar (which shouldn't happen so quickly if you refrigerate the leftovers).

    4 Replies
    1. re: wegsjac

      Hey, thanks for the answer.

      I had the impression that when wine oxidizes turns into some kind of vinegar, my mistake. But again, this bottle is open for one month now and it was very nice with the tuna. I imagine that it has been oxidized, so, is it bad? Should I throw it away?

      Also, these vacuum pumps, they remove some air, but the remaining air is not enough for the oxidizin process?

      Thanks again.

      1. re: kostbill

        Oxidation makes wines taste flat. For the wine to turn to vinegar, it has to be exposed to Acetobacter aceti, the bacterium that turns alcohol and some sugars into acetic acid.

        If you're still enjoying your wine with no ill effects, you shouldn't throw it away. (If nothing else, use it for cooking.) Storing it in the fridge would probably be a good idea, though.

        If vacuum pumps are good for anything (and I'm not convinced they are), it's for very short-term storage (like 24 hours max). They don't remove all the air, so oxidation continues. And they let air back in: if you pump a bottle and then pump it again the next day, you'll take out nearly as much air as you did the first time. Plus some people claim you're pumping out aromatics along with the air.

        A better solution is one of the systems that cover the wine with a thin layer of inert gas (Private Preserve is the best known) or simply freezing the wine (it'll suffer very little but may throw a deposit on thawing). If you like your wine in small doses, you can transfer it to smaller bottles before spritzing with gas or freezing.

        1. re: carswell


          You gave me a good idea here. If I transfer the wine, after I first open it in small bottles and fill these bottles to the maximum, then it could be easier to seal them with no oxyzen there!

          Of course, I searched about Private Preserve and I think I am going to give it a try!!

          Thanks for that.

          I will also try to search for small bottles, it could be nice.

          1. re: carswell

            I agree with Carswell's points. Just storing the open wine in the refrigerator will likely double it's shelf life. Pouring the wine into a smaller (clean) bottle and refrigerating is probably sufficient at your current level. For more expensive wines, maybe one of the inert gas systems makes sense.

            There is one other option not yet mentioned - invite a friend over for dinner, and enjoy the good wine with good food and good company. Guaranteed to enhance the experience and cut down on leftovers.

      2. You indicate wine was cheap.
        Cheap wines are pretty stable ( fined, filtered, pasteurized, and so on), so you're not drinking vinegar.
        That's the good news.
        The better news: you liked the stuff.
        The bad news: sooner than you imagine, you'll be spending a little more, you'll like it more, it won't last as long.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RicRios

          OK, you made me laugh!

          That's OK, if I want better things, I think that I will drink more. Of course, there comes the issue of good food, which, I cook, but I am not a very good cook.

          I bought the 12 dollars california cabernet sauvignon for my rare rib eye today, as the clerk suggested, I try to eat beef once per two weeks but by the time the rib eye was ready, I realised that I did not have a wine opener! So, I tried some things but I only managed to distroy half of the cork. By that time, the rib eye was getting cold, so, I got myself a rare cold rib eye (not good!) and a bottle of perrier.

          I am trying to find places to buy this private preserve but cannot find it in stores, I can only find it for online buyings.