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Brian K Miller

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Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Brian K Miller » Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:25 am

1999 Chianti Classico Riserva (Felsina)

The foil cap doesn't twist around at all. There's no little indentation in the top. Drat. I was looking forward to this one. I've not had it for more than a couple of months, and I do air condition, so although it's not been in the wine fridge, I thought it would be OK.

I'll report the results on Friday. :cry:
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Howie Hart

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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Howie Hart » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:30 am

What you are describing in no way implies a wine would be corked. "Corked" is a taint that simply affects the wine's flavor. The symptoms you describe could be the result of a tiny bit of seepage around the cork, which, when dry, could cause the capsule to adhere to the bottle. Remove the foil capsule and wipe the neck of the bottle with a damp paper towel. The wine may be corked, but I don't believe you could tell that without opening it.
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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Dale Williams » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:38 am

Howie, he was wondering if it was cooked, not corked.

While spinning capsules can be a (minor) good indicator of bottle condition, minor is the key word. Many producers wrap capsules so tightly that they never spin from day they get off bottling line. I wouldn't worry about a bottle solely based on non-spinning capsule.
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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Howie Hart » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:41 am

Dale Williams wrote:Howie, he was wondering if it was cooked, not corked.

OOPS - damn bi-focals :oops:
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Bob Henrick

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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Bob Henrick » Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:45 am

Brian, If the cork is neither pushed, nor sunken in I would not be at all concerned. However, on a cooked wine it seems to me that the cork would be pushed than indented. if you are in fact concerned because the capsule doesn't spin....then what Dale says.
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David Nelson

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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by David Nelson » Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:27 am

Brian K Miller wrote:I've not had it for more than a couple of months, and I do air condition, so although it's not been in the wine fridge, I thought it would be OK.


If it is cooked, a couple of months in an air-conditioned house didn't do it, assuming you didn't store it over the stove, or somewhere the hot summer sun was streaming in on it. It was cooked somewhere along the supply chain. So, at least it's not your fault. :wink:

Cheers,

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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Brian K Miller » Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:53 am

I feel a little reassured, all. Thanks. Well, the proof is in the opening, and I was going to try it tomorrow night, so...
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Oliver McCrum

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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Oliver McCrum » Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:33 pm

1. Spinning capsules mean nothing. The next ten times you find a non-spinning capsule, check to see if there's any leakage. I bet you there won't be. As has been pointed out above, most of the time it just means that the capsule was spun on tightly.

2. It has recently become received wisdom, at least on the wine internet, that wine is as perishable as milk. I know of no evidence for this; someone* told me they once conducted an experiment with two bottles of the same wine, one of which was kept in the trunk of a car in a sunny climate for two weeks and one stored normally. When the two wines were compared, there was no perceptible difference.

* Tom Hill?
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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Dave Erickson » Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:43 pm

Oliver McCrum wrote:1It has recently become received wisdom, at least on the wine internet, that wine is as perishable as milk.


I know where that came from! There was a story somewhere recently about bottles cooking in shipment, and a retailer was quoted as saying that wine ought to be shipped refrigerated, since it's more expensive than milk, which is always shipped refrigerated.

The truth, of course, lies in between. Heat is the enemy of wine, but heat is not necessarily fatal. I would argue that heat exposure is fatal to fino sherry, but that's just one particular type.

I happen to agree that wine should be shipped in climate controlled containers. At very least, we have wine delivered early in the morning before the heat takes hold, and our policy is to ship only from October to April. But wine the same as milk, that's nonsense.
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Clinton Macsherry

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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Clinton Macsherry » Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:56 pm

Oliver McCrum wrote:It has recently become received wisdom, at least on the wine internet, that wine is as perishable as milk. I know of no evidence for this; someone* told me they once conducted an experiment with two bottles of the same wine, one of which was kept in the trunk of a car in a sunny climate for two weeks and one stored normally. When the two wines were compared, there was no perceptible difference.

* Tom Hill?


Oliver, what I've heard, read (here), and come to accept is that exposure to significant, potentially damaging heat doesn't immediately ruin wine, but does affect the ageability and drinkability of the wine beyond the short term. So if that's right, the bottle from the trunk in your anecdote* may have tasted fine when opened but would have suffered in comparison to the normally stored bottle some months (say) later.

I once bought an Altesino Brunello from the winery, then stupidly left it in the car while visiting some other towns on a hot day. I was deeply bummed out to find the cork pushed up and wine drips down below the capsule. I called Altesino, and couldn't schedule a return trip to replace it, buy the folks there advised it would probably be fine as long as I drank it very soon. I did, and it was.

(The trunk anecdote sounds a litte too recent for Tom Hill. Pliny, maybe? :wink:)
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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Covert » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:13 pm

Bob Henrick wrote: If the cork is neither pushed, nor sunken in I would not be at all concerned.


Bob, from my experience, visual evidence unfortunately does not always accompany cooked wine. It has to be really hot to push corks, but keeping wine at just, say, 80 degrees f for a while can kill it. I know because I cooked a bunch of it when I tried to dry out a room at camp with a dehumidifier, and didn't stay around to notice the increase in room temperature.

As was mentioned, cooked wine seems to get far worse over time, and if you drink it right after cooking it, it can sometimes even improve to taste -again, from my experience experimenting with a wine rack full of cooked wine (Bordeaux).

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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Bob Henrick » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:53 pm

Covert wrote:Bob, from my experience, visual evidence unfortunately does not always accompany cooked wine.


I quite agree with you Covert. A wine that has been exposed to a warmth that is not good for it will not always exhibit a visual sign of the damage. Maybe I was taking the easy way out by not explaining what you speak of, but I was trying to allay the concern of the wine being cooked simply because the capsule did not turn. I erred on the side of brevity.
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Brian K Miller

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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Brian K Miller » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:09 pm

Covert wrote:
Bob Henrick wrote: If the cork is neither pushed, nor sunken in I would not be at all concerned.


Bob, from my experience, visual evidence unfortunately does not always accompany cooked wine. It has to be really hot to push corks, but keeping wine at just, say, 80 degrees f for a while can kill it. I know because I cooked a bunch of it when I tried to dry out a room at camp with a dehumidifier, and didn't stay around to notice the increase in room temperature.

As was mentioned, cooked wine seems to get far worse over time, and if you drink it right after cooking it, it can sometimes even improve to taste -again, from my experience experimenting with a wine rack full of cooked wine (Bordeaux).

Covert


So even this low a temperature can damage it? Hmmmm. I better get drinking pretty quickly. My wine storage is a mixture of good and bad.

I know I (and others) have brought this topic up before....

My problem is some relatively recent purchases- stored indoors at a shadowed 73-75 or so for a couple of months or so. It has temporarily been warmer than that, but not often. Some is also in the closet, which is cooler but not 58 degrees.
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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Oliver McCrum » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:20 pm

Clinton Macsherry wrote:Oliver, what I've heard, read (here), and come to accept is that exposure to significant, potentially damaging heat doesn't immediately ruin wine, but does affect the ageability and drinkability of the wine beyond the short term. So if that's right, the bottle from the trunk in your anecdote* may have tasted fine when opened but would have suffered in comparison to the normally stored bottle some months (say) later.



Clinton,

I've heard the exact same thing many times (that the effect of warming a wine is only apparent after time), but again I have seen no evidence for this idea, other than repeated assertions on the wine internet. It seems to me very unlikely that there would be no effect in the short term, and an obvious effect in the long term; in fact the only similar changes that we do know about, bottling shock and shipping shock, are both the opposite, immediately apparent then fading over time. Chemists could butt in here.

I ship wine from Europe in reefers, however, just in case. I am not willing to risk thirty days at 80 degrees F.
Last edited by Oliver McCrum on Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Bob Henrick » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:28 pm

Brian, I would not be overly concerned about the wines if they have not been on a yo-yo of heating and cooling, wines are tougher than we give them credit for being. I would find my coolest place and if that is under the bed then that is where I would keep them. Another thing I would do is I would take a bottle that had been in this storage (if possible) for 6 months and open it. if it tastes like what you expect it to, then I would not be overly concerned. I would though, not let the storage temp rise over 75 degrees. If it is too warm for your own comfort, then it is likely too warm for the wines too.
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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by TimMc » Fri Sep 29, 2006 12:58 am

Since I live in an area with legendary high heat in the Summer, it has been my experience that the cork will push up in the bottle if the neck gets too warm.

It is the primary reason why I do not purchase wine at the wineries in the hot months of Summer.
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Re: Oh NO! Do I have a Cooked Bottle?

by Graeme Gee » Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:57 am

Best visual sign of damage is an oddly-faded label. This presupposes that many heat-damaged wines are left 'in the open' so to speak; some bottle shops do strange things with window displays. I don't worry too much about whether corks are unduly protruding or indented uless there's accompanying signs of leakage. And watch ullage levels too - irrespective of anything else, I will buy wine with the least ullage.

As for spinning capsules, I'll quote Mr Hamilton, Basil's service-deprived guest in Fawlty Towers, "What a bunch of crap!"

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