A few weeks ago, I posted asking for advice about preserving wine in opened bottles. The need arises because of our desire to reduce wine consumption (medical advice in Germaine’s case and my own for me). I got a lot of good advice for keeping young wines fresh and, for the more mature wines which make up the majority of my cellar, Argon gas sounded promising.
I reported some first impressions which were not good. I increased the dose from a squirt of about one second as recommended to closer to two, which affects the economics of the operation. The straws which broke the camel’s back are two bottles about which I wrote TNs this week (a Petite-Église 2001
and Rioja GR 1998 from Peciña
). They were both roughly one-third full when the Argon was applied and the bottles reclosed.
After only 2 days the Petite-Église had acquired that sweet cabbage edge which is a symptom of bottles too long open, had lost freshness and was blander. The Rioja, after 8 days, was much the same with the added inconvenience, for me, of its vanilla notes having become more prominent.
It is interesting that the difference between two days and eight was not very marked. This leads me to think that the air ingested continues to react unfavourably in the wine for a few hours after the bottle is treated with the Argon following its having been open during up to an hour’s initial consumption. Although I haven’t examined them closely, some of the professional appliances used in wine bars may address this problem by injecting the gas after each glass is drawn off.
Meanwhile I’m stuck with a dilemma with my more mature bottles. Go back to emptying them at a sitting
? Or wasting about a third of the wine