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Celia

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Freezing wine ?

by Celia » Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:44 am

Further to Jenise's last post, Google turned up this :

http://www.oxfordwineroom.com/freezingwine.asp

Does anyone have an opinion ? (Please don't flame me, I'm just a messenger...) :)
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Martha Mc

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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Martha Mc » Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:46 am

Interesting notion. My freezer isn't big enough to hold an upright bottle of wine (and I suppose it would need to be upright initially) -- I wonder about using zip-lock bags? :lol:
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Larry Greenly » Sat Feb 24, 2007 11:14 am

Freezing wine is okay and won't hurt it, but use plastic water bottles instead of glass. Decanting wine into plastic water bottles is also a way to prevent oxidation of opened wine if you don't have a vacuum pump.
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Thomas » Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:57 pm

Freezing won't hurt it, but BETTER?

The fellow who wrote in that link kept saying the wine tastes better, but he never offered an explanation of what better means. Plus, he claims a particular wine tasted better than when he originally tasted it. The only way anyone can make such a claim is to have the original wine in its original condition right next to the wine that had been frozen and then compare.

I'm not saying I disagree with him--in fact I am going to do my own experiment this week and will report on the results. But he offers only vague subjective proof that freezing improves the wine.

My suspicion is that the wine likely is lower in acidity after it thaws...what with all that tartrating.
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Stuart Yaniger » Sat Feb 24, 2007 5:04 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:Decanting wine into plastic water bottles is also a way to prevent oxidation of opened wine if you don't have a vacuum pump.


Really????
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Bob Ross » Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:42 pm

Another data point:

Marian Burros:

Bill Plante, CBS State Department correspondent and well-known enophile, confessed recently to a little experiment he conducted with leftover wine: he put it in the freezer. When he took it out, he put it in a microwave oven to thaw. It was, he said, quite drinkable, and since his first experiment he has continued to store and thaw leftover wine this way. But he said thawing in the microwave was very precise, the time depending on the amount of wine in the bottle. It is a matter of practice, he said; just a few seconds too long, and the wine is cooked. Even if the wine is not at its prime, it is excellent for cooking.
Marian Burros, NY Times, November 12, 1989.

Since reading this article, I've used Plante's technique a number of times. Never noticed the wine got better, but it was always just as good.
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Celia » Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:34 pm

Wow, all that *is* very encouraging, thank you ! I'm definitely going to give this a try - heading into the kitchen to dig out suitable containers now !
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Paul Winalski » Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:38 am

Stuart Yaniger wrote:
Larry Greenly wrote:Decanting wine into plastic water bottles is also a way to prevent oxidation of opened wine if you don't have a vacuum pump.


Really????


Yes, really. Not over the long term (many years), where leaching of organic compounds out of the plastic will be an issue. But for storage for several weeks, in my experience it works way better than a vacuum pump, but not as well as nitrogen dispensing.

This is assuming use of a container that allows no ullage.

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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Paul Winalski » Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:41 am

I'm leary of freezing wine, because it does separate out the water from the alcohol, and will also trigger precipitiation of tannins, tartrates, etc., not all of which will go back into solution when the wine is thawed.

I'm VERY skeptical of claims of improvement of wine by this process.

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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Larry Greenly » Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:45 am

The Greeks used to argue all day about how many teeth a horse has, but they'd never look in the horse's mouth. Moral: try it and see.

I'm guessing some people don't like tannins, and if they precipitate out, fewer tannins equate to "better."
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Thomas » Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:41 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:The Greeks used to argue all day about how many teeth a horse has, but they'd never look in the horse's mouth. Moral: try it and see.

I'm guessing some people don't like tannins, and if they precipitate out, fewer tannins equate to "better."


Which is why the word "better" is about as useful as the word "worse" when there is no context and no description.

This week, I will try the experiment on a Spanish wine I have. I will open one, pour out a glass and then immediately freeze the rest of the contents. After it has been solid frozen for 7 days, I'll defrost and then compare it with a second bottle of the same wine.

Whether or not the frozen is better or worse, I will report why I think either is the case...
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Bob Ross » Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:37 pm

One thing I've found it that thawing in the microwave makes a difference -- speed counts. I thawed once on the counter over a period of about three hours maybe more -- the wine had no life.

You might want to divide your wine into three tranches, Thomas, and test the thawing hypothesis as well.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Thomas » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:05 pm

Bob Ross wrote:One thing I've found it that thawing in the microwave makes a difference -- speed counts. I thawed once on the counter over a period of about three hours maybe more -- the wine had no life.

You might want to divide your wine into three tranches, Thomas, and test the thawing hypothesis as well.

Regards, Bob


I will thaw the wine on the counter, in the convection, and in the microwave. But I have no idea how long to leave it in the microwave. Have you a suggestion on timing?
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Bob Ross » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:38 pm

We have a defrost feature, Thomas, specific to the microwave. I leave my wine in the bottle -- it's half full so there's no problem with expansion.

It weighs about a pound and a half, and I set the defrost for two pounds -- which works fine here. Be sure to put a small glass of water in the microwave with the container so the microwave doesn't burn itself up -- been there, done that -- heating plates. :(

Love to read your experiences.
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Jenise » Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:48 pm

Which is why the word "better" is about as useful as the word "worse" when there is no context and no description.

Indeed. I tried it once. Mixed two bottles together, then halved the wine and froze one bottle, refrigerated the other. Two or three days later we thawed the frozen wine and compared both at room temperature. We found the frozen bottle tasted softer and fruitier. For some, that would be better. I look forward to reading the results of your experiment with same.
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Thomas » Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:53 pm

Jenise wrote:Which is why the word "better" is about as useful as the word "worse" when there is no context and no description.

Indeed. I tried it once. Mixed two bottles together, then halved the wine and froze one bottle, refrigerated the other. Two or three days later we thawed the frozen wine and compared both at room temperature. We found the frozen bottle tasted softer and fruitier. For some, that would be better. I look forward to reading the results of your experiment with same.


Jenise,

Softer makes sense (acidity/tannin dropping). Fruitier probably makes sense for the same reason, it coming to the fore since "complexity" had been somewhat pulled out.

I will be the judge if whatever happens seems better or worse--based on what I expect from the wine and what it delivers in its natural state as well as in its frozen and thawed state. Going to do the freeze tonight--probably only have to stand the wine outside my door...;)
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Celia » Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:28 pm

I opened a bottle of 95 Ridge Geyserville last night, drank one glass, poured one into Pete, then froze the remainder in 3 equal amounts. I know that's tiny quantities, but I really want to see if it will serve my purpose, which is to try and get a good glass a night, no more.

Gotta say, it was lucky I froze it before I tasted the wine - it was unbelievably good. Much better than the previous bottle I'd had. I'm going to pull one baby container out tomorrow and see how we go.

I'm curious how the age of the wine affects freezing ? Jenise or Bob, have either of you had any experience with that ? Do younger wine freeze and recover better than older ones (which is what I'd expect) ?

Thanks, Celia
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Bob Ross » Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:06 pm

I've only kept younger wines this way, Celia, not for any scientific reason, but only because I haven't found older wines hold as well as younger wines no matter how I keep them -- or that they may improve on the second or third day if they are particularly powerful.

On older wines, I save either in half bottles for the next evening, or on the counter if they are particularly powerful.
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Bob Henrick » Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:19 pm

Celia, What I do when I freeze wine is to put a rubber stopper (Vacu-Vin) in the bottle and pump it. Then just lay the bottle down in the freezer. I have kept wine frozen for as long as 6 months with no ill effects. of course I have only done partial bottles. Be aware though that a wine that has not been cold stabilized will throw some tartrate crystals.
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Celia » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:13 am

Thank you, Bob and Bob !

Tonight I took the first container out and let it defrost in the fridge. I had a little left from last night in a jam jar in the fridge, so we were able to compare the defrosted wine with the fridged wine. Both were sound and good drinking, the only noticeable difference being the nose - the defrosted wine smelt better, possibly less oxidised than the wine from the fridge.

No solid matter in the wine, it looked completely fine. Interestingly, the wine didn't freeze solid in the freezer, perhaps because of the alcohol content ?

I have to say I'm very pleasantly surprised, and more than a little excited... :)
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Bob Ross » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:12 am

It doesn't seem to freeze solid in our freezer either, Celia. Your experience is typical of what happens here.
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Maria Samms » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:30 pm

Thanks all for trying this...I am so glad that many of you have had good results. I never even thought to freeze leftover wine. This will help me so much since I am the only one who really drinks wine in my house and I often have wine in the fridge for several days at a time.
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by Bill Spohn » Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:37 pm

What isn't clear to me is just why anyone would WANT to freeze wine.

Just like a hunter always eats what he kills, a proper wine drinker shouldn't open a bottle unless he plans to drink it.

What is all this nonsense about left-over wine? Is there a sudden upsurge in the number of people who are incapable of finishing a bottle of wine?

In my house, finishing the bottle isn't an issue - getting your fair share definitely IS (I subscribe to the body weight theory of wine allocation but she-who-must-be-obeyed thinks this unfair).

To my way of thinking, shooting more game that you are prepared to eat is right up there with opening more wine than you are capable of drinking - if you can't finish it, don't start it!

Wine is naturally bottled in the perfect size of single person serving anyway (they call it a magnum)...... :P
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Re: Freezing wine ?

by ChefCarey » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:11 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:What isn't clear to me is just why anyone would WANT to freeze wine.

Just like a hunter always eats what he kills, a proper wine drinker shouldn't open a bottle unless he plans to drink it.

What is all this nonsense about left-over wine? Is there a sudden upsurge in the number of people who are incapable of finishing a bottle of wine?

In my house, finishing the bottle isn't an issue - getting your fair share definitely IS (I subscribe to the body weight theory of wine allocation but she-who-must-be-obeyed thinks this unfair).

To my way of thinking, shooting more game that you are prepared to eat is right up there with opening more wine than you are capable of drinking - if you can't finish it, don't start it!

Wine is naturally bottled in the perfect size of single person serving anyway (they call it a magnum)...... :P


Damn, you beat me to the punch, so to speak. If you can't drink a bottle of wine, don't open the damn thing!
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