Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wine Preservers

Last week we got in an order of Vacuvin pumps and stoppers and Private Preserve gas, wine preservation tools which will probably end up just being used here by yours truly.  The Vacuvins will trickle out over time but just about the entire case of gas will remain on the shelf here where I will use it to preserve the many bottles we open for tastings.

So why don't such things sell better?  The most common response to my sales pitch for them is that the customer doesn't need such a tool, as in, "There's never any wine left in the bottle at the end of the evening."  Can't argue with that.  You don't need it then.  I bet though, that on occasion everyone could at least save some for the next day.

"Vacuvin" is the most common tool for preserving wine.  It is the small, usually white, plastic vacuum pump that sucks air out of a partially filled bottle using the Vacuvin proprietary rubber stopper.  That stopper has an escape slit on top where the air exits leaving a vacuum in the bottle above the wine surface thereby preventing oxidation.  This is the tool I have used for most of my time in the wine business.

About ten years ago I became sold on "Private Preserve" which is a spray can blend of nitrogen, argon, and carbon dioxide.  Their propaganda asserts that Vacuvin only removes 75% of the air in a bottle and the heavier-than-air Private Preserve, when sprayed into a partial bottle, completely covers the existing wine surface.

"Coravin" is the most recent addition to wine preservation and it is remarkable indeed.  It is most applicable for tasting expensive bottles over time and not losing anything to the atmosphere.  Rather than try to describe the apparatus here, stop in and we'll demonstrate it for you.  If you have three hundred dollars burning a hole in your pocket we'll even get you one!

So air is the enemy of wine in an opened bottle.  If you choose not to use one of the options above, your wine may be fine the next day.  While wine starts to deteriorate as soon as you open the bottle, some go down faster than others.  Usually by the third day, the quality is pretty much gone.  Refrigeration helps to preserve wine although in some PC circles that is just plain unacceptable.

So what do I do?  I gas 'em and refrigerate them overnight before bringing them out the next morning to warm up.  Works for me!

Please join us here at the store this Thursday the 3rd of May at 5pm when Brian Espanol joins us for a tasting from his fine wine portfolio.

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