How long do wine or foods last?

WINE

People often ask me, “How long do wines last after being opened?”. Not sure why they ask me because I usually don’t have this problem.

The long answer…

After pouring wine you should immediately reseal it with a good quality stopper. Don’t have one? Stick the cork back in.

There are two basic ways to keep an open bottle of wine fresh and protect it against oxidation: either the air in the bottle is pumped out or the remaining wine is covered with a protective blanket of gas. The simplest air-pump system is a small plastic device that allows wine drinkers to remove air from the bottle by hand. Vacu Vin’s Wine Saver ($15), is probably the best known and easiest to find. The simplest—and cheapest—form of protective gas comes in a can ($10-$15) and is sprayed directly into the bottle.

Without using gases or preservers, you can also simply reduce the amount of space for oxygen by pouring the wine in to a smaller bottle. A dessert (half) wine bottle or a snap lid that can be found at any home store works just fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The answer to the original question: Wine generally lasts about 3-5 days in the refrigerator before it goes totally flat and loses all aroma and flavor. 

In the wine world there are always exceptions: some “important” wines actually need time to open and improve. As with foods like chili and lasagne, I have had a number of wines that taste better the next day after being left open over night.

FOOD

Just like with wine, let your nose determine if something is safe to consume. If it has any unpleasant odor, throw it out.

Sharing a great resource from US Govt that also offers a FoodKeeper app, that answers most of our questions on storage, in refrigerator or freezer.

Tip: I try to write the date with a Sharpie, on whatever I store, for later use.

100+ degree wine…Pinot Grigio IS THE definitive summer sipper.

Please don't put ice cubes in perfectly good wine

Please don’t put ice cubes in perfectly good wine

HEAT WAVE: A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity. When the weather tops 100 degrees you need to turn to a crisp, light boded white wine, ideally with lower alcohol. One of my favorite summer wines is Pinot Grigio.

Pinot Grigio or “gray pinot” is the same grape as Pinot Gris, just depends upon where it is grown, and how it is described by the locals.

There are many different styles, and wines, made from Pinot Grigio, but some are better than others. The more “important” Pinot Grigio’s have some (grape) skin contact, which gives them a copper hue.

Here are some of my favorite Pinot Grigio’s (all Italian):

Vie di Romans makes clean, expressive white wines. Their Sauvignon (Blanc) would rival some of the finest Sancerres from France. The Pinot Grigio, has more substance than most, but is crisp, refreshing and enjoyable with/without food. Splurge- Around $30

VieDiRomans_PinotGrigio

Incredible VALUEBarone Fini Pinot Grigio– easy to drink, easy to find. Between $10-$15..

BaroneFini

Livio Felluga, Another classic from NE italy. This is my go to Pinot Grigio. Hey, Howard Stern is worth more than $500 million but when he went to visit Jennifer Aniston in the Hamptons, he and wife Beth took this wine to her house. Around $20.

LivioFelluga

Please share your favorite Pinot Grigio…

 

Turn and Face the Strange…Changes in Wine Laws

headacheSelling alcoholic beverages in the United States is extremely complicated. Blame it on prohibition…but when it comes to the sale of Beer, Wine or Spirits, it is often said that we are like 52 different “countries” as the laws are slightly different in each.

Why 52?– 50 states + Washington D.C. & Montgomery County, MD (which both have their own special requirements).

Additionally there is the concept of Control States. As of July 2016, seventeen states* and jurisdictions in Alaska, Maryland, Minnesota and South Dakota adopted forms of the “Control” model. These 17* have state monopoly over the wholesaling or retailing of some or all categories of alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits.

As a wine, beer or spirits consumer, “Why do I care?”

Because sometimes the laws change, and when they do, it has a direct effect on the available selection, and the price you pay, for “adult beverages.”

Pennsylvania was previously one of the most important Control States, with the PLCB (Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board) being one of the top 10 purchasers of wine & spirits in the country. 

Starting August 8, 2016 with Pennsylvania law HB1690 going into effect, the monopoly will be broken up, giving some state control out to the private sector.

Although no one knows how this will shake out, my initial opinion is that this will result in few winners but many more losers. Based on what I have read this is not going to bode well for consumers who like to try unique, hard to find wines- as the margins will be too thin to support carrying them. I am one of these types of consumers so I am glad I don’t live in Pennsylvania  right now. If you think the old model was broken…this could be worse.

I would love to hear your thoughts…

Some articles that I read to form my opinion

Vinology

noplcb.blogspot

BillyPenn.com

* After August 8, 2016 there will only be 16 Control States.

 

OTBN- Open That Bottle Night- Italian Bordeaux

2010DR_InteregationI had loosely participated in Open That Bottle Night off and on (when I remembered) up until last year. The couple that started this unique celebration of wine, Dorothy J. Gaiter (Dottie) and John Brecher, hosted the event live, in a small restaurant near our home. Although my wife and I were in a room full of strangers it was like having dinner with old friends, as people shared their wine and their stories.

As soon as I read that they would be returning to the same restaurant, I immediately booked a reservation.

The wine I am bringing:

Continue reading

Obvious wine choices for Valentine’s Day

Rather than being obscure, I am going to be obvious. Here are some easy choices for selecting wines for Valentine’s Day, or any other romantic occasion…

RosesRosé- Pink wines are easy to drink, and sexy, whether they are still or sparkling.

First, the 3 basic ways of making Rosé wine:

ALL grape juice is virtually colorless, it is the grape skins that give a finished wine their color.

  1. Skin maceration- leaving crushed grapes in contact with their skins (maceration) gives the wine depth of flavor, and of course color. Red grapes with short maceration can produce rosé wines, white grapes can produce orange wines. My favorite still wines are created this way as they they are the intended final product (see alternative saignée method below)
  2. “Bleed off” red wine that is fermenting to create a lighter red (rosé) wine. This is called the saignée method in France and most of these wines are created as a byproduct to make use of grapes intended for finished red wines
  3. Miix red and white grape juice before final fermentation. This method,used to for rosé Champagne, is allowed for some wine production but not all.

roseintheglassMixing finished red and white wine, to make a pink wine is not a generally accepted method to create rosé wine and is therefore not legal in most wine producing regions.

My favorite Rosés are from Provence, France or the Loire Valley (Sancerre Rouge).

Dessert wines

2005CoteauxduLayonDessert wines are wines intentionally finished with residual sugar and are meant to be drunk after dinner. These wines can be paired with sweet foods, cheeses, or drunk alone, as dessert. Some of the most famous examples of dessert wine from around the world. Some of my favorite dessert wines, to drink solo, are Coteaux du Layon, from the Loire Valley or Italian Vin Santo. Because they have high acidity, in addition to sugar, they are not overly syrupy or cloying.

Splurge wines- $$$

2000CalonSegur 2000CalonSegurcorkCult Napa Cabs (USA), Burgundy, Bordeaux (France), Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello, Amarone (Italy), and Rioja (Spain) are all classic wines. They are expensive to produce, and/or need a long time to develop, and are therefore usually very pricey. One of my favorites is Calon Ségur.

This estate came to be owned by Nicolas-Alexandre, marquis de Ségur who also owned Chateau Latour and Chateau Lafite. Despite his ownership of these two First Growths, the Marquis said that “I make wine at Lafitte (spelling) and Latour but my heart is at Calon Segur.” The wine’s label today includes a drawing of a heart around the Chateau’s name.

 

 

 

Authentic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

WineOil

Yes, it’s Olive Oil in the glass

From time to time I try and post non related wine information if I think it is relevant, and will help others. I recently read a shocking article about counterfeit Italian olive oil. Basically, we are being ripped off. The vast majority of what you find on U.S. store shelves is not the quality that you thought you purchased.

More troubling is the possibility that criminals are diluting the oil with seed based products that could be deady to those with nut allergies. In addition, other cheap chemicals, that you wouldn’t want to consume on their own, are added to help fool the buyer.

What you can do to ensure that you purchase the real thing…

• Purchase products from Libera Terra, the organization that is trying to combat Italian criminal agriculture tampering. Unfortunately the home page is in English but ordering is all in Italian…

Buy direct from Italian producers. Expensive, but you get what you pay for…

2 very small Italian producers I know personally, and can recommend- Tolerant Taster approved!

Pamela Sheldon Johns

Rebecca Wine

Buy Domestic Oil– there are some excellent producers here, in the U.S.A, and 9 out of 10 passed quality tests run by UC Davis.

Here are two that passed labratory testing:

KirklandEVOOKirkland Organic EVOO (at Costco)

California  Olive Ranch– buy direct from the producer.

 

 

 

• Purchase Oliive Oil from other countries

OandCoO & Co.- one of our favorite gifts to give and receive. Their oils are produced around the Mediterranean- Green label- Italy, Blue label-France, Red label-Portugal and they are individually tested.

Portugese Olive Oil– suggested by a friend and local wine aficionado because as he says, “who would bother to counterfeit it?”

 

If you have any trusted recommendations please share and I will post them for others.