What happens to this here wine stuff?

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What happens to this here wine stuff?

Postby John Treder » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:10 am

I opened a bottle of Swan Lone Redwood Zin '04 for supper back on Tuesday, because I had only a couple of sips left of the red I'd been drinking (Coffaro Zin) and I'd sooner pour wine down my throat than down the drain.
Proves what a cheapskate I am.
The mix (2/3 Swan, 1/3 Coffaro roughly) was Ok with some leftover chile verde from the freezer, and the wine, as tasted on opening and before messing up my palate with the other Zin and the chili, was pretty decent for an old Zin. Maybe getting a bit on the astringent side, but very drinkable and still having some of the bright-berry Lone Redwood flavor.
Then other meals that didn't want red intervened, and I didn't go back to the bottle (still a good 3/4 full and stashed in the refrigerator) until Saturday.
Saturday is spaghetti night for me; it's a tradition that started more than 60 years ago when I was a small boy.
Anyway, I was perhaps a bit slow getting the wine out of the refrigerator and the bottle was on the cool side, warmer than American beer, cooler than English beer, and actually just about the temperature I prefer for whites. But I was hungry and dinner was ready, so here we go.
Ick. Tasted like gone wine - sour, fruitless. Too bad. My spaghetti sauce came out really well.
Moving right along, the darn fool writing this essay stuck the 1/3 of a bottle remaining back in Mr. Whirlpool and we came to tonight.
Grilled dry-aged T-bone, grilled portobello, baked potato and salad.
Got it out of the refrigerator while nibbling my fingers in anticipation of Lincecum's fraught efforts and tasted it. Hm. Came back.
This time, by design, I let it warm up enough, pretty much to British beer temperature, and the potato spent its hour+ in the oven, and the charcoal was just right and the grilled stuff was just about right, and the salad was dressed (I hate naked salad), and I tasted the wine.
Well, whadda ya know? Not the greatest Zin I ever tasted (Lone Redwood was quirky), but a thoroughly enjoyable glass, with a thoroughly enjoyable meal. (Except for the baseball game.)
So I'm puzzled. Rod Berglund does a really good job of getting the best out of the fruit. Lone Redwood zin was quirky stuff. It was getting old, but not that old for Swan zin.
I can understand why it was just Ok with the chile verde - I more often choose beer for that stuff.
I can make excuses for why it was really ugly with spaghetti. And my meat sauce makes nearly any red wine taste better than it is.
So why did it come back tonight? I was prepared to grit my teeth and get out a fresh bottle, and to my delight, I was able to put the rest to its rest in the proper place - my belly.

I guess that's why I like wine. You never know....
John in the wine county
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Re: What happens to this here wine stuff?

Postby Brian Gilp » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:42 am

Somewhat related but not exactly, I have been thinking about bottle variation lately. Generally we talk of bottle variation as it relates to bottles that don't show as well but I think it also needs to include bottles that exceed expectations. I had a Patz and Hall PN that vastly exceeded expectations based on the prior two bottles. Maybe the few extra months of bottle age explains it but I am of the mindset that it is more than just age alone. Its easy to point to corks, storage, quality control, etc. when citing bottle variation for poorly showing bottles but how does one explain that one bottle that just shines much better than expected based on tasting history.
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Re: What happens to this here wine stuff?

Postby John Treder » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:17 pm

I expect it's taster variation as much as bottle variation. I know my appreciation of a wine depends on my mood at the time.
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Re: What happens to this here wine stuff?

Postby Thomas » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:41 pm

John:

Did you say that the second time, when it tasted bad, the wine was cold? If so, that's your answer. The colder the wine, the less fruit and esters.

If it was not cold, then fugheddaboudit. I have no answer.
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Re: What happens to this here wine stuff?

Postby John Treder » Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:08 pm

Yes, the second time it was colder than it should have been, and I agree, that might have been the issue. After all, spaghetti with meat sauce is sort of a prototypical zin-food.
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Re: What happens to this here wine stuff?

Postby Oliver McCrum » Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:37 pm

Storing reds in the fridge is a good idea, just microwave it for a few seconds to warm it up to drinking temperature. I do this all the time.
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Re: What happens to this here wine stuff?

Postby Jon Leifer » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:29 pm

I have found that occasionally, big reds, like zin, taste better after they have been in fridge for a while..tho obviously not served at arctic temperatures..go figure
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Re: What happens to this here wine stuff?

Postby John Treder » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:06 pm

Really, Oliver? I sometimes warm up stewed fruit in the zapper - usually 30 seconds or so. Of course, my El Cheapo zapper won't fit a tall wine glass, or a bottle. What do you do? Put it in a Pyrex measuring cup or something? And sometimes I "thaw" butter for like 15 seconds at power level 4, whatever that may or may not mean.
I'm really curious!
Jon, I agree that big zins, Petite Sirahs, "moderately priced" CalCabs, and so forth, are sometimes helped a great deal by a day or two+ in the refrigerator for the remnants. And, as is the way of all things, sometimes there's no help for the stuff.
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