Desperate Times…

… call for desperate measures.

On New Year’s Eve, my husband and I opened a bottle of wine that we had been saving for 10 years. Truth be told, we don’t actually LOVE cellared wine, but can’t help but enjoy the romance of buying something to save and open in several years. There is something about that whole “delayed gratification” thing.

What is not romantic is when you open this very special bottle only to find out that it is corked. (Our kids can verify. They said it smelled like “old basement.”) Let’s face it. 2016 was not a stellar year. It annoyed me to think we would be starting 2017 off on this foot.

When this happens, one has several options:

a- Cry
b- Pour it out
c- Drink it
d- a and b
e- a and c

Because we had been holding on to it for so long, “b” just wasn’t an option. Even if it didn’t taste/smell good, we were determined to work with it. I messaged one of my wine educator friends to see if she had any suggestions for our sorry situation and she gave me a tip to try that was new to me: decant the wine and put a ball of plastic wrap in it for a couple of minutes. (Now, she is a very smart lady. I don’t know if she had actually tried this method or had just heard of it. But at this point, she could have told me to jump around in a circle 3 times and stand on my head and I would have given it a shot.)

So we did as suggested. Pouring the wine into a decanter, stuffing a ball of plastic wrap in there. (I think we got bonus points because it was green wrap. Festive.) We sniffed it after about 7 minutes and took a sip.

Verdict: It greatly reduced the amount of “wet mop” smell. Upon sipping, it didn’t taste bad. But it did taste weird. Not sure if it was because the wine was corked, because of the plastic of the wrap, or a combination of the 2.

Was it the best bottle of wine ever? No. Was it the romantic experience we had hoped to have with this special bottle? Um, no. Did we feel ok about our decision with not pouring the bottle down the drain? Yes.

Who doesn’t love performing experiments on wine on New Year’s Eve?? At least we learned something from the experience, though I’ll be happy if we don’t have to experiment again next year.

Interested in reading more? Check out these links that explain the science behind it. (And while I don’t wish corked wine on anyone, don’t be afraid to try this out for yourself if ever in this unfortunate position.)

Getting Rid of Cork Taint

Ask Dr. Vinny

LA Times

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