What To Know About Saving Fine Wines After A Major Storm

Posted: Sep 09, 2017

Wine isn't the first thing most people think about when floodwater enters their home. Still, those who collect the good stuff might be wondering how it keeps after a power outage, or if it can be damaged after bottles are submerged in floodwaters. Here's what to know:

Wine generally is fine after being submerged in water. "You're always reading about old wines recovered from shipwrecks that are surprisingly drinkable," Spec's fine-wine buyer Bear Dalton said. "It's really no big deal."

Still, if submerged, bottles need to be tended with a good sanitizing, mold-killing wipe-down, then laid back down horizontally to prevent the corks from drying out. Don't use bleach or any other harsh cleaning product, particularly if you've chosen to cut off the foil cap to reassure yourself the cork didn't get wet. Dalton suggested doing the cleanup with "cheap, plastic-bottle vodka."

If you lost power and keep wine in a temperature-controlled fridge or cellar, those bottles you hope to age need to be returned to sub-60 degree temperatures as soon as possible. "Keeping your fine wines at room temperature for a few weeks isn't ideal," Dalton said, "but it's not going to be a huge hit in terms of long-term drinkability as long as the temperature stayed below 80 degrees and was fairly stable."

Those who didn't have their wines stored properly need to understand two things."The wines probably aren't going to age as well as they ideally would have," Dalton said, "but they are probably going to age better than you think they are."

Wines exposed to temperatures above 85 degrees for any length of time most likely got heat damage, Dalton said, manifested by "a lack of expressiveness and a pronounced lack of fruit." There's no saving the wine at that point. Though tannins allow a wine to age and acidity keeps freshness in the bottle as it ages, ultimately the key to the taste is the fruit component. Geriatric wines - and young ones cooked by excessive heat - lose their fruit. And once they do, they are sure to disappoint.

By Dale Robertson S
eptember 8, 2017
Source: Chron.com

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