Posts Tagged ‘ Wine Preservation ’

VinAssure Review #1

How did we discover VinAssure?

PIWC is always seeking out products we can try to review, but while over at GrapeRadio I viewed an ad for VinAssure and went to check it out.

Would we drink up too 700 bottles to make this product worth while?

Of course we would…do…drink plenty of wine with meals I prepare, and open lots more for wine tastings during the year. Any of you out there who value the wine you buy, or pour for family, friends, clients and host wine tastings will appreciate this product.

After contacting the products company we had to decide our approach to testing VinAssure. Of course we would open three wines, used the VinAssure Argon Gas canister, Vinuvac pumping device, and the cork method to see which preserved the wine as if we had just opened it. Before traveling to Spain last month, hubby and I opened a few bottles to test. We found that after our second attempt, and re-tasting the wine upon our return, the wines smell and taste were as if we had just opened it. Now we will open some more wines and share their results soon…

How can you tell there is argon gas in the VinAssure canister?

The manufacture and developer of VinAssure recommended this to me- Hold up a seal-able sandwich bag, make sure it’s flat (as opposed to having air trapped in it), seal it about 3/4 of the way, inject VinAssure into the bag for a slow count of 5, seal the bag all the way. VinAssure’s Argon has forced any air our of the bag and has remained IN the bag.

Now cup your hands around the bag and you will see a pillow effect from the argon that’s been injected. Visually that pillow equals the amount of Argon you’ve injected into a bottle with a 5 count. That’s approximately 185ml or 1/4 bottle. The ‘rest’ of what’s in the bottle’s empty space (if it’s more than 1/4 empty) is air, so there is now a mixture of air and Argon. Obviously, then, the more VinAssure you inject the greater the proportion of Argon and the greater the level of preservation.

We’ve found that the 5-count (or 1/4 bottle of Argon) is enough for the palates of most people. But the one constant in this is that all wines and all palates are not the same. Actually, the suggestion to add more Argon came from the calculation of the actual amount of gas going in and not from any negative feedback. Because the very expensive refrigerated preservation units (like Wine Keeper and Enomatic) use a method which keeps 100% of the empty space full of gas all the time, we wanted to be able to explain to users how much VinAssure it would take to simulate that method.

I tried what Peter recommended and you can see the pillow, as well as taste the difference in filling the wine bottle space with more than just room temp air, marbles, or pumping out the air. We also preserved the wine at room temp on the counter, as well as storing in a temp controlled upright wine cellar, and on a 45 degree tilted angle in the cellar.

Cheers!

Chef Elizabeth Stelling

What else am I up too?

Eating Weeds
Food ~ Wine ~ Fun!

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Market Monday- Wine Preservation

We all at one time or another, more often weekly found ourselves wanting to relax and open a bottle of wine. After one, or possibly two glasses and time for bed, or errands, we have a need to re-cork the bottle? So often and after years of seeing our parents doing the same thing, we just push the cork back in as deep as it will go leave it on the counter for the next evening. NO NO NO!

There are two problems with this- after years of learning that leaving air inside the bottle to continue oxidation, and not properly chilling the contents we are creating vinegar. An off tasting glass of wine in the next few days will be a  put off to most taste buds (imagine offering this to your friends, possibly an enemy!). Returning to the joys of enjoying earths great juice, the gift of Bacchus, should be a good experience.

Every well stocked bar needs a supply of bottle stoppers and pourers to extend the flavor of life of a good or not so great bottle of wine. There are many options of preserving wine, but our feelings are that if one has only a few ounces left- then why not spread the joy and split the last few ounces. That is unless you have over indulged, and exceeded the legal limits allowed to drive home. Half of a bottle left, or even two thirds then you should do what you can to preserve the luscious juice of the vine for the next day.

Preserving wine was only intended for a day or so, but we have actually experienced a bottle of Repasso from a recent wine tasting that was still singing to your taste buds seven days later, that of course is rare. Finding the right solution to the problem of preserving wine if you are only wanting to indulge or share in a glass of wine does not have to be as daunting as one might think. Below we list a variety of preservation methods, and in the next few weeks will be sharing information on the history of wine preservation and way into the development of products/gadgets that help make our lives so much easier.

We have contacted various industry pros and their companies, and will be bringing you wine industry news first hand!

Options in Wine Preservation:

  • Re-corking the bottle- not a good choice for champagne/sparkling wine due to expansion of the cork from pressure, and sealing in air to continue oxidation
  • Decorative Bottle Stoppers– sold in most wine and regular markets- temporary and only bottle bling
  • Glass top decanter cork stoppers- temporary and designed in the packaging of spirits to keep air particles, moister and debris from spoiling contents; decanters are designed to temporarily hold aged reds for breathing purposes; until the wine is immediately consumed
  • Vacu Vin Wine Saver & Stoppers- removes the air the damages the wine by continuing¬† the oxidization, thus destroying any remaining wine. Sterile marbles were discovered, by adding them to a half bottle until it reaches the bottle neck, and then using the Vacu Vin to remove any remaining air, and placing in cool storage.
  • Half Bottle Method– This is the lowest tech, maybe even a traditional method. Pour wine into a half bottle, fill near the top, and cork it. (Pouring itself aerates and helps change the wine. Remember always to refrigerate. Cold preserves).
  • Gas- There are a variety of solutions in which gases, such as nitrogen are pumped into the wine to replace harmful oxygen. These work about as well as the methods above, more or less, but cost money and require replenishment of supplies. The consumer models don’t work as well as the big restaurant models.

Next weeks ‘Market Monday- Wine Preservation’ will discuss ‘History of Wine, and the Development of Wine Preservation’, with additions of our own incites on the subject…

Quick Facts About Cork

. natural product
. unique characteristics
. unparalleled properties
. environmentally friendly
. renewable resource
. steady supply

. managed healthy forests …we will be sharing a big concern- ‘Is There A Cork Shortage’?