Life is a Cabernet, Old Chum

Using NMR to check the fitness of wines (Don’t bother with this, for multiple reasons, if they have a bottlecap instead of a cork)

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Makes Sure Wine is Fit For the Queen of England

When wine hits 1.4 grams of acetic acid per liter it is considered bad. Although the average bottle of vinegar has around 12.50 grams acetic acid per liter the difference is nothing to take lightly. NMR measures acetic acid in wine down to the tenth of a gram.

Up to 10 percent of wine spoilage comes from the oxygen-alcohol blend. Cork taint, from the 2, 4, 6-tricloroanisol molecule accounts for the other main contributor of wine spoilage. Though NMR is only used in locating oxidation based spoilage, it is still a major breakthrough in the wine world, especially when it comes to auctions.

Auctioneers say as many as 50 percent of the vintages pre-1950 auctioned at places like Christie’s or Zachy’s, where $2000 bottles are the norm, are spoiled. Augustine says that when it comes to exquisite wine the importance of protecting the investment is up to an individual.

And Tyler Colman asks, “Why use a cork in the first place?” when dealing with wines that are a little lower in cost.

Drink Outside the Box

Although some sommeliers may scoff at wine from a plastic spigot, boxes are perfect for table wines that don’t need to age, which is to say, all but a relative handful of the top wines from around the world. What’s more, boxed wine is superior to glass bottle storage in resolving that age-old problem of not being able to finish a bottle in one sitting. Once open, a box preserves wine for about four weeks compared with only a day or two for a bottle. Boxed wine may be short on charm, but it is long on practicality.

0 thoughts on “Life is a Cabernet, Old Chum

  1. The astoundingly foul smell of fungal trace metabolite 2,4,6-trihaloanisoles is vinters’ nasty and common problem. The Nanny State mandated use of halogenated fire retardants in big tunnels filled with wooden barrels. That rendered cork taint both intractable and common. If any winery has suffered a catastrophic aging cellar fire starting at the barrels it has apparantly never been reported. It is regulators’ job to replace blue sky potential hazards with quantifiable real ones.

    Stoppers rendered from expanded thermoplastic elastomer or closed cell polyethylene foam are superior to those of cork. Cork in turn was superior to rag soaked in linseed oil (that could not contain Dom Perignon’s fizzy wine).