An open bottle of wine and no time to drink it
Julian Schultz at the Oxford Wine Room has endured a lot of friendly, and not so friendly, needling to tell us about freezing wine. Not only can an opened bottle, that would otherwise be ruined by oxidation, be preserved by freezing, it will be improved by freezing. And vigorous shaking. I’m not making this up, and I don’t think he is either. His story starts almost two decades ago, with a particularly good bottle of wine that he couldn’t finish before an overseas trip. In the freezer it went. A month later, he thawed it out and noticed that the wine had stratified. After some energetic shaking, the wine was whole again, and though the color had faded it tasted much better than it did before. He’s since repeated this experiment and now freezes wine regularly. He’s even won over some skeptical friends.
A practical joke? Only one way to find out
I first came across this story by reading it on Jack Keller’s blog. It’s hard for me to imagine anyone interested in making wine or mead at home who hasn’t heard of Mr. Keller, but if you haven’t you should bookmark his site right away. He’s got the largest collection of wine recipes on the internet, and I think of him as the Dean of home wine makers. He tried Mr. Schultz’s freezing method and got the same result. For all his expertise, he’s also got a wry sense of humor (they both do, as a matter of fact), so I’m torn between the trust that he has rightly earned and the very close resemblance of this wine freezing idea to the perfect practical joke. This is one I’m going to have to see to believe.
Update 5/21/2008 – Freezing wine really does improve it!
Seeing is believing – try it for yourself!
Update 1/16/2010 – What happened to the Oxford Wine Room?
Julian Schultz’s original article, http://www.oxfordwineroom.com/freezingwine.asp, has been taken down. Inf fact, it looks like the Oxford Wine Room is no more. Does anyone know what happened to them?
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