This one's pretty simple, but it's a good trick to keep up your sleeve. Quite simply, the warmer a liquid (ie. wine) is, the more volatile (ie. its smell) it is. Because the majority of taste actually comes from smell (try pinching your nose and tasting wine) a warmer wine has more taste. In fact this is such a common issue that there's an industry term for a wine served too cold - "dumb".
If you have a cheap/old or simply bad bottle of wine and want to see if its at all drinkable, try chilling it slightly if its a red (too cold and the tannins become vicious) or chilling it to a regular fridge's temperature if its a white. It might still be undrinkable, but you'll have muted the taste as much as possible and you might end up with something refreshing.
This technique works best with whites - you can get them really cold and they become very crisp and refreshing.
It's a trade off - room temperature allows you to enjoy the nuances of a wine, whereas cold wine is refreshing but the chill mutes all but the most basic of flavors.
Chilling bad wine
- Reply by Sung, May 24, 2007.
Nice, so between this trick and the zip lock bag trick for the corked wines, any bottle of wine should never go to waste! I like it!