Wine Talk

Snooth User: EMark

Problems Rechilling WInes?

Posted by EMark, Nov 28, 2015.

I heard this recently, and it took me by complete surprise.

Suppose I pull out one of my favorite Ceritas Chardonnays and chill it down in our KitchenAid refrigerator, planning to have it wih my dinner.  Suppose further that my dinner plans change, and I don't open that bottle.  I'm saving this bottle for a special meal.  (OK, most regulars here know that is bogus because they know that to me special meals requiring special wines occur only on days ending in "y," but just go along with me on this.)  So, I take it out and put it back in passive storage.  A month later I decide that it is time for that wine, and I put it in the refrigerator to chill it down.

Does the fact that the Ceritas Chardonnay has been chilled twice cause any detriment to the winet?  If so, will a mere mortal, such as me, be able to detect any diminishment?

Replies

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Reply by JonDerry, Nov 28, 2015.

I would highly doubt that the diminishment would be perceptible, even though this treatment is less than ideal.

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Reply by Really Big Al, Nov 28, 2015.

I've wondered about that before.  It's the main reason I don't pull a wine out of our fridge once I've placed it there, unless of course I am going to drink it.  Now I've got to know......

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Reply by dmcker, Nov 28, 2015.

In general wide temperature swings are to be avoided. However with a young wine where you're *not* looking to necessarily eke out every last millimeter of an ideal wine's well-structured potential (i.e. the kind that only is at its best after a good amount of aging at the right temperature), you don't need to get too paranoid. And if there's to be a temperature swing, from 50F to 75 back to 55 or some such is a lot better than from 55 to 75 to 95 to 55, or whatever. Hot swings like the latter will most likely cause bottles to suffer, while the former shouldn't be a problem, especially over relatively short periods of time (like only a few years after release).

I have noticed that wines that got stuck in the back of the fridge and forgotten have suffered from months and months at refrigerator temperatures, but we're talking drying out effects, too, in that environment. Sometimes crystallizations and cloudiness, often a drop in the overall flavor effects of a wine from what I'd expect due to experience with other bottles in the same batch, occasionally even dried out corks. Similar effects were noted in laboratory tests back in the late '90s that I've mentioned in the past.

It's also probably a safe bet that quicker, larger temperature swings are worse than slower, lesser ones.

If you're not planning on slowly and carefully aging great bottles of wine, then don't be as worried. Just be gentle with all those lovely little babies, whatever they are. And don't pop and pour straight from the delivery van, either! That is unless you like stunted, slapped-around and abused juice, that is...

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Reply by JonDerry, Nov 28, 2015.

What is it about the fridge that's so bad for bottles, humidity must be the main culprit, no?

I have a 3L Pierre Jouet NV that we've been storing passively in our kitchen for 6 years. Think it's about time to open in the name of science, though I'm not expecting much.

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Reply by dmcker, Nov 28, 2015.

Who's your friend Pierre? Do you mean Perrier-Jouet?   ;-)

Not terrible champers, and why have you been abusing it so? Though a 3L should be in better shape than, say, a split stored similarly. If you're really worried about it I'll be happy to take it off your hands...

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Reply by JonDerry, Nov 28, 2015.

Perrier, right. It's storage has been the embarrassment of my collection, though my thoughts back in 2009 were that it made for better kitchen furniture than a drink. It was a wedding gift. When I did start professionally storing my wines in 2011 or so, it never occurred to be to throw it in there.

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Reply by outthere, Nov 28, 2015.

Extended fridge time could cause tartrate crystals to firm and you will have sediment in the bottle. What you described  should have no effect on the wine whatsoever.

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Reply by dmcker, Nov 28, 2015.

OT, if you're referring to my post further up the thread, yes it does affect wine quality, especially when corks dry. Interestingly enough the most recognizable flavor profile damage, first time I encountered it, was with a Schramsberg.

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Reply by outthere, Nov 28, 2015.

I was responding to Mark. The wine in question does not have a dry cork. It's only a couple years old. Being in the fridge for a day will ave absolutely no effect in it.

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Reply by dmcker, Nov 28, 2015.

Got it. Hard to tell sometimes who whomever is responding to without quotes...


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