Wine Talk

Snooth User: lingprof

uh-oh.... how long before white wine goes bad?

Posted by lingprof, Jul 7, 2011.

(Ha ha just realized it sounds like my wine is going on Spring Break in a nasty bikini or something....)

Anyway, I found tucked in the back of my wine fridge a fairly nice ($40?) bottle of white wine that I had totally forgotten about, from 2007.  Because I remember loving it, I'd like to share it with friends who've invited us to a nice dinner at their house.  But have I waited too long?  Should I bring a backup?

Is there a rule about this generally?  (even though I'll try not to let this happen again....)

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Replies

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 7, 2011.

If it was in the fridge, I think it should be okay.  4 years is not an eternity.  But it depends on the variety, how it was made... Better wine (assuming price means something) should give cause for hope. 

So tell us, who's the producer and what's the type?

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Reply by lingprof, Jul 7, 2011.

omg, I am *so* embarrassed.  when I went to check my notes for you, I found the answer in the notes from this specific wine!  Here it is anyway:

"The Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc 2007 is a blend of three estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. Roussanne provides the core richness, minerality, and flavors of honey and spice, while Grenache Blanc adds green apple and anise flavors, a lush mouthfeel and bright acids. Picpoul Blanc completes the blend, adding a saline minerality and bright acids.

 

The 2007 Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc is a powerful expression of the 2007 vintage at Tablas Creek. It shows aromas of rose petals, candied lemon, honeycomb, white pepper, and sweet oak, rich Roussanne flavors of honey and sweet spice and long, dry, slightly tropical finish. It should drink well when young but will also reward time in bottle; we expect it to show beautifully for at least the next 8-10 years."

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Reply by gregt, Jul 7, 2011.

My bet is that it's going to be fine. I agree w Fox. The fridge is colder than that wine is likely to have been kept and that particular wine is pretty good anyhow.  Some people claim that the fridge is too dry and it will dry the cork.  I wonder how many of those people have kept wine in the fridge for 20 years and have experienced those scary dried out corks. I think you did OK.

BTW - I have that same wine in the cellar. It would be interesting to taste them side by side - one kept much colder than the other.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 8, 2011.

Nice wine Ling, and it's good to hear another positive review.  I'm looking forward to visiting the winery (Tablas Creek), will try to post notes when I do.

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 8, 2011.

I've definitely ended up keeping wines in fridge for a long, long, too long a time. Sometimes they're fine, sometimes not. Pop a bottle in the fridge thinking I'll take it out in a couple of hours, then forget or have a change of plans and go out, then go on a six month trip and come back and don't see it again for a few more months, etc. Have had low-temp crystallizations appear in some instances, even cloudiness. Most likely depends on the temp in the fridge, and the original wine, I would think.

Last weekend I had a 2000 Schramsberg blanc de noirs that had been in three successive fridges since 2003. Bought at the winery in 2002, then brought to Japan. Went into a huge fridge and forgotten about for about four years. Because of a move it stayed outside for one day, then back into a different fridge. Temperate winter weather that day. Put it back in because after my surprise at finding it I decided OK, a) let's try an experiment, and b) why shock it by a different temperature range? After another move last spring I shifted it into yet another fridge.

Had the wine with my daughters before a 4th of July BBQ, with some melon & prosciutto, and avocado & shrimp. Fine, straight bubbles. Far more golden color than in its youth. Excellent yeast and toast in the aroma and on the palate. Acidity wasn't 100% perfect (even for its age) but it was there even if weakening towards the finish. Something more disciplined than strawberries, and with a lingonberry tinge to the flavor profile. Just a remote hint of Chinese spice. All three of us thought it was a damned fine bubbly and only wished there was another bottle available (me, the perfectionist wishing that bottle had been stored in a cellar all the while, for comparison purposes).

The only thing clearly damaged about the wine was the label from contact with other items in the fridges. I did wonder about one aspect of the color and the acid, though, but without that comparison I'll never know....

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Reply by gregt, Jul 8, 2011.

Love your experiments and your inquisitive mind D!

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Reply by Jimmy Cocktail, Jul 8, 2011.

JonDerry, I don't mean to hijack this thread, but if you do get out to Tablas Creek, you should also make a stop at Lone Madrone. It is the private label of Neil Collins, the winemaker for Tablas Creek. Well worth a visit IMO.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 8, 2011.

JC:  Can I go to Lone Madrone, too? ;-) 

lingprof, that's a riot.  If you had said it was the Cali version of white CdP from the Perrin joint venture... of course it's okay.

Also, did anyone notice she said "back of my wine fridge"?  Y'know, the things the makers always tell us are perfect for storing our wine? We should all be so lucky.

dmcker, that cracks me up:  This is a hazard of your peripatetic life and love of wine.  In general, is a fridge going to do much damage, other than putting the wine in suspended animation?  Crystallization, I can see that.  But any oxidative process should be stopped or slowed dramatically. 

FYI, lingprof, we had muscadet sur lies on Sat that was 6 years old, I cellar passively and I am sure the bottles get over 70 F once in a while, and it was just perfect.  It wasn't even in the cellar the whole time, but living in the vicinity of SF Bay is pretty forgiving.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 8, 2011.

Thank you Jimmy, i'm going to make a note of that in my e-mail for the next Paso trip. 

It's also good to know that an extended stay in the fridge isn't toxic for whites.  Think i've already thrown away a bottle or two thinking that after months it must've been toast.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 8, 2011.

No, JD, don't drink those.  Place them in insulated wrap, take them to Zephyr Express and have them shipped to me same day delivery, preferably when the weather is cool. Especially if we're talking Beaucastel equivalents! I will make sure they are properly disposed of.  (glug, glug, glug.)

My big regret is not geting a private response on the brand/type of wine from lingprof and hoodwinking her into giving them to my friend who flies back and forth once a week. (In fact, they might even teach at the same school, I can't remember.)

If you have any refrigerated Yquem you are worried about, or Montrachet, I will fly down personally. 

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Reply by lola2x, Jul 8, 2011.

Hi ya'll, I sure don't mean to intrude, but I was reading your thread, and am new to the wine scene.  Did lingprof say she looked in her notes?  Should I be writing notes in a journal or something when purchasing wine? 

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 8, 2011.

@ Fox - Don't get too excited.  The throwaways were a Charles Shaw and a Clos Du Bois type wine.  Wouldn't think to throw it out if it were any of those you mentioned...

Lola - It's usually helpful to take notes when drinking, and take the notes with you to make your next purchases.  What I mean is, make notes ahead of your purchases to make yourself a more informed buyer ; )

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 9, 2011.

lola:  I think those notes lingprof referred to might have been the notes on the wine provided by the winery, a pretty common practice.  But making notes will help you remember why you liked a wine, and what kinds of wines you might enjoy in the future.  Many websites have a good function for this.  CT has some good functions, and now I understand Snooth will let me import my CT (CellarTracker) notes.  Drinking wine is more important than taking notes--no one is giving degrees here, after all--but it's helpful when you've tried a few hundred wines.  Honestly, my independent recall of specific wines is probably only in the low dozens. Even those are not highly detailed. 

At 100-120 winees a year (conservatively, since you share, have multiple bottles at a medium sized dinner party, taste at wineries, get wine by the glass at restaurants or drink flights, you can see how even an amateur could hit 250-300 different wines a year), your own memory is probably not enough.  But don't obsess--have a few glasses at a dinner party and leave the notes for later. The social aspect of wine and meals is what you "should" do.

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Reply by lingprof, Jul 9, 2011.

oooo, lots of cool comments since I was last here!

@JonD: Paso Robles is fabulous!  we had an amazing dinner at a french restaurant, let me look it up.... "Bistro Laurent."  My husband asked to talk with the chef and he was super nice.  (maybe because my husband speaks French, lol).  Tablas is one of the most fun wineries to visit because 1) there are lots of dogs, 2) the people inside are both knowledgable and warm/easygoing, and 3) they have examples in pots of each of the types of grapes they use out front... very cool.

@foxall:  I was about to note the "wine fridge" thing, but you beat me to it.  I wasn't worried about temp, just age.  And for the record, I bought the el cheapo fridge from home depot, on a rec from here at snooth, and it has been working like a dream for several years now. 

Oh, and *nice try* on the shipping, lol!!  I'm not letting you near anything in my wine fridge or my regular fridge, expired or not.  For the record, even if I thought something was passé, I would try it at least. Actually for a newbie, that's a great way to know what really skunked (vs just not my preference) tastes like...

@lola2x: When I first started getting into wine, a few years ago, I just opened up a word file and as I bought wines, I would paste in the description from the webpage of the winery or the place I bought it.  Also where I bought it and the price.  I have them organized in groups by price, mostly.  Then when I got around to trying them, I'd put a few notes under of my own, like "we love this with steak!" or "tastes more expensive than it is", or "whoo, very acidic, let it breathe next time" or "meh...".  

Now I've opened a second file for wines that I like but don't currently own, and the first set of notes is just ones i have right now.  but it's pretty easy and fun to do (well, I'm a professor, so it's fun for *me* anyway).  Oh, I also have a file just for wines under $10 called "el cheapo vino" which is very popular with my friends.  ;-)  happy tasting.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 11, 2011.

So, lingprof, what I wanna know is, how the heck does someone forget an Esprit de Beaucastel?  Maybe JD after his Derby winnings, but I drink some good wine, and that's still not something I could forget easily. Are you sandbagging us?  Is there a secret cave full of 1st growths somewhere?

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Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jul 12, 2011.

Foxall - losing wine in fridges and cellars is an art, especially finding them later and getting version of the WOW you mentioned in your other post.

I even lost a box of riesling because I was too tired/lazy/disorganised to rack it and then put some stuff [in my cellar "stuff" is defined as non wine things my wife insists can be stored "temporarily" in the cellar] on top of the box and it sat there for ~10 months before I rediscovered it when the stuff finally had a use [for the curious the stuff was christmas decorations!]

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Reply by lingprof, Jul 12, 2011.

@foxall: lol!  I can lose anything, really.  You should see the rest of my house.  (God only knows what's in the very back of my actual food fridge, lol!!)   I mean, yes, I had the Tablas Creek listed somewhere in the 34 page document that says what wines I have, but I tend to pay more attention to the moderate ones, and with the 'expensive' (for me) ones I just think "oh I'll drink that someday for a special occasion."  There's a nice Booker white in there too.  I'm not shipping it to you, ha ha.

Btw: everyone at the catered dinner really enjoyed it.  We had it with the first course (stuffed mushrooms).  I'm mostly a reds girl, but a nice complex white can definitely still turn my head.  Have to go back to Paso Robles soon....

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Reply by Capn Jax, Jul 13, 2011.

Not sure if someone already suggested this, but to me there's only one thing to do. Plan a nice meal and uncork that bottle!

I'll do the same, in solidarity. Cheers!

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Reply by napagirl68, Jul 14, 2011.

Lingprof- I have four of those exact bottles in my cellar!  I love that wine... tasted them a few yrs ago at rhone rangers sf....  I am a big fan of their wines.   If you like those, try a boutique winery out of paso robles called Anglim.  They make AMAZING red and white rhone blends... 

As for storage... I am assuming it was unopened... duh, anything opened oxidises very rapidly.  If it was unopened.. it might have even fared better after those years than at our average california room temp.

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Reply by napagirl68, Jul 14, 2011.

Can I just also say that I am very impressed that you kept that bottle hidden away for so long???   I'm impressed.

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