November 14, 2008

Pump It Up

In past experiments, we've tried to reach some functional conclusions regarding wine preservation. After extensive, though hardly exhaustive, trials, we remain convinced that not preserving the wine (i.e. finishing the bottle) is the strategy par excellence.

That said, we remain curious about something we learned along the way. Namely, that pumping short of the full vacuum (or at least less than the manufacturers suggested level) will provide improved preservation results with next-day wine.

So we opened two bottles of 2007 Root: 1, Sauvignon Blanc, tasted both, and then poured off 250 ml of each bottle. The first we pumped with a Vacu Vin wine preserver until it "clicked" (10 pumps). The second we pumped half as many times (5). Then we returned both bottles to the fridge for storage.

Given we found the wine on sale for $7 (it usually sells for $11), it was remarkable on a quality/price ratio. A nose of passion fruit, lime zest and wet grass. The palate was zippy citric acid and gala apple. The wine had a long lingering mineral finish. If tasted blind, I think I would have picked this as a mid-range to high-end Sancerre.

In fact, Root: 1 is a joint-venture from Chilean producer Viña Ventisquero and Seattle-based importer/genius marketing company Click Wine Group.

Root: 1 is sub-titled [The Original Ungrafted]. Not sure what they mean by "original" but it is notable that in South American appelations it's possible to produce a blend of multiple vineyard blends from all ungrafted vines. This is terrific table wine.

We'll pull the samples from the fridge in a couple days. Don't go away.


Jason said...

Have you tried experimenting between the Vacu Vin and gassing the wine with Private Preserve? I used to use Vacu Vin, but these days I gas the wine and seal the bottle with a champagne stopper to make sure it's tight. It seems to work pretty well for me, and you don't have the problems of pumping out the ethanol or CO2 out of solution.

Chief Executive Researcher said...