Wine Hacks: Not Magic, But Chemistry

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(CBSDFW.COM) – If there was a magic trick to make wine smell and taste better, Dilek Caner would know. She’s a master of wine, the only one in Texas, and a member of an exclusive institution with only about 338 members worldwide.

Swirling wine

CBS 11 enlisted her expertise to help wine enthusiasts salvage wine that may not taste or smell its best.

Students from the Dallas Wine Center put four win “hacks” to the test.

Mandatory disclaimer: No one can transform Two Buck Chuck into a $4000 Chateau Margaux.

Still simple do-it-yourself hacks can help you get more grape for your buck, so to speak!

THE CHALLENGE: REMOVING SULPHUR

A common complaint is the odor of sulphur in wine. It’s there for a reason: to preserve vino.

“That burnt match-stick [odor] in your nose,” Caner says is nothing to be afraid of, though it may be unpleasant.

It takes just a penny to fix it she said. Make that a well-disinfected copper penny issued before 1982.

“After 1982 you have a lot more zinc in there,” Caner told CBS 11.

Just drop a few of those pennies into your glass of wine and leave them there for a good ten minutes. The copper reacts with the sulphur, lifting the smell.

Students also put The Wand to the test. The product made right in Grapevine claims to remove sulphur, allergens and even your wine headache.

Our fine group of tasters gathered at Estilo Gaucho in Frisco.

Caner picked a Riesling, a wine high in sulphur content. Tasters were served three glasses of the same wine.

Glass number one: wine straight from the bottle. Glass two: wine treated with the pennies. The final option: Riesling treated with The Wand.

Three out of four tasters preferred wine treated with The Wand.

And remember to swirl the wine in your glass before drinking. Aeration can drastically change the taste, Caner says

THE COMPLAINT: WINE THAT’S TOO TANNIC

Tannin-rich wines often give you a puckering sensation when you sip.

The compounds are meant to preserve red wine for long-term aging, but also provide complexity and astringency.

Caner picked a bottle of Borolo Batasiolo to test out two other hacks that tackle this problem.

She recommends aerating the wine to improve its taste. Allowing wines to breathe can help to soften them.

“That is actually saturating wine with oxygen,” Caner said. “Those oxygen molecules are starting to interact with tannins and making them a lot softer.”

The larger the surface area exposed to air, the faster the aeration.

The first hack, involved aerating the wine by pouring it into a decanter. Caner decanted the wine twice.

She treated another batch, using the The Wine Clip 2.

The magnetic clip attaches to the neck of the bottle. It claims to age the wine and improve taste instantly.

According to Caner, the Wine Master community is divided on products like it.

Four out of five tasters preferred the glass that was decanted the old-fashioned way.

If your wine tastes too “oakey” or “cardboard-like,” Caner says it is because of an organism which can infest some corks.

The odor makes it into the wine. While it is not harmful, it can give the wine a “corky” taste.

Caner says the flaw occurs in one out of 15 bottles.

If you are stuck with a wine that tastes “corky,” saran wrap can help. Wrapping a spoon with saran wrap and dipping it into the wine can get rid of some of the corkiness, she said.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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