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Are there any uses for corked wine?


tllm2

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Having a pre-Christmas tidy up, only to discover at the back of the kitchen cupboard, a couple of bottles of wine, that definitely look corked to me (in that the colour of them doesn't seem right at all).


Is there anything useful that can be done with it or it is a straight down the sink job?


T

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Well first things first, they aren't necessarily corked. In case you don't know "corked" is a reference to something that happens to wine when there is a particular bacteria in the cork that then infects the wine. You can tell that it's corked by the smell - sort of like compost heaps and wet dogs and mouldy cellars which is also what is tastes like, which is why I would not in a million years put it in any food either, cos that's what it will taste like!


Colour change is more an indication of the wine getting old. Some red wines can be almost brown and still delicious, if you are referring to whites then again, it could still taste nice even though it is very yellowy golden. So I'd open them individually. They might be horrible in which case stew or compost heap. If they are corked, then down the sink.


But they might still be drinkable.

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Yes but try drinking it first, you can always spit it back out onto the compost heap. And YES, provided it's just "normal" wine where the alcohol levels aren't too high (I don't think an 80% proof rum would be a good idea e.g.) then it shouldn't do the heap any harm. If in doubt, tip it out over a period of time.


A friend of mine made his usual batch of blackberry wine this year, only for it all to turn to vinegar. He actually fed the stuff (all 25 litres of it) to his pumpkin plants. They LOVED it!

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Many years ago (18 or 19?) I went to a wine tasting of wines from the former Soviet Union. Many of them were from the early 60s and 70s, and most were of incredibly tawny tones, but were amongst the best wines I had ever tasted.


Some wines will age better than others. Only way to find out it to open them up and see.

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DJKillaQueen Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> There are lot's of chefs that will tell you that

> the bacteria that causes the wine to cork is

> killed and burnt off in the cooking process. In

> other words the taste and smell of the corked wine

> disappears once the wine boils.


Well I'm dubious I'm afraid - that's not my experience. But you are of course welcome to try!

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I think the by-product of the bacterial infection of 'corked' wine is called TCA. It thoroughly destroys the wine, and won't be removed by cooking - so it'll ruin your food too.


'Corked' isn't the only way wine can be spoiled for drinking though - it could be 'cooked' by storing at excessive temperatures, or 'oxidised' by exposure to air.


Wine affected in either of those two ways won't spoil your grub, as the act of cooking both superheats it and oxidises it anyway.


Having said that, storing wine uncorked for long periods in your fridge isn't good for cooking for the same reason that your shouldn't do it with old ham: exposure to the air attracts various fungi and bacteria that may be unhealthy and will multiply over time regardless of the temperature. The fridge slows it down, but doesn't stop it.

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On the subject of strange things that happen to wine, I've discovered that half finished glasses of wine left overnight in our tropical environment will develop a fur only if they were sipped previously by women.


Those drunk by men are clean as a whistle.


That may be because women are inherently sweet and nutricious, or it may be because they're mouldy. Not sure which.

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DJKillaQueen Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> There are lot's of chefs that will tell you that

> the bacteria that causes the wine to cork is

> killed and burnt off in the cooking process. In

> other words the taste and smell of the corked wine

> disappears once the wine boils.



I'm with legalbeagle on this one DJ - I've worked with many chefs over the years, and to a man they've said that if a wine's not fit for drinking, they wouldn't dream of putting it in their food.


Hmm, just thought, interestingly, they didn't say they wouldn't put it in anyone else's food, so maybe you're on to something. Try it on the in-laws first.

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Huguenot Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> On the subject of strange things that happen to

> wine, I've discovered that half finished glasses

> of wine left overnight in our tropical environment

> will develop a fur only if they were sipped

> previously by women.

>

> Those drunk by men are clean as a whistle.


Are they wearing lipstick? (The women that is, though.......) Could that be a factor?

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Well you did ask:


"One possibility is that the old simile describes the whistling sound of a sword as it swishes through the air to decapitate someone, and an early 19th century quotation does suggest this connection: 'A first rate shot.(his) head taken off as clean as a whistle.' The expression is proverbial, at least since the 18th century, when Robert Burns used a variation on it. More likely the basic idea suggests the clear, pure sound a whistle makes, or the slippery smooth surface of a willow stick debarked to make a whistle. But there is also a chance that the phrase may have originally been 'as clean as a whittle,' referring to a piece of smooth wood after it is whittled.'" (From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997.)


Another source states: "Robert Burns, in his poem, 'Earnest Cry,' used 'toom' ('empty') rather than 'clean' - 'Paint Scotland greetan owre her thrissle; Her mutchkin stoup as toom's a whissle' - and other writers have had the whistle clear, dry, pure or other adjective. The basic intent, however, is to indicate that, for a sweet, pure sound from a whistle or reed, the tube must be clean and dry." (From "Heavens to Betsy & Other Curious Sayings" by Charles Earle Funk, Harper & Row, New York, 1955.)


And a third: ".As every old-timer can tell you, a good whistle made from a reed or a piece of wood emits a clear tone - but it is easily damaged. Even small particles of debris, or a few drops of moisture will change the sound of a handmade instrument. In order to emit the pure notes intended by its maker, a whistle has to be absolutely clean. Anything or anyone as clean as a brand-new whistle or as clear as its sound is bound to be good. All of which means that an organization or person called as 'clean as a whistle' has been judged to be guiltless or flawless." (From "Why You Say It" by Webb Garrison, Rutledge Hill Press, Nashville, Tenn., 1992.)"

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