Yesterday I drank a bottle of red wine that I opened 9 months ago - and it was still fresh as a daisy! How can this be?
You know that thing called leftover wine - yeah, neither do we. But just say you did. If you leave it on for more than a day, it will start to deteriorate as the oxygen changes the flavor profile of the wine. After a week, it will probably become undrinkable. And if it's expensive wine that you spill in the sink, well, that's just a shame!
It must not be otherwise, because this week we concluded an experience that completely blew us away.
Nine months ago I received the Repour wine stopper to test - I was told this would completely stop the wine degradation process. I was doubtful at first, as I've tested loads of gadgets like vacuum pumps over the years with varying degrees of success. These reduce the oxygen in the closed bottle, but do not remove it completely.
Repour's marketing promised he would keep a bottle of wine cool until the last glass. But how?! Hidden inside the plastic cap is an "agent" that engulfs any oxygen inside the unused bottle once it is sealed with the Repour cap. It is said to reduce the level of oxygen in the air below 0.05% and the dissolved oxygen in wine to below 0.03 ppm (manufacturers say this removes just about ALL of the oxygen)!
At the same time I received my samples of Repour cork, I also received duplicate samples of Nebbiolo from the winery in northern Italy, Tenute Sella 1871 (cost, € 40.00 each). Often times, wineries will send two bottles of the same wine in case one of the wines is blocked. What a perfect occasion I thought of tasting a bottle now, butchering it with Repour, and tasting it further down the trail alongside a freshly opened bottle.
This experience was only to last 2 weeks. Unfortunately, the work diverted my attention from the project and the Repour experience was locked in a closet, forgotten.
Nine months later it was rediscovered. “It certainly can't be good. Even the instructions suggest "weeks or months", and it's been almost a year!
Guess what - it worked !! Watch the video above while Ged and I taste the wine in real time. We were really shocked. There was absolutely no difference between the freshly opened wine and the half drunk bottle opened 9 months earlier. This gadget is a bloody miracle!
The verdict and the price
My biggest hesitation in recommending this product is that it is a single use plastic. Once it has been used on a bottle, you need to throw it away. Having said that, you can open this bottle multiple times and the contents should be kept fresh.
Although it is made from recyclable materials because it is so small, many recycling facilities filter it and it is transferred to waste. In countries like Sweden where all plastic is recycled regardless of size, this is a much easier recommendation. When you look at the price of the cork and compare it to the expensive wine that you "keep in limbo" you can see how it pays off because this cork works wonderfully.
The repour costs around $ 3 each, $ 10 for a 4 pack, $ 22 for a 10 pack and $ 130 for a 72 pack
In Australia, you can buy Repour via www.mywinesaver.com.au. For everywhere else in the world, go to www.repour.com
We would recommend either Wineworks Premium or Wineworks Superior as your first 30 Bottle Kit Wine. Both of these ranges are designed to produce a good quality wine that is ready to drink within 2-4 weeks but will benefit if left up to 6-8 weeks. Furthermore, they also have a great selection of wines to choose from.
If you’ve never made wine before or you simply don’t have any of the equipment or ingredients any longer then you could purchase one of our bundles. These bundles combine all the required equipment along with your prefered wine pack so that you can have everything delivered to your door and just get started. The Wineworks Superior Starter Bundles are a great choice if you want to keep the equipment budget down but still choose the quality of wine you’d like to go for. Whereas, the Wineworks Luxury Starter Bundles offer a better quality equipment pack and still let you choose from a great choice of wine kits.
The two most important aspects of making wine are Cleanliness and Temperature. Firstly remember everything that comes into contact with the wine should be cleaned and sterilised ( see below ). Secondly maintain a constant temperature between 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ). It is much better to be on the cool side and constant than hot one minute and cold the next. Airing cupboards are definitely no, no’s. ( See below )
Clean and sterilise all equipment. Here’s a selection of Sterilisers you can use and if you not quite sure which steriliser to go for then you can take a look at our Beginners Wine Making Part 1 - Cleaning, Sterlising
Wineworks Superior wines : These usually take 10-15 days to ferment, and a further week to clear. Again the wine can be drunk immediately but we recommend ageing it 4 weeks but you can leave it up to 12 months. The time you will leave it will depend very much on your stocks. So get plenty built up. The reds benefit more than the whites with ageing. Certain kits ( see the list below ) are suited more to the experienced wine maker and take around 4 weeks to ferment and then left for a further 2 weeks. These products does really benefit from ageing. All the packs we list in this section require little ageing.
As it’s new to you it will probably take in all 2 hours for your first batch. However, once you are used to it 1 hour is about the maximum amount of time needed. We would also point out bar the bottling side; it takes just as long to make 6 bottles as it does to make 30 bottles, so we strongly recommend you make the larger quantity. After all 6 bottles doesn’t go very far as we said before !
From our experience it is much better to maintain a constant temperature than a fluctuating one. We suggest 21-26°C ( 69-79°F ), although if it is cooler than this, it is not a problem, it just takes slightly longer to ferment. If you can’t maintain this then we supply three different forms of heating equipment : Brew Belt / Heat BeltThis is a simple insulated electric cable that wraps round your conteneur and provides a gentle heat. It is very souple and extremely easy to use. Heat Tray ( 4 demi/5 Gallon Fermenter ) This is like a flat tray that provides a gentle continuous heat that goes under the fermenter. Immersion HeaterThis drops into the conteneur, through the bung and can be thermostatically controlled to maintain the juste temperature. Similar to a fish tank heater. All these can be added to our starter coffret packages. See our scène showing the variétés of heating equipment available for your fermentation.
It is important to clean
If you’ve made it this far, hopefully understanding a bit of what we’ve said, then you’ll want to know how much it will cost to get started ! As you may have noticed, we’ve put together a couple of equipment kits which include everything you need, and take the confusion out of buying. You can make your first 30 bottles of Wine for approximately £65. 00. That’s all in ( Equipment