Are you one of those who avoids that moment when the waiter asks you in the restaurant to taste the wine to verify that it is good?
Do not worry, because we are going to give you all the keys to identify if the wine is chopped or not as well as tricks in case you were at home and wanted to take advantage of it.
To know if a wine has reached its point of maturity or if it has exceeded it, we must first understand that all broths have a level of acidity, since the action of yeasts on the must produces acetic acid.
Chopped wine (also known as acetification or vinegar ) has higher levels of acetic acid than normal .
This normally occurs when alcohol has lived with more oxygen than recommended, generating acetic bacteria , the same ones with which vinegar is produced.
If we applied a mathematical formula, it would be like this: alcohol + oxygen + acetic bacteria = acetic acid = chopped wine.
How can I detect that a wine is bad?
There are two elements that stand out from the rest to detect if a wine is chopped: its smell and taste . When smelling or tasting it gives off a vinegary sensation, there is no doubt that the wine is bad.
This initially discreet vinegar smell and taste becomes more intense when the wine remains open for longer.
The problem lies in those many other occasions in which the degree of acidity is not so high and doubts arise. How can we know then if it meets the optimal conditions for its consumption?
First try to turn the broth in the glass . If, after stopping the movement, the first olfactory hit is acidity, this is a confirmation that there is more acetic acid than normal.
Also, look at its color. A chopped red wine will have lost its intense red to become a more orange, cloudy liquid with hardly any shine. On the other hand, whites in poor condition will present brownish tones instead of yellowish.
How to know if a wine is chopped without opening it?
Some people think that the existence of sediment at the bottom of the bottle is one of the indicative factors that the wine is in poor condition. In fact, it is another of the many hoaxes that circulate around this world.
The sludge forms naturally and therefore does not represent any sign of the quality of the broth.
However, there are other aspects that can tell us that it is chopped, without even having to open the bottle.
Throughout this website we have stressed on several occasions the importance of cork for the proper conservation of wine . Given its relevant role, it is logical to think that its state also represents a key indicator to know if the wine has undergone an oxidation process.
There are two obvious signs that this has been the case.
- On the one hand, when we observe that it is stained beyond its base.
- On the other, when observing that, after removing it from the bottle, there are remains in the capsule or in the wine itself.
Look at the bottle, specifically its interior. If the amount of wine has decreased, it is more than likely that it is in poor condition.
Another clue can be given by the status of the label. Signs of moisture, or the literal presence of mold, are obvious signs that its conservation has not been adequate and, therefore, that the result when uncorking the bottle is not what was expected.
Frequently asked questions about chopped wine
Is it bad for your health?
No, it is not. As such, the only difference (which is not little) between a balanced wine and a chopped wine is the vinegar flavor that the latter presents. Eating vinegar is not bad for your health.
What are the consequences?
Consequences as regards health do not usually occur. Unless you have ingested large amounts of crushed wine, in which case it may lead to stomach upset. Nothing that can’t be fixed. Perhaps the worst consequence is having a good wine spoil.
Can it be fixed or does it have a solution?
Wine chopped by the effects of acetic bacteria or ‘acetobacter’ does not have a known solution, but there is a trick when the reason for its condition is caused by its cork flavor.
This is what you will have to do:
- Take a good piece of plastic wrap, make a roll and put it in the bottle for two minutes.
The electricity charge in polyethylene ionically alters the wine and captures the fetid molecules to restore the wine to its natural properties.
It serves to cook?
As you well know, red wine is used to enhance the flavor of food. If you have a freshly passed bottle, don’t have a problem using it to, for example, accompany baked meat or reduce to a simmer with other ingredients.
Can I make vinegar with it?
Yes of course. All you have to do is let the natural acetic acid process follow for the wine to turn into vinegar. It is best to leave the bottle uncorked at room temperature for two weeks.
One last tip: give the wine a second chance. Frequently, the first unpleasant contacts with a wine (whether by appearance, taste or smell) lead us to decree that it is “not good.”
At that time remember that wine is a living product, whose manufacture is based on a delicate balance between fermentations, yeasts, bacteria, carbon dioxide, sulfur and oxygen.
Allow time for it to breathe , use accessories such as decanters or aerators and then try it again. Some of the most exceptional wines need time before they are perfect for consumption.
To distinguish a chopped wine from another that is not, it is enough to resort to three basic elements: its flavor, its smell and its visual appearance.
If it is vinegary, we will always have a culinary use. If it has not reached that point, examine if the amount of liquid is correct, if the cork is in good condition and if the color has not clouded.
Maybe, just maybe, I just needed a second chance …