Revive that unfinished bottle…with your microwave

It’s a common experience shared by all of us wine drinkers.

We did not finish the entire bottle of red.

But we eventually threw out the leftover wine since we had no way to preserve it.

There are many solutions.

Some are complex and expensive.

One solution is easy, cheap and right there under our nose…

Microwave it.

We posted about this months ago.  But since we continue to hear the question over and over…how do I revive/salvage leftover red wine?…we’re revisiting the topic.

Here’s the simple three-step process.

Step one:  put a cork in it.   Over time, exposure to air kills a red wine’s flavor.

Step two:  placed the re-corked bottle in the refrigerator.  Keeping red wine cool slows the oxidation process.  In the fridge, a red wine should maintain its flavor profile for at least 3-4 days.  Some experts say it will be OK for a week (but I think a week is really pushing it).

Step three:  when you’re ready to re-try your red, remove it from the refrigerator, pour it in a glass and microwave it for 10-12 seconds.

Microwaving wine.  It just doesn’t sound right.  We agree.

But it works.

Microwaving does not disturb the chemical composition of the wine.  It will warm the overly-chilled red wine (remember, it spent the night in the refrigerator) to a more palatable just-below-room-temperature status.

Key point:  nuke it ONLY 10-12 seconds!  If it’s still too cold, you can put it back in for a few seconds more.  But if you leave it in too long initially, you and the wine are cooked.

I’ve microwaved wine…a glass at a time… dozens if not hundreds of times.  If there’s some leftover red wine in our refrigerator, I’ll microwave a glass tonight.

One caveat:  don’t microwave fine wine.  If you have a bottle of Mordorée Châteauneuf du Pape Plume du Peintre ’05,  don’t worry about what it will taste like tomorrow night.  Just finish it. Hangover be damned.

But most commercial wine…which is what we review and recommend on this site… can stand up to a proper microwaving.  As winemakers will admit, as it makes the journey  from vineyard to grocery store shelf, most wine has already gone through a lot worse.