The month of March certainly has made statement so far – snow, ice, rain, sun; the weather sure has been difficult to handle. However now that Spring is here, I am hopeful that the worst is behind us. Unfortunately, some of us have already had to deal with some difficult times and from talking to a few guests at the winery, it sounds like some of your wine cellars are having a tough month too.
In the recent weeks I have taken a number of calls and sat with a number of guests that were saddened when their basements flooded earlier this month. I can sympathize with their turmoil during the flood… A number of years ago when we were living in Cuyahoga Falls, our basement (and first wine making lab) was victim to a flood. The water was about 3 feet deep in the basement and we had many cases of wine sitting in the basement when the flood hit. We tried to get as much of the wine as possible out of the basement as the flood was hitting but it came in so quickly that there was only so much we could grab.
As soon as we were able to get to the wine we immediately separated the bottles that were sealed with corks from the ones that were sealed with a screwcap. Wine that has been sealed with a screwcap is fine and is completely drinkable. This is one of the few advantages to a screwcap closure in my opinion. Any wine that has been sealed with a cork will need some extra care.
Once you have the bottles with the corks set aside, immediately remove the foil seal and turn them upside down to prevent water from being trapped in on the cork. Then rinse all bottles in a weak antiseptic solution, rinse and dry. The wine inside will be drinkable.
Unfortunately, during the flood many of our labels came off which left us guessing what wine we were drinking. Instead of dumping the wine we took it as an opportunity to do a blind tasting with the wine and had fun guessing what wine it might have been.
Keep in mind that wines that have been trapped in a flood are not the worst thing – there have been many bottles of wine that have been recovered from sunken ships from the late 1700’s and early 1800’s that were completely drinkable. Hopefully, a little water damage to your wine doesn’t ruin the fun of drinking it!
Amanda is the Co-Owner of Candlelight Winery located at 11325 Center Street, Garrettsville. For more gift ideas or wine lists from the winery, please visit www.candlelightwinery.com.