Thursday, October 23, 2014

Life with the Tomic Family by a Master of Wine

Life at Bastijana has been a little more interesting this Autumn, as our very welcome guest, Master of Wine Jo Ahearne, has been busily selecting grapes for her very own production on Hvar, and the Bastijana team has been delighted to help her in her pilot project, which is great PR for the Hvar wine industry. 

Communicating in French with Andro, and in English with the rest of the team, it has been a multi-lingual time with much fun and useful exchanges of views and experiences. Jo recently sat down with Digital Journal to talk about her initial Hvar experiences. Read the full interview here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What is the best way to store and preserve a bottle of wine?

When wine gets older, it does not necessarily mean that it’s also getting better! Wine has its lifespan. First it matures, reaches its maximum in quality, and later it gets older and past its best. How long a wine can stand in the bottle without losing quality depends on the grape varieties, method of manufacture, the way of bottling and of course on the conditions under which the wine is kept.

As for the conditions – the most important is a stable temperature. Temperature fluctuations lead to changes in the color, smell and taste of wine. An ideal place for storing wine is a cellar where there is a certain humidity (optimally 70-80%) and where the temperature is constant, ranging between 7 and 13 ˚C. In addition to temperature, foreign smells in the room (sauerkraut, gasoline, paints ...) can also harm the wine, because fragrances can easily penetrate into the bottle. Vibrations such as shaking and knocking should also be avoided because wine loves peace and quiet. Light is also dangerous for the wine. Today, almost every bottle of wine is colored in olive green, because exactly that packaging is the best protection from UV radiation.

Wine bottles that are sealed with a cork must be deposited and stored horizontally so that the cork is always soaked in wine. Otherwise, the cork will become dry, and the air could quickly penetrated and caused undesirable changes. If the cap is metal, plastic or crown, the position of the bottle is then completely irrelevant.

What to do with an open bottle of wine? One temporary solution is vacuum closures for wine that churn out oxygen from the empty part of the bottle. If the wine is vacuumed in this way, and is stored  in the refrigerator, open a bottle of wine can be good for  a couple of days, sometimes longer, depending on how the wine was in the beginning and how it was prepared for bottling. But every bottle of wine that is already open and a little "empty" is short-living, because with air, microbes are getting into bottle too, which cause biological change of wine. So, the best thing to do with open bottle is to drink it "to the bottom".