Experienced drinkers of wines such as Pinot Noir know that if the bottle is past its prime, it may take on the disagreeable smell of rotten eggs when uncorked. Hopefully they also know the explanation from the American Chemistry Society. Their research has shown that stale wine has an odor simply because sulfur compounds in the wine (called thiols) form when the wine is exposed to oxygen. And they have offered a sure fix to the dilemma:

The assault on your olfactory will cease if you drop a clean (and we mean really clean) copper (and we do mean *copper) penny into each glass of wine. Stir briefly, then remove the penny. Copper reacts with the thiols, forming harmless, odorless copper sulfide. One sniff of your glass will prove the process eliminates disagreeable odors. One drink will prove the wine is not only drinkable, but will taste as wine should. Hats off to the American Chemistry Society, and Science in general!

*Use only pennies dated from 1909 to 1982, as they are 95 percent copper. Pennies issued after 1982 will be ineffective, as they contain minimal copper, made of 97.5 percent zinc.


Your favorite Wine of the Month Club salutes Helen Wheat, who worked in the vineyards of her son’s winery until she was 93. She then affixed labels to wine bottles there until she was 97. When asked to reveal her secret to living an unusually long and productive life, she gave credit to her nightly glass of wine. Sadly, in February of 2015, at the age of 113, she passed away, according to USA Today. We believe there is wine in Heaven. Raise your glass, Helen, and enjoy your much-deserved Heavenly Retirement.

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Tracie Burket
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