Today I did a little channel surfing. While wandering around I found a program called, "Enjoying Wine" on WYBE, a PBS station in Philadelphia. It's fundraising time at this station, so the programming is a little different, and sometimes a little better than their usual fare. In this case, it was.
Mark Phillips, the host, was discussing wine. Unfortunately, I tuned in halfway through and missed a lot of it. His studio audience was seen sipping wine during the lecture. One of his points was that you should not feel awkward about returning a bottle of wine at a restaurant. If it's not as you expected, or bad, just return it. The restaurant won't lose any money, they can sell it by the glass at the bar, or if it's bad, return it to the company.
He had some other suggestions that I found very surprising. If you are serving white wine, take it out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving, if your choice is red wine, put it in the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving. If you happen to have a bottle of cheap white wine, transfer it to a carafe and serve fresh from the refrigerator. The cold temperature will mask the flavor of the wine.
He can't understand why anyone would have leftover wine, but suggested that if you do, transfer it to a smaller bottle such as a 16 oz. water bottle and seal it tight. Air is the enemy of wine. He also said that wine can be frozen. Fill a container 3/4 full and put it in the freezer. Light and heat age wines between 8 and15 times faster, so keep it out of the kitchen and in a dark place if you don't have a wine refrigerator.
The one thing that really surprised me is the suggestion that if your red wine is too cold, put about 5-6 oz. into a glass and microwave for 10 seconds. My guess is that you should not put it in your good crystal for this.