Opening a new bottle of wine is always fun. Especially when it’s a good one – just the aroma alone can get your senses going. Unfortunately, the flavor and the aroma you love do not last forever. After a few hours, they change. Why? Because the wine has been exposed to too much oxygen.
Oxygen is not always an enemy of wine. As a matter of fact, when the wine bottle has just been newly uncorked, oxygen is necessary to allow the wine to breathe and open up. Here is when the flavor soften and mellow a bit while the fruity profile is enhanced. Wines with tannins can generally benefit more from the breathing. This process, however, happens only for a short period of time – depends on the wine. Everything goes downhill afterwards. Precisely why it is crucial to learn how to properly preserve the wine and store it when you don’t finish the whole bottle.
Two Basic Things To Consider And Keep Handy
- Wine Decanter
Nope, you are not going to store the leftover wine in wine decanter. The decanter is for the portion that you are going to drink. If you are going to let your wine breathe before drinking, a wine decanter is always useful. Pour the portion of the wine that you are going to drink or serve and immediately recork the bottle. Not every wine needs a decanting and if that’s your case, just recork the bottle every time after you pour some in your glass.
- Wine Stopper
Recorking wine to be stored away is a given. In practice, though, trying to get the original cork back into the bottle can sometimes be a pain. Either the cork just won’t give in or is simply already damaged during the uncorking process (regardless how much care and how good the corkscrew is, this kind of things still happens once in a while. *sigh*). That is when a wine stopper comes in handy. They are inexpensive so there is no reason to force a damaged cork – with hole even, back into the bottle.
Where To Store Opened Wine Bottle
Now that you recork the bottle, time to find a place to store it. Never ever leave leftover wine on the kitchen counter or somewhere at room temperature for a long period of time. No, not even with our [wine bottle holder]. Doesn’t matter how nice it looks. Aesthetic won’t save you here. Treat leftover wine like your leftover cooked food. Normally, if you have leftover from dinner or lunch, you will put them away instead of leaving them on the dining table or kitchen counter, won’t you? You must do so with wine.
Best place to store the opened wine? Refrigerator *gasp*.
“What?! I thought you said refrigerator is not the ideal place to store wine???”
Yeah, we did say that – for wines that have never been uncorked – different case once you open them. Although refrigeration will not stop the oxidation, the colder temperature in the fridge will actually slow down the process. Your wine will still drinkable and taste decent for 3 to 5 days. This is still a much better option than leaving it out and have it turn to vinegar.
Our favorite place to store wine is the refrigerator door shelf. This is because when storing an opened wine, you need to keep it upright (vertically) to limit the surface area from oxygen exposure. Since our fridge shelves do not have enough space in between to accommodate for the wine bottle’s height and we are reluctant to put in on the very top shelf nearest to the light, the door shelf it is. Find the right spot for yours, just make sure don’t expose it to light too much.
Products For Wine Preservation
There are a number of products available for wine preservation. The most popular one is the Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump. The way to use it is by placing the included rubber stopper in the bottle and then use the pump to extract the air from the wine bottle. It also comes with a “click” sound indicator to tell you when you have reached the optimum vacuum level.
Other choice is to add inert gas into the opened bottle. The inert gas is the combination of argon, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. This gas will float on top of the wine and create a barrier that keeps the oxygen from spoiling the wine. Not hard to use either. This Private Preserve can, for example, comes with an extension tube for you to insert into the bottle. Spray the recommended doses and immediately seal the bottle with a wine stopper.
Regardless what method you choose to preserve your opened wine, it is best to keep the wine no longer than 3-5 days. Don’t let it wasted away – drink it while it is still fresh. If you cannot finish it yourself, it is a perfect excuse to invite a good friend or two for a drink. Enjoy an excellent vino while catching up with each other. Wine tastes better when you share with friends.