Alright, I’ll admit, I have found myself facing this predicament once, or twice in my storied wine drinking career (shame on me!)
However, with the help of a few resourceful wine preservation tips, ye olde drinking pride was quickly restored and those few remaining glasses finished up in good form with head held high the following evening!
So, let’s begin at the root of the problem. What is it that turns great wine into vinegar literally overnight? Yep, you guessed it! Our good friend, Air…
Air is beneficial to most wines when first opened (see our post on Getting The Most Out Of That Next Bottle)
However it can quickly change sides in a day, or two becoming your open bottle’s worst nightmare!
But, fear not my friends because…
Just follow a few of our wine preservation tips and you’ll soon be master of your very own wine domain quicker than you can say “malolactic fermentation”…
Tip 1: Keep and reuse the original cork, or screwcap
If you haven’t invested in a wine preservation gadget, your bottle’s cork, or screwcap is probably the best ‘re-corking’ option you’ve got.
Of course, if the cork, or screwcap is destroyed when opening (Houston we have a problem!) this tip is a no-go. So, be mindful and gentle with that corkscrew or twist!
Tip 2: Decant ½ the bottle and place the remainder into the refrigerator
Know your limits (who are we kidding?) If you know you’re not going to finish an entire bottle in one sitting, immediately pour off and decant ½ of it for now, then gently replace the cork, or screwcap on the remaining ½ (still in the bottle) and place it in the refrigerator for later.
Tip 3: Stand the bottle up in a cool, dark place
Counter tops are generally too warm, especially if you live in a city like our hometown of Miami. As mentioned in Tip 2, the fridge is ideal – just don’t freeze your wine! About 55 degrees is just right for storage. Why standing up? Because now that air has been introduced, the wine may become tainted from the cork. Also, it’s just common sense – you have an open bottle half filled with liquid – why would you store it sideways and risk it spilling out?
Tip 4: Invest in a Wine preservation device
You want more firepower and guaranteed reusability, most definitely invest a few bucks in a wine preservation device.
Generally these devices work on 2 basic principles:
1. Removing air in the bottle to leave a vacuum
2. Putting an inert gas (usually nitrogen with a little carbon dioxide) onto the surface of the wine
I personally recommend the air removal/vacuum devices. Have used a few and always get great results. They’re quick, clean, easy to use and more cost effective than the gas options.
Tip 5: Share truly grand bottle in one sitting
If you’re lucky enough to own a truly grand, or rare bottle and the occasion is right, there is no question, the best preservation method upon opening is to have no preservation method.
Just drink that bad boy down! Highly recommend inviting a few good friends over to share! Of course, I can always be made available with advanced notice.