Three Quick Tips for Storing Opened Wine
While there are about five glasses of wine in a 750ml bottle, unfortunately, there is not always time to enjoy them all in one evening. When you have a great wine you’d like to savor over the next day or few, we offer three simple tips to preserve the flavor and aroma.
Oxygen allows the wine to open up and release its aromas, and that’s a good thing when you first pull the cork. However, if your wine is exposed to oxygen for too long, it will start to degrade and oxidate.
The easiest way to preserve your open bottle is to re-seal it with an air-tight stopper — or better yet, the original cork. Though the clean topside of the cork may seem easier to fit back into the bottle, our expert winemakers encourage you to resist the temptation. To reduce the chances of tainting your last few glasses, insert the stained side of the cork that has already been exposed to the wine.
After re-corking your open bottle, the best place for it to go is not the kitchen counter, but the refrigerator. Once opened and exposed, there’s nothing that can stop your wine from breaking down. However, cooler temperatures can considerably slow down the oxidation process — and buy you more time with your favorite Chenin Blanc or Cabernet.
While a standard refrigerator is fine, you’ll probably want to bring your red wines back down to room temperature before drinking. A wine cooler set to about 55 degrees is ideal. This will keep your open bottle cool enough to slow oxidation, but not overly chilled. True wine enthusiasts might consider a wine preservation and cooling system that stores open red and white bottles at ideal temperatures for up to 10 days.
A more low-tech approach to preserving your open bottle of wine is simply moving it to a smaller container. That’s because if you’ve poured half a bottle of wine, the remaining wine is now exposed to a half bottle of air. Air that will flatten the flavors and aromas.
To minimize that air exposure, use a funnel to decant your leftover wine to a 375ml demi or half bottle. Even if there’s some space left for air at the top, it will significantly reduce the ratio of air to wine in the bottle, which means less oxidation. You can often find empty half bottles, which hold two to three delightful glasses of leftover wine, at home crafts and brewing supply stores, or your favorite local winery.