How to keep wine fresh after opening

people toasting with glasses of red wine

You can always just finish the bottle, but sometimes it’s not the best idea. Kelsey Knight / Unsplash

Whether you enjoyed a glass of wine after work or overestimated how much your guests drank at your dinner, sometimes there comes a time when you end the night with an open bottle of good wine.

Leftovers are always welcome, but when it comes to wine, this is not very good news, as the taste of the drink changes quickly if you do not store it properly. Fortunately, after centuries of using this grape elixir, there are some hacks and gadgets that help preserve the life of an open bottle.

Even if the taste has changed, drinking an open bottle of wine is not a health hazard, as the alcohol level is high enough to prevent the growth of dangerous microorganisms.

“That’s why wine has become such a big part of human society and culture – it’s usually safe to drink and lasts a long time,” said Amanda Stewart, an associate professor of food science and technology in Virginia.

Having said that, you won’t have to put up with the unpleasant taste of a spoiled bottle of wine just because it doesn’t make you sick.

“Oxygen is the enemy of wine,” says Casley Gerwaldt, a certified sommelier and founder of the club wine By the Stem. She explains that the effects of oxygen on wine cause chemical reactions that convert alcohol to acetaldehyde. This chemical is the result of the breakdown of alcohol molecules by liver enzymes in our body, and also gives the wine the taste of vinegar.

But wines with a higher alcohol content (15.5 percent and above) will stay fresh longer. Another factor to consider is acidity, as pH controls the rate of oxidation. This means that the more acidic the wine, the lower the pH and the longer it spoils. Vintage varieties, such as NZ Sauvignon Blanc or dried roses, are great examples.

How to prolong the life of an open bottle of wine

Usually an open bottle of red wine remains virtually unchanged for four to five days, while white and pink will retain their flavor for two to three. But with proper care, you can continue to drink a delicious mixture.

Always reseal

After drinking the first round, the wine lover should close the open bottle again to prevent oxygen. Even if you plan to leave the bottle for further drinking, meanwhile close the lid or insert the wine cork.

If the plug can be reused, make sure you do not turn it over and return it to the same position it was in. Jenna Heller, a certified sommelier from Miami, explains that if you put the cork upside down, the wine is affected by the side of the cork that was facing the world, and any dust or debris that may have accumulated on it.

“It can completely change all the wine,” she says.

Alternatively, choose clean reusable plugs for red, white and pinkewith. For open bottles of bubble wine, choose a special topper for sparkling wine, as it can help the hiss to last up to two days instead of 24 hours.

Store the open bottle vertically in the refrigerator

Once your bottle is fixed, put it in the fridge – yes, even red wines.

Placing the bottle in a vertical position will not only avoid spillage, but also prevent the impact of oxygen on the wine, as the liquid has a larger surface area during laying. And don’t worry if you don’t have a wine refrigerator. A conventional refrigerator offers a lower temperature, which keeps the wine fresh longer.

Next time, just take out this foam noir and let it stand until it reaches the desired drinking temperature before serving. This process will probably take 30 to 45 minutes, but do not wait until it reaches the ideal room temperature.

“It’s often quite warm in the kitchen,” says Stewart. “The red wine that stands on your kitchen counter, especially in summer, can be much warmer than the ideal serving temperature.”

Pour the remaining wine into a closed glass container

To further limit the effects of oxygen, Stewart suggests pouring leftover wine into a small glass container that can be tightly closed. Then store in the refrigerator. Bottles with a swing top and jars of meat are perfect.

Raise your wine device

If you want to upgrade from the classic topper you received as a holiday gift, Herwaldt swears by the Repour Wine Saver, which injects argon into an open bottle. This gas is heavier than oxygen, so it sits on the wine and acts as a barrier without affecting its taste or aroma. Herwaldt claims that the device keeps her bottles fresh for two months.

Vacuum the air

The vacuum pump for wine removes oxygen from the open bottle to keep it longer – this is the same principle that underlies most products packaged under vacuum.

But this method is not ideal because pumps can only remove half the air from a bottle, says Andrew Waterhouse, a chemist at the Robert Mondavi Institute of Wine and Food Science at the University of California.

Pack open wine

Following the same principle that underlies packaged wine (which preserves the quality of the liquid for weeks), Heller pours his unfinished wine into PlatyPreserve bags. These gadgets allow you to squeeze the remnants of oxygen from the lid and tightly close the wine.

“I think it keeps the bottles of wine fresh for five or six days after they are opened,” she says. “It’s still delicious.”

Spend on Coravin

Anyone who often throws away good wine leftovers should consider investing in a Coravin wine preservation system.

Starting at $ 100, this device inserts a needle into a cork without displacing the material, which allows you to pour the wine while the bottle remains closed. Once the needle comes out, the plug returns to its normal shape, preventing the entry of oxygen. Restaurants rely on this system, which, according to Waterhouse, can keep an open bottle fresh for weeks to be able to sell high-quality bottles of wine by the glass.

Heller uses her Coravin for dessert wines because she and her guests consume only a small amount at a time. “It’s definitely more of an investment, but it’s something I use when I have something that I know I’m not going to finish, and it has some sentimental value or has a great price,” she says. “It’s really great for that.”

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