Preserving Wine

I know that Huevos con Vino has been checking out a cool new preservation system for his wine. And recently Farley over on Wine Outlook is looking to get a pump or something to preserve her wine. The subject seems especially pertinent to me tonight since I am home by myself and really wanted a glass of wine. So I opened a bottle. Now, I love wine, but there is absolutely no way I can drink a whole bottle by myself, even if I wanted to on a work night (now, on a weekend, maybe, since we tend to drink our bottles over an extended period of time, but on a worknight, when I didn’t get home until 6pm and I have to be back at work at 6am, there is just no way).

Someone gave us a wine vacuum pump as a wedding present. We’ve used it only a handful of times. Wine bottles don’t usually last past a night in our house. 🙂 However, the few times we have used it, we’ve had mixed results. It seems to work better with red wine than it does with while wine. The whites always remind me of when you go to a bar and get a glass of wine and you just know that bottle has been in the fridge overnight. The reds seem to fare better, but I guess I would attribute that to the fact that our reds tend to have more aging potential in general than our whites.

Now tonight, I’ve been sipping on a white. And it’s pretty darn tasty. I’m kind of sad that I know it just won’t taste very good tomorrow.

Which brings me to my question: if you ever find yourself with a partial bottle of wine left, what do you do with it?

10 Responses

  1. Cans of inert gas, about 9.95 from most wine stores and you can use it over 100 times. Much better than the pump thing, which only works if you have a fairly full bottle in my experience. Also, remember that leaving anything in the fridge for more than 4 hours pretty much kills the taste. Take it out, pour yourself a glass, and let it warm up a bit before you drink it.

  2. Well first of all I would point out that some reds actually taste better the next night. I agree with Dr. Debs’ suggestion, and I also suggest pouring the leftover wine into a clean smaller bottle so that the new bottle is filled up to the neck, the idea being that you want as little contact with air as you can get. Combining this method with Debs’ is even better.

  3. Hi guys,

    You’d be interested in checking out this storage experiment I did recently with red wine.

    I confirmed several things (and you all touch upon the truth on these issues) regarding amount of air, some reds tasting better with some time, refrigeration.

    I really want to re-enact this experiment again soon to see whether the amount of air or the temperature plays a greater role in storing opened wine.

  4. I am going to conduct an experiment soon that tests the WineKeeper “Keeper” nitrogen tank system against simply corking and storing an opened bottle in the fridge. I am becoming a believer in the Keeper but I want to do some controlled tests first since I love tests.

    Also, those vacuum pumps and the nitrogen spray cans yield mixed results in my experience. I wanted to get the Keeper specifically because it forms an airtight seal at the top of the bottle as soon as you open the bottle, minimizing the possibility of oxygen entering.

    So at this point, if I have a partial bottle of wine, I wonder whether I should buy another Keeper bottle stopper/tap apparatus so I can have multiple open bottles preserved at the same time.

  5. The best solution is to have a few half bottles around for those alone days! Lots of examples, but you have to look (guys like me buy them up for that occasion). You can even keep a clean half bottle around and put your half finished bottle in and Vacuvin it.
    Congrats on a most prolific January of blogging. Cheers!

  6. Thanks for the tips everyone!

    Dr. Debs, I left the bottle I was drinking by myself out on the counter for a while like you suggested, and it definitely helped the flavor (my first sip was not so pleasant!).

    JohnG and Joe, thanks for the half bottle suggestion. I wonder if Matt will consider that a reasonable excuse for me to buy more wine? 😉

    Marcus and Huevos, I look forward to seeing the results of any new experiments you conduct!

  7. Check out the book How and Why to Build a Wine Cellar. It is an entertaining read. As a scientist, he goes through quirky experiments, like excessively vibrating a bottle and blind tasting it vs. a like wine to see if anyone can tell the difference!

  8. Joe-Thanks for the rec! I’ve been on the look out for good wine books to read!

  9. it’s an odd recommendation, so maybe try to find a used copy!

  10. kind of off-topic, but if you need a good wine book, Kevin Zraly’s “Windows on the World Wine Course” is about as good a primer as you kind find. From reading you may be well past most of his “lessons” but I still refer to it time and again.

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