Leftover wine is the butt of many jokes (see meme below), but we are also often asked the question: How do you keep wine fresh after opening?
Check out our tips on storing open wine, it’s actually quite simple!
A little air is often good for the wine (we often recommend decanting or letting the wine breathe), but too much air turns the wine into vinegar. Keeping the wine open helps slow down the oxidation process.
With the following steps, your bottle can last about a week without humiliating him too much. And if you need an open bottle even longer, discover a surprisingly effective option. (You can, of course, forgo keeping the wine open fresh if you want to try other formats, such as boxed or canned wine).
If you want your leftover wine to keep longer than a day – and still taste good – here are two steps to slow down the oxidation process.
First step to keep your wine fresh after opening Suppress oxygen
Oxidation occurs when oxygen comes into contact with the wine. The first thing you should do is try to limit this contact as much as possible.
There are several possibilities here:
- The remaining wine can simply be poured into a smaller bottle of, say, 375 ml. If you uncork the wine and cover it with a lid, you are simply limiting the amount of oxygen that comes into contact with the wine. But if you don’t always drink exactly half a bottle, it’s not very practical.
- Some people swear by these vacuum pumps to remove oxygen from the bottle, but we have very bad experiences with them and do not recommend them.
- An easier method (and our preference) is to buy a bottle of argon gas spray. Argon has a greater density than air and displaces oxygen. By pouring a little into an open bottle of wine and closing the lid, you have effectively created a protective barrier that prevents oxygen from entering the wine. The $10 bottle contains enough argon for at least two months of normal use.
- Finally, if you want to keep your bubbly fresh (and bubbly), check out Capables.
Step 2 to keep the wine open: Inhibition ofoxidation
Once the wine is opened and exposed to oxygen, the oxidation process begins and there is little you can do to stop it. Removing oxygen (step 1) will help, but you will also want to slow down the process you have already started.
It’s incredibly easy – just put it in the fridge! Cold slows down oxidation, so put the opened bottle (yes, even red wines) in the fridge. Bring your reds a few hours before drinking them so they can warm up.
And that’s it for our two-step process to keep wine open!
A final, more expensive but potentially excellent option if you really want to preserve a special bottle is Repour. This vintage has a material in the cork that actively removes oxygen from the bottle and the wine itself, completely stopping the oxidation process. The downside is that you have to buy a new bottle for every one you want to keep. While they are very effective at keeping wine fresh for weeks or even months, they are not very cost effective. (In fact, they work so well that you’ll probably have to decant the wine again when you reopen it).
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