Take heart wine lovers, an opened, but unfinished, bottle of wine need not end in a tragedy of muted notes and oxidised acidity.
Here’s how to keep it singing until tomorrow:
NO ROOM TO BREATHE
Oxygen is the not-so-magical ingredient that turns wine into vinegar. So, it stands to reason that the key to preserving the life of your wine lies in letting as little oxygen come into contact with it as possible. With this in mind:
- Re-cork the wine after every pour and as soon as possible.
- Keep any open wine out of direct sunlight and fluctuating temperatures. The fridge is usually best.
- Do not store opened wine on its side. This only increases the surface area exposed to oxygen.
ARE YOU IN THE HABIT OF STORING OPENED BOTTLES OF WINE?
Then, best you invest in a vacuum pump. These nifty gadgets are relatively inexpensive and help to preserve wine by partially vacuuming out the oxygen left in the bottle. If you’re a real enthusiast, the top-of-the-range Coravin uses inert gas to impeccably preserve any wine. It provides the perfect excuse to taste your favourite wines, without having to finish the whole bottle.
WHAT ABOUT SPARKLING WINE?
Many people prefer bubbly that’s been opened the previous day. Why? Well, it gives the wine a chance to off-gas and cut down on any overly intense carbonation. However you choose to store it, never try to vacuum preserve bubbles of any kind - it will suck the effervescence out of it. Rather, grab a champagne wine stopper. This will help to keep your wine sparkling for two to three days. If you’re fresh out of champagne stoppers, then improvise by sticking a teaspoon, upside down, in the neck of the bottle. It’s worth a try.
HOW LONG CAN AN OPENED BOTTLE OF WINE STAY DRINKABLE?
With the right kind of help, a red wine can be stored open for four to five days. Reds tend to age more graciously than their lighter counterparts after being opened.