An unopened bottle of wine is still drinkable a few years after their recommended drinking window. Some age-worthy wines not only withstand the test of time, but they also improve! Still, most wines are meant to be consumed young.
Now, once opened, even the most cellar-worthy wines go bad in a matter of days. Storing your opened bottles of wine appropriately guarantees you can enjoy your leftover wine some other time.
Preserving wine is easy with the right wine preserver. Amongst the best alternatives, you have vacuum-sealed wine stoppers. Here’s what you need to know about this technique. There’s no doubt a wine preservation system will increase your wine enjoyment exponentially while reducing the risk of having to throw away ruined wine.
Let’s talk about storing opened bottles of wine the right way, and how to keep wine in good shape for as long as possible. Leftover wine might be rare, but it is a thing, and you don’t want to ruin a single drop!
Why Does Wine Have Such a Short Shelf Life?
Wine has an extraordinarily long shelf life as long as it is unopened, and it’s because the bottle’s contents are protected from air.
Air, or better said, oxygen, oxidizes the wine, as it does with fruit, changing its color, flavor and aroma. Also, many microorganisms need oxygen to thrive, including the acetic bacteria that turn wine into vinegar. As long as there’s no oxygen in contact with the wine, it will last a long time.
Once opened, air finds its way into the bottle, ruining the wine. Keeping air out of the bottle is paramount, and that’s where vacuum seals and wine preserving systems come in.
Preserving Wine, The Right Way
There are many wine preserver systems, but they all work similarly; they keep oxygen away from the wine by pumping out the air or replacing it.
Sophisticated systems like the Coravin fill the bottle’s space with an inert gas. Other systems allow you to pump the air out of the bottle while sealing it with an air-tight stopper.
The question is: is it worth it?
How long does vacuum-sealed wine last? It depends. Not all wine are created equal, meaning you can’t expect the same results from every bottle.
How Long Does Vacuum-sealed Wine Last
If you store an opened bottle of wine in the fridge and cap it only with its cork, it will start to lose organoleptic properties, and already taste differently the day after. The wine, though, might still be enjoyable for 2-3 days.
By pumping out the air inside the bottle and sealing it with an air-tight stopper, you can expect the wine to last a few more days, perhaps up to a week. It’s worth mentioning the tannins, acidity and alcohol levels in the wine make it more resistant to oxidation. Delicate wines will last only a few days, while robust wines might still be enjoyable after a week in the fridge!
The most sophisticated preservation systems, mainly those that use nitrogen, argon or another noble gas, can keep oxygen at bay for weeks!
The Bottom Line
Wine is as perishable as any food and drink and will deteriorate over time, no matter the method of preserving wine. A wine preserver can help you extend the wine’s life for a few days, but don’t expect miracles from vacuum-sealed wine. Of course, preserving wine in any way is better than nothing!
Wine vacuums are often inexpensive, and they usually come with a couple of air-tight bottle stoppers.
Haley's 5-in-1 multi-purpose wine stopper is often referred to as the 'Swiss Army Knife of wine tools'. Its leak-proof design keeps your wine fresh longer. Functions include aerating, pouring, filtering and resealing.
Having one of these around is not a bad idea. Of course, if you have leftover wine often, especially if you drink high-end wine, then invest in a proper wine preserving system.
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