How to Store Leftover Wine

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007 at 12:00 am

wine bottlesHow many times have you been in this situation? You opened a bottle of wine for a small dinner with friends. You got to enjoy it with a great dinner and during the customary after dinner small talk. But when the table had been cleared and the plates had been put away, you notice that bottle of wine was not finished. The problem with wine is that when you have opened the bottle, the wine inside is continuously being exposed to oxygen which eventually leads to spoilage.

When kept too long wines will not taste that good and instead will taste dull or sour and have far less aroma than it used to when you first opened the bottle.

The time before the wine completely spoils depends on the age, strength and character of the wine and the manner of storage. It can spoil in a matter of hours or can still be good to drink even after a few days. Remember that every time you open and pour the contents of the bottle, more oxygen mixes into the wine left in the bottle. Not to mention that fact that every time you open the bottle the aroma and flavor escapes from the wine.

A general rule is that young and strong wines with high alcohol contents can last longer than older, light-colored and light-flavored wines. So it would be best to finish a whole bottle of older wines in one sitting so you could get it better.

Although, there are techniques where you can prolong the spoilage of wines left over in bottles. One way is to immediately re-cork the bottle every time you pour a glass. Don’t allow the bottle to be exposed to oxygen over long periods of time. After you pour wine in a glass, put back the cork immediately.

You could refrigerate the leftover bottle for this will help slow down the spoilage process. Just remember to store the bottle upright to minimize the amount of wine inside the bottle exposed to oxygen.

Some techniques are complicated and may require specialized equipment and devices. For example, one way to minimize oxidation is to connect the bottles in a dispensing system that uses neutral, non-oxygen gases to displace the wine. If you have the money and space at home for such an equipment, you can buy one for your personal use. But for most of us that can’t afford such costly devices, our next best friend is the cork stopper.

Also, remember that the less wine left in the bottle, the faster it will spoil thus the quicker you should finish the bottle. Less wine means more room for air, causing faster oxidation process. A great tip would be to transfer the contents of a bigger bottle into a smaller one. This helps prolong the wine.

But if you don’t want all these trouble, you can always finish the bottle in one sitting.


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