Whether your usual dinner partner is out of town or you just want to open several varietals throughout the evening, you may find yourself with leftover wine. There are great tools available to ensure that your wine tastes just as good a week later as it did when you first removed the cork.
Wine’s ultimate “frenemy,” a small amount of oxygen is critical to proper aging (one of many reasons winemakers choose natural cork stoppers) but too much can lead to oxidation. This results in a flat, off-tasting wine which is what we’re left with when leaving an open bottle of wine on the counter overnight. How do you keep the wine you’ve just sampled in the same state that the winemaker intended? There are better solutions than simply pushing the cork or screwcap back in place.
Finding a balance of oxygen can be important, because when serving wines, decanting briefly can enhance flavors, along with aeration techniques like vigorous swirling in the glass. It is when too much has been allowed into the wine that problems begin.
Here are four great products designed to keep your uncorked bottle of wine in tip-top condition:
Vacu Vin takes a hands-on approach to removing air / oxygen from your open wine bottle through the use of a pump and stopper system. It’s a simple, affordable way to help avoid oxidation in your wine.
To use the Vacu Vin Wine Saver:
- Insert one of the included rubber stoppers into the neck of your wine bottle
- Use the hand pump to extract the oxygen for your bottle
- Keep pumping until you hear a click, indicating that you’ve successfully removed most of the oxygen from the bottle
ArT uses Argon, which is a natural, odorless, inert gas that’s heavier than air, to displace the oxygen in your wine bottle. It’s actually the third most abundant gas in the earth’s atmosphere. When you use the ArT Wine Preserver, Argon sits atop your wine, keeping oxygen out, and the wine’s flavors and aromas in. The system comes with enough to preserve approximately 40 standard sized 750ml bottles of wine.
To use ArT:
- Spray a 2-second dose of Argon into your open wine bottle
- Insert the re-usable bottle stopper (included)
Invented by a chemist, Repour stoppers have a material inside that continuously absorbs oxygen from your bottle of wine. As soon as you insert the stopper, it begins absorbing any oxygen in the bottle. As a result, your wine will stay fresh for days, weeks, even months at a time. Sommeliers and restaurant managers with extensive by-the-glass programs have recommended the Repour Wine Saver as a simple, highly effective means of keeping wine fresh.
Using a Repour stopper couldn’t be easier:
- Remove the foil tab from the bottom of the stopper
- Insert stopper firmly into your open bottle of wine
Coravin takes a slightly different approach than the other systems on this list; you don’t actually open your bottle of wine. Instead, a medical-grade needle is inserted through the cork, allowing you to pour out a serving or more of wine. At the same time, Coravin injects Argon, a natural gas, into the bottle, helping to ensure no additional oxygen comes in contact with the wine. It’s ideal for collectors and connoisseurs who want to check in on the development of those special, age-worthy bottles, without actually opening the bottle (the thinnest needle should be used for this purpose). It is the gold standard in wine preservation systems.
Using a Coravin Wine Access System:
- Clamp the system onto your wine bottle
- Push down to insert the needle into the cork (stopper accessory required for screwcap systems)
- Tilt down into a wine glass to begin pouring (older systems have a trigger button)
- When finished, simply unclamp from the bottle and quickly rinse the needle and spigot
With the right wine preservation system, you can significantly enhance your enjoyment of wine, while protecting the investment you’ve made in your cellar. Ready to get started? Shop at IWAWine.com now.
About the Author: Scott Sandberg is a freelance writer/marketer and wine lover based in the Jacksonville, FL, area.