Posts Tagged ‘oxidation’

Keeping open bottles of wine

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

I was in Brooklyn today doing some work with wine and at the end of the day I met an old friend for a beer (hey – they say it takes a lot of beer to make a good wine).  As we were parting ways I gave my friend about 4 open bottles I had been working with that day.  He thanked me for the gift and mentioned that he would use them that weekend with family.  To which I replied that he better get to them before the weekend as they will likely be oxidized by the weekend and no longer good.

Which leads to today’s topic.  How long can one keep an open bottle of wine??

There are many answers here and I suppose the only truly important answer is that you can keep an open bottle of wine as long as you still enjoy drinking it.  BUT…oxidation does kick in by day 2 (if not sooner with older wines) and the more sensitive one is to oxidation the more likely they will detect this in a wine and no longer appreciate/enjoy said wine.

SO, you want to keep a bottle past the night (or day) you open it.  What to do?

Yes, you can recork it and refrigerate it.  That works to some degree as the refrigerator slows the oxidation process.  But I do not like this method as there is still oxygen in the bottle.

How about that gadget that removes oxygen from the bottle?

Sure, this works well enough.  But there is no way this cheapo gadget fully removes the oxygen.  And all the pumping also tends to remove many of the aromas that make wine so special.

What about inserting gas into wine?  They are selling an at home version of an inert gas these days that allows consumers to insert gas into their open wine bottles.  This gas is heavier than air and keeps the oxygen away from the wine, in turn preventing the wine from oxidation.  But how many of us really want to start messing with gasses????…

Which leads to my preferred method.  This is a trick I learned while working at some wineries.  I like to pour the wine out of its original bottle into a smaller bottle.  Make sure it is filled to the top (thus removing all oxygen).  And simply re-cork it.

I like using old 500ml. or 375ml. wine bottles.  But this can also simply be done with an old plastic water bottle.  The water bottle might actually be the best trick as you don’t have to have an exact amount like you do for the glass bottles.

With the water bottle you can simply pour in your leftover wine.  Screw the cap on – but not completely tight.  Then gently squeeze the bottle to remove any air (oxygen).  And when the air is all out and your crushed water bottle has nothing in it but wine close the cap until it is tightly closed.

A pretty cool trick that works WONDERS!

Happy previously opened wine tasting!