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Saving Leftover Wine

Posted April 5th, 2010 | 0 Comments

They say a glass of wine a day is good for your health so in the absence of drinking with company it's inevitable that we will have leftover wine. That brings up the question of the best ways to store an open bottle of wine. It is rather important in an attempt at maintaining the quality and final taste of the wine because once you remove the cork, oxygen can greatly affect the quality of the wine. Storing conditions do matter and there are a number of things you can do to help in the process.


Refrigeration is key as the cooler temperatures slow down the degradation of the wine so tightly re-corking the bottle and storing it in the fridge is the simplest and most important step. Half bottles of wine are available for purchase and if you happen to have a spare empty half bottle (375 ml), pour the leftover wine into the bottle and re-cork. This way the amount of oxygen that is allowed to come into contact with wine is substantially diminished. 


A rather more debatable method of storage is the use of a hand pump vacuum accessory. There are some that believe the vacuum method to be ineffective and even detrimental causing the wine to become flat and dull. The same argument surrounds the use of a compressed nitrogen device that squirts nitrogen into the bottle and is supposed to displace oxygen. Both have their naysayers and enthusiasts alike and both are good accessories in theory and certainly worth personally trying but there are varying reports on either of their effectiveness.


Another popular storage option for open wine is, believe it or not, in the freezer where individual servings can be frozen in ice cube trays and used at a later date for cooking. And if freezing isn't  for you, why not go ahead and plan a meal cooking with your leftover wine right away? There are many delicious dishes that are made with wine.


One last thing to note is the ideal maximum storing timeline. Some are adamant that  leftover wine be consumed the next day and no longer while others follow a 3-4 day rule. This is where your palette makes the decision but note that older wines will deteriorate in quality much quicker than younger wines. Also, make sure to remove red wine from the fridge a couple of hours before consumption to allow it to come to a suitable temperature. These are just a few tips to ensure your wine experience continues to be even that much more enjoyable. One glass at a time.


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