5 Tips for Storing Opened Wine

These are the best ways to preserve the last few glasses of your open bottle.

Wine Enthusiast polled its editors and other wine pros on the best ways to preserve the last few glasses of your open bottle.

Re-cork It Right

The first rule of preserving your wine is to replace the cork correctly. While the “clean” side may seem easier to fit in the bottle, resist. The stained side has already been exposed to the wine, and it tasted fine. That “clean” side may not be so clean, and it can taint what you’re planning to drink in a day or two. 

Use Half Bottles

Air flattens your wine, lessening flavors and aromas. To minimize air exposure, use a funnel to pour the remaining vino into a screw-cap half bottle. Even if there’s a little air at the top, it’s far less than in a regular bottle.

Refrigerate It

It’s amazing how often people will keep leftover wine on the counter after they’ve recorked it. You wouldn’t do that with food, so don’t with wine. The cool temp can’t stop exposed wine from breaking down, but it can slow the process significantly. 

Don’t “Open” It 

If popping high-end bottles is what you call Wednesday (or you’re itching to taste those gems in your cellar), it may be time for a Coravin. This device, which looks much like a Rabbit opener, pierces the cork with a needle and tops the bottle with argon gas. Pour what you want, remove the needle and the cork will seal naturally. Many restaurants use it to sell top-shelf wines by the glass. There are other wine preservation options, as well. $299, wineenthusiast.com

Finish It

Look, there are roughly five glasses of wine in a regular 750-ml bottle. If you and yours have two glasses each and split that last glass—all while eating a decent-sized dinner—it’s not bad. In fact, according to recent studies, 1–3 glasses a day may improve your heart health. 

Glossary of Wine Terms

Published on May 15, 2015
Topics: Hosting Tips, Wine Basics, Wine Trends

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