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When enjoying a bottle of wine with company, more often than not the bottle is consumed, eliminating the need to store the remainder for another day. But what if you want to enjoy a glass of wine and save the rest for a later date?How do you store the wine and how long will it last? The key to extending the shelf life is to remove or reduce the amount of oxygen in contact with the wine. Oxygen can be a double edged sword when it comes to wine. Open a bottle and let it breath for an hour and the wine can improve, leave it for a few days and it can turn to vinegar.

A few basics such as re-corking the wine after every glass poured and storing the open bottle in a cool, dark location can help. Opened wine, even red, can be stored in the refrigerator. When stored at colder temperatures the chemical processes slow down, including the process of oxidation that takes place when wine is exposed to oxygen. Storing the wine in an upright position rather than lying down will reduce the surface area of the wine, thus minimizing the amount of oxygen in contact with the wine.

Wine Storage Options

Vacuum Pump

There are a couple of other options available on the market. The first and probably most common is the vacuum pump. This system employs a reusable cork with a one way valve that is placed in the bottle. A small hand pump is then placed on the cork and the oxygen is pumped out of the bottle.

Argon Gas

The second option sounds more like a chemistry experiment.  Argon gas has been available in larger, commercial applications for some time and is now available in aerosol cans for home use. Argon gas is heavier than oxygen and when injected into the bottle it settles on top of the wine, displacing the oxygen and creating a protective barrier over the surface of the wine. I personally have not tried either system and can not comment on their effectiveness for preserving the wine.

Recently I read an article on a web site that suggested using a clean, plastic water bottle to store your left over wine. The idea was to fill the water bottle to the top with wine. Squeeze the bottle until the wine reaches the very top of the bottle and then screw on the cap. By doing so, you're expelling all air from the bottle. The wine can then be stored in the fridge for several days. Maybe there is some logic behind the bag-in-box method of packaging wine. Much like the water bottle, all air is removed from the bag and the wine remains in an oxygen-free environment.

What ever method you use and believe in is up to you however my theory is just drink it…Problem solved.


Tags: Wine Storage

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