How do you store an open bottle of wine?
Once a bottle of wine is opened, the oxygen in air starts mixing with the wine and it improves flavor. But it has certain time limit. After that wine becomes dull and flat. It becomes unappealing. The process is called as oxidation.
So the most important thing is to reduce the amount of oxygen entering in the wine bottle. This is done either by removing or replacing the oxygen or by minimizing the surface area of wine.
Tips after opening bottle
Before and after opening the bottle keep it in a refrigerator. When wine is stored at colder temperatures the chemical processes slow down. including the process of oxidation. Wine may remains fresh in fridge for up to 3 to 5 days.
Re-cork or re-cap the wine after every pour.
Keep the open wine bottle out of light.
Once the bottle is opened keep it upright to minimize the surface area exposed to oxygen.
Prevent wine from sudden temperature changes.
White wines and light red wines are more sensitive to oxygen and light. Pinot noir is the example of most sensitive wine. Organic wines or sulfite free wines are also sensitive to oxygen.
Methods to preserve wine
- Transfer the remaining wine in another clean empty small bottle
If you think you will only be able to finish half the bottle, first of all transfer the half of the wine in another clean empty half bottle and cork or cap this bottle immediately. Due to this the surface area exposed to oxygen is minimized.
- Vacuum system
These are systems where the oxygen is removed from the bottle and the bottle is sealed. There are several products in the market. The system creates low pressure headspace in the wine bottle. These products usually consist of a rubber stopper and a hand-operated pump.
There is controversy about this method that it creates partial vacuum means wine still interact with oxygen. Also some subtle flavors of wine are pumped away. But there is no scientific evidence for this.
- Blanket system
These systems work on the principle of blanketing the wine with a gas heavier than oxygen to form a protective layer between the wine and air. This usually contains a mixture of nitrogen, helium, or argon. Several products are available that allow you to pump this gas mixture into the bottle and then quickly replace the cork.
The main drawback of this system is that, it is not cost effective. The products have high cost and also you have to refill the pump regularly with inert gas.