Wines, the fruity beverage from grapes, is a must-have in any party or special occasion. It can be served during luncheons, happy hour or dinner. This is among the reasons why some people store it in their homes. Unfortunately, many wine owners do not know how to preserve wine. And more often than not, they do not know how to store this beverage after the bottle has been opened, which results in bad tasting wine.
Storing wine bottles regardless if they have been opened or not is no rocket science. Fortunately, one can preserve this alcoholic drink easily and properly even at home. Read on for some tips.
Why Opened Wines Can Taste and Smell Like Vinegar?
Wines, as mentioned, need to be stored properly whether they have been opened or not. One, however, has to remember that there is some difference in storing sealed and opened bottles. Wine owners also have to realize that opened bottles require additional care than unopened ones.
Unfortunately, many people just buy or receive wines, open them and just let the bottles be. They drink the wine again and end up disappointed as the beverage already smells and tastes like vinegar. What a waste! Well, the vinegar-like aroma and flavor are due to improper storage.
Yes, one has to understand how wines go bad to realize the importance of storing them properly. And there are two reasons why many wine bottles end up tasting and smelling like the vinegar you use for cooking: metabolization and oxidation.
Wines that have been opened go to waste due to the alcohol that has metabolized into acetic acid bacteria. Additionally, when the wine comes into contact with oxygen, which is unavoidable, its pigmentation decreases, and it loses its aromas and flavors.
Both metabolization and oxidation are chemical reactions due to exposure to high temperature and air. This is why there should be more effort in preserving opened bottles of wines.
So, what are the proper ways of storing wine bottles that have been partially consumed? Here are some tips.
How to Preserve Wine?
Shelf Life Counts
Wines are not created the same way. Each type has its characteristics. As such, different kinds of wines also have different shelf lives after opened.
Sparkling wines like champagne do not have a long shelf life, unlike other wines. They are best consumed after opening because of their bubbles. If there are some leftovers, then sparkling wines must be consumed in the next three days.
Full-bodied white wines and red wines basically have the same shelf life. They can be left in the fridge for about three to five days before they start tasting like vinegar. On the other hand, sweet, light and rose wines can last longer at five to seven days.
Of all the wines, the fortified wines have the longest shelf life since they have brandy. Fortified wines can last four weeks or up to 28 days.
The Fridge or Cooler Is a Friend
Wine bottles that have not been opened do not require to be placed inside a refrigerator or cooler. They only need to be placed in a cool and dark place, so their taste and aroma won’t change over time.
However, the same cannot be said of the opened wines. They are best placed either in the fridge or cooler. This is because opened wines bottles are prone to more chemical reactions such as metabolization and oxidation. If you want to avoid having leftover wines that taste and smells like vinegar, then place them in coolers or fridge.
Location of the Cooler and Fridge Matters
The fridge and coolers should always be away from direct sunlight. This is especially true for those who have stored wine bottles in these appliances.
A cooler or a fridge will have difficulty maintaining the cold temperature if they are placed in a warm place
The Vacuum Pump Is an Option
Wine experts who are asked how to preserve wine that has been opened will advise using a vacuum pump. This is because the tool helps in creating a good seal that prevents oxygen from entering the bottle. This in turn, also reduces the air that is found inside the container. Preventing air from entering the bottle and reducing oxygen that is present will slow down the oxidation process of the beverage.
The Importance of Cork
Unfortunately, many people take the cork for granted, thinking that this piece is a mere accessory. On the contrary, the corks have a major role to play in preserving the freshness of the wine.
Make sure to put back the cork after each pour. The cork, after all, was designed to seal the bottle. Failing to put it back after each pour is like inviting air to enter the bottle, which is the last thing you want.
The cork should also be moist and prevented from drying out completely. This is crucial for wines that have a long shelf life like the fortified wines. The brandy content in this kind of wine will dry out the cork.
Storing Wines on Their Sides
Wine racks are designed to store the bottles on their sides. This is not just for aesthetic reasons. Storing wine bottles this way helps keep the cork moist.
If there has been a considerable amount of wine consumed, then consider transferring the remaining beverage in a smaller container or bottle.
As mentioned repeatedly, we have to remember that air is a catalyst for the chemical changes of the beverage. It is best to pour the leftover wine into a smaller container to reduce the amount of air. It is also highly advisable to use a funnel when transferring the alcoholic beverage.
Don’t Let Them Go to Waste
Wines require special care especially if the bottle has been opened. Paying little attention to its storage can prove to be detrimental as the beverage can become highly similar to the aroma and flavor of vinegar.
Fortunately, the rules of preserving wines once opened are simple. The owner only has to know the shelf life of a particular variant, place it in a cooler or fridge and keep the cork in place. There is also an option to use a vacuum pump or transfer the remaining drink in a smaller container.
Wines even if they are just leftovers are still great drinks as long as one knows how to preserve them properly.