It is a steak kind of night for you, and you pair it with your favorite, freshly opened bottle of wine. Such a classic match indeed. After eating up your steak and mashed potato, you drank just one glass of wine to polish off your dinner. We just could not imagine how perfect your dinner went. Of course, you want to save the remaining wine for later or the next day. But, how to store open wine?
Usually, what you do is re-cork the bottle and store it in your fridge. Does doing so will do your wine justice? Will it still taste as flavorful as when you first drank it? Maybe yes, but most likely not.
Wines are among our simple pleasures in life, and we do not want to waste any unfinished bottle as much as possible. There is also a variety of wines on the market that we get to pick what suits our moods, tastes, and even budget. That said, it is only right to understand that they are processed in different ways. Thus, they differ in storage requirement.
Once you open a bottle of wine, it gets exposed instantly to a significant amount of air which may affect its quality. This is where wine coolers and wine preservers come in handy. But, not all wine lovers would practically spend money on these tools. You would not want to dump your leftover wine down the sink either. If you are caught up in this dilemma, then this article is for you! Sit back, relax, and read on.
Different Types of Wine and Their Storage Requirement
As previously mentioned, there are different types of wine; each requires different post-open storage duration.
- Sparkling Wines – 1-3 days
- Light White and Rose Wines – 5-7 days
- Red and Full-Bodied White Wine – 3-5 days
- Fortified wines – 28-31 days
How to Store Open Wine?
One way to preserve wine for several days up to a couple of weeks is to insert non-toxic gas into the opened bottle to remove all of the oxygen. This, however, could be pricey. Here is how to do it without burning holes into your pockets:
In the Fridge
Open wines should be stored in the fridge as it somewhat helps to slow the oxidation process, especially for red wines. If you are planning to drink the leftover on a later day, then take the wine out from the fridge and let it sit for an hour or until it is back to its normal temperature.
Wine coolers are better storage tools as they are not as cool as your regular refrigerator and will not dry out the cork quickly.
Note: If you have not opened a bottle of wine yet, then there is no need to refrigerate it.
Avoid reusing the cork as it may contaminate the wine. Better yet, do not use the same cork at all. If you are an avid wine-drinker, then we highly suggest for you to invest in wine stoppers for that air-tight seal. These prevent air from coming in and out of the bottle. If wine stoppers are not your thing, then a small piece of plastic or cling wrap secured by a rubber band will do the job too.
Upright or Tilted
The cork and the screw cap are among the most common tool used to seal wine bottles. A corked wine is positioned sideways, so the content itself keeps in contact with the cork making it expand. This helps seal the bottle firmly and minimizes the exposure of the surface area to oxygen.
On the other hand, screw-capped wines are better stored upright. This way no air gets into the bottle. One of the advantages of this wine-sealing technique is that it is easy to open.
Into the Cold, Dark Place
Wines are contained in tinted bottles for a reason. When exposed to sunlight or other forms of heat and light, it can hasten the oxidation process and can cause discoloration. Whether you have an open or unopened bottle of wine, keep it from direct light and heat.
Sometimes, Smaller Is Better
Again, it is all about the oxygen. Transferring leftover wine from its original, regular-sized bottle to a smaller container will help protect your wine from oxygen. Not to mention, it will not eat up much space in your fridge. It is important that you do it as fast as you could with the use of a funnel. You can also transfer your wine by siphoning. This removes any undesirable sediments.
Mason Jars. If you do not want to use fancy tools, then a mason jar will do just fine. Pour the wine into the jar and fill it as close to the borderline as you possibly can. Do not worry because the rings and lids on the jar make an airtight closure. With this type of jar, your wine could be stored and kept in good condition for as long as 3-5 days.
Wine Tips: Wines sitting in your fridge for days can be used for cooking. Try poached eggs and drunken pasta, to name a few dishes. Yum yum!
Leftover Wines Need Not to Go to Waste
Stop feeling sad or guilty about leftover wines. Learning how to store open wines to keep their flavor and aroma fresh as long as possible need not be rocket science. The trick is to keep the oxygen out of the bottle. The basic and simplest ways to do so are through recorking and making use of your fridge. Just remember not to use the dry side of the same cork, or not use the same cork at all to avoid contaminating the wine. The position, container, and storage area matter too.
Keep these five things in mind, and you will get to enjoy your wine longer. Although the best way is still to consume all of it upon opening. If not by yourself, then call a friend who can use a drink or two. Drinking wine in moderation is good for the heart after all. Cheers!