It’s a common question – if how long can I keep a bottle of wine after opening it? While some are confused by the question (they’re in what we call the “clean bottle club”), it’s still good to know what happens to a bottle of wine after opening. Air is a wine’s best friend and its worst enemy. After opening a wine, air brings out and enhances the aromas and flavors of the wine. That’s the purpose of swirling your glass or using a decanter. But too much oxygen leads a wine down the path to becoming vinegar. That’s why many wines go “bad” a few days after opening. So here are some tips on how to preserve that bottle.
- Put it in the fridge – even the red wines. Refrigeration slows down the aging process of perishable items, and once open, wine is perishable. When ready to finish the bottle, take reds out about 30 minutes early or dunk in a bucket of lukewarm water until it comes back to drinking temperature.
- Use a vacuum closure. For still wines, you can use the vacu-vin closure, which sucks the air out of the bottle. Some feel it also sucks some of the flavor out of the wine, so give it a try and judge for yourself. For sparkling wines, find a Champagne Stopper, which helps keep the bubbles in tack. Both of these help prolong a wine’s shelf (or fridge) life for a few days.
- Gas it! Private Preserve is a safe, inert, non-flammable, tasteless gas (harmless Nitrogen, carbon dioxide and argon), found naturally in the air that we breathe. When sprayed into the bottle, it blankets the wine, keeping oxygen from causing deterioration.
- Transfer to a smaller bottle. Pour the wine into a small water bottle with a cap closure. This limits the surface area of air to wine and has been found to be a quite effective method.
All wines are different, and some, particularly higher quality, young wines, are able to last a bit longer when open and some even improve after being open a couple of days! So enjoy learning about the wine ageing process as you experiment with different methods. Cheers!