It always amazes me how the changing of the seasons causes an almost automatic shift in the food we eat and the wine we drink. As soon as it starts getting colder, we want to swap salads for soups, and instead of craving that cold glass of white wine at the end of a hot day, we want to enjoy a glass of red wine. With red wine season approaching, wine lovers need to be prepared for all scenarios.
Sometimes, bottles of red wine will be opened with or without the knowledge that it will not last the night, leaving you to figure out how to store open red wine.
You can open it in advance to let it breathe, pour it through an aerator, or pour it into a decanter, but, once the bottle is open, aerated and poured, you know there is no easy way to shove the cork back in.
If it is not stored correctly, after as little as a day, your options are essentially to pour it out or to let it turn itself vinegar. Fear not, luckily there are ways to save leftover wine. Depending on your commitment and your budget, you can make the wine last anything from a couple of days to a couple of months.
Check out how to store open red wine
Should you know in advance that you won’t be finishing a bottle, don’t let that stop you from opening it up and having a glass. You can make an open bottle of red wine last from 3-5 days by reducing the wine’s exposure to oxygen as much as possible.
Here are a few tips on how to minimize exposure to oxygen:
- Replace the cork as soon as you’re done pouring.
- Store the wine in a cool dark room.
- Refrigerate the wine. I know a cold glass of red wine might not sound too appealing, but by refrigerating the wine, you slow down the oxidation process and ensure longevity.
- Reduce the surface area of exposure to oxygen. This simply means you should keep the bottle upright, and once you’ve had as much wine as you like, pour the left-over wine into a smaller bottle.
Another thing to take into consideration when finding out how to store open red wine, is to research which wines can be stored, because sadly, not all wines will survive even a few hours once being opened. Varieties such as Grenache, Pinot Noir, and Sangiovese generally can’t be stored for long.
Also, not at all surprisingly, organic and sulphite free wines are not easy to preserve. Because of the lack of preservatives (Obviously).
Really old and mature wines won’t last for very long after being opened, not even if stored correctly. Then again, when one opens a really good, old, expensive bottle of wine, why would one not want to drink the whole thing? I strongly suggest re-evaluating your priorities should you be tempted to open and not finish such a wine.
And now for the fun part of learning how to store open red wine. Just as humans have invented all sorts of gadgets to help the wine to breathe, such as aerators, there are tools to help preserve the wine. These gadgets come in all shapes and sizes, and their price range is also quite diverse. Wine lovers with even a small budget can afford to invest in a tool to help prolong the life of their beloved red wine.
Here are a few examples of the kinds of gadgets people use to help store open red wine:
These are one of the cheaper options out there. The stoppers come with a pump, which pumps the air out of the bottle, leaving a vacuum, which helps to reduce oxidation.
Wine Preserving Spray
This is quite a cool way to preserve wine. The idea is, that instead of removing the oxygen and creating a vacuum, one displaces the oxygen with an inert gas, which helps to prevent further oxidation.
The Coravin Wine Access System
This one is my absolute favourite! I first saw it being used on a recent wine tour I did in Tuscany. It makes so much sense for cellars to use it. They no longer need to worry about opening a very old, expensive wine for a tasting only to have to throw it out because it was unfinished. This gadget allows you to pour wine without even removing the cork. A thick needle pierces the cork, and after wine has been pumped out, gas is pumped in to displace the air. It is almost as if the content of the bottle has been untouched. The bottle unopened. This miracle gadget can preserve a bottle of wine for over 2 months! Not that a bottle of red wine would ever need to be stored for that long in my house, but still, it truly is a fascinating invention!
You can find the Coravin here: https://www.coravin.com/
These are just a few examples of how to store open red wine. Give them a try and tell us your experience.
What happens to your wine after you open it? Do you drink it all no matter what, or do you store your open red wine? Share in the comments.