Chances are you’ve been stumped by this question: How do you save an open bottle of wine and ensure it will be delicious the next day?
Ditch the fancy gadgets & gizmos. Follow these two tricks!
As you know from our Wine 101 article about decanting wine, oxygen is a frenemy to wine. Oxygen initally improves the taste of wine, but extended exposure can ultimately ruin a wine. While there are several fancy gadgets on the market that can help you remove oxygen from unfinished bottles, if you follow one of our two tricks, you won’t need to waste a a small fortune to ensure your wine will last another day.
Trick #1: One of the biggest threats to wine is surface area. The more wine in contact with oxygen, the more quickly it will start to degrade. If you’ve only drank half a bottle of wine, this means the leftover wine in the bottle is now exposed to a half bottle of oxygen — no good if you want to drink the wine tomorrow.
A neat trick to avoid this problem is by transferring your wine into a smaller container. For this, we like to use a half bottle (375 ml) of wine. Half bottles can be found at most stores that also sell regular bottles (750 ml) of wine, and they are perfect for storing wine you want to save for another day. Simply drink the wine that originally came in the half bottle and then rinse out the bottle well with water. When you have a wine you want to save, transfer the leftover wine from your regular size bottle into the empty half bottle, and then close the bottle with a cork or even saran wrap — you just want to make sure there is a seal. Next, place the bottle in the fridge (more on why you should do that below). The wine should last at least 2 more days in it’s new, smaller home. Once you finish up your wine, you can rinse the half bottle and use it again and again — no need for a fancy gadget.
Trick #2: If you don’t have a half-bottle or small container lying around, a great way to ensure your wine will last at least another day is by placing it in the fridge. Due to the cold temperature inside your refrigerator, oxygen is not able to inflict the same damage at the same speed as it would if you left the bottle out on your counter. In order to ensure the wine still taste great tomorrow, simply replace the cork or screw the cap, and move the bottle into the fridge. Your wine should still be great the next night, ready to be polished off when you get home from work.