One of the most simple joys in life is enjoying a nice glass of wine after a long day. We’ve all been there–you grab your favorite glass from the cupboard, uncork your bottle of wine and pour. You sit down in your chair, ready to relax and enjoy the flavors of your beverage. You put the glass up to your lips, take a healthy gulp and … ugh! Instead of the delicious flavor you were expecting, you get a mouthful of bad-tasting wine, with a hint of flavor from yesterday’s leftover asparagus with chicken.
Proper wine storage is crucial to increase the longevity of a bottle of wine. Once a bottle of wine is open, most experts agree that it should be consumed within three days. Still, there are a few ways to increase the likelihood the wine will still taste delicious for days after the bottle is opened.
The most important thing to remember when storing an open bottle of wine is that you want to limit the wine’s contact with air. When wine is exposed to air, the oxidation process takes place, with air breaking down the wine and thus impacting the flavor.
The most simple way to ensure that your wine remains fresh and tasty is to make sure that you recork it correctly. Many think that they should flip over the cork and use the clean side of the cork. Not true! Utilize the side of the cork that has already touched the wine. The exposed side of the cork (the side not inside of the bottle) has been exposed to the elements. There may be dirt or dust particles or even remnants of dinner on the cork. You don’t want those contaminants touching your wine. Instead, firmly push down the cork that has been inside of the bottle, to ensure a tight fit. The quicker you do this after the bottle is opened, the better. This limits the exposure of the wine to air, thus preserving the flavor.
Another essential step is to make sure that you refrigerate the wine. Many people incorrectly believe that the wine is fine (or even better) stored at room temperature after it has been opened. Storing the wine in the refrigerator will improve the longevity by dramatically reducing the time it takes to break down the wine and impact the flavor.
You can also transfer the contents of the opened bottle of wine to a smaller bottle, limiting the wine’s continued exposure to air. Utilize a funnel or pour carefully into a glass jar. Make sure the container you’re transferring the wine to is impeccably clean, to limit contaminants and flavor transfer.
Many gadgets available on the market can prevent your wine from going sour, from bladder-shaped wine preservation bags to inflatable corks. Test a few to find your favorite.
Finally, the most effective and simplest way to make sure your wine stays fresh is just to consume the bottle in one sitting! The average bottle of wine contains a little over five glasses of wine. Split among two or more people, this can easily be consumed in one evening. Just make sure to drink responsibly.