What To Do With Leftover Wine

Now that I got wine temperature out of my system, let’s go on to what to do with wine when you have some left over in the bottle. Let’s start with white wine. The easy answer is just cork it and put it in the fridge. The refrigerator will significantly slow down the oxidation or aging process. If you are opening a wine that has limited aging potential, that is wines meant to be consumed right away drink in 1-3 days of refrigeration. For white wines with aging potential (think white Burgundy or Bordeaux as well as some Sonoma Coast Chardonnay’s) they can spend weeks or even months in the refrigerator. I recently tried a 2020 chablis from Burgundy and thought it was okay, after a month in the refrigerator it was drinking great! The slow aging helped the wine tremendously. If you want to slow down the aging process you can also purchase a Vacu Vin. This is a rubber cork system that uses a plunger to suck the air out of the bottle (see below). After you take the air out of the bottle, put it in the refrigerator.

Red wines are the problem, you can’t just cork them and put them in the refrigerator. I have tried storing all types of red wines in the refrigerator and it doesn’t matter how many days you store them, they all turn flat and lose fruit right away. I have never had a red wine that got better after refrigeration.

There are products in the market that are supposed to limit wine aging. The first product to discuss is the Coravin. At an average price of $175 this is not a cheap option. The original marketing behind the Coravin was that you can try wine to see if the wine was ready to drink. The system injects argon gas into the bottle after you take the wine out and reseals it. The website states that the wine can be preserved for years! I Coravined a glass of wine and two weeks later the wine was flat and lost fruit. I asked distributors how long a sample bottle lasts for them after its Coravined, the consensus was one week and then they would throw away the bottle. In my experience it doesn’t work well (see photo below).

As discussed above Vacu Vin is a rubber cork with a pump that sucks out the air. This is a good wine saving method, but only preserves wine for 1-3 days. Costs about $12 on Amazon.

I recently purchased the Somm Du Vin 2-bottle wine preserver and chiller from Wine Enthusiast. This system electronically vacuums out the air when you slot the wine bottle in. It has three settings for Red/White/Rose which keep the wine at 46F/54F/61F. The website claims it keeps the wine fresh for 10 days. 10 days is the absolute most I would keep a bottle of red wine in there. The whites and rose can go at least 2 weeks. This solves the temperature issue and storage issue, but at $445.00 it does not come cheap.

As for all storage, place opened or unopened bottles in a cool dark area. Sun and heat are the enemy for wine.

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