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Tips On Preserving Open Wine

Tips on Preserving Open Wine
Once you open a bottle of wine the air begins to interact with it. Obviously, at first this is a good thing. Letting the wine breath allows its aromas to come out. With time however, the air becomes the wines worst enemy, which is why when you want to save your wine, prevention of air exposure is key in its preservation. There are several ways to preserve your wine once its been opened. To optimize any of these wine saving techniques, keep the opened bottle of wine in the fridge, whether is a white or a red. The cool darkness of the fridge will slow down the
oxidation process. Estimations of how long each technique will keep the wine, in the end comes, down to personal preference.

Original Cork/ Decorative Cork
The first, most simple way of saving your wine is to just stick the cork back into it, or to use a decorative cork. The key here is to get the tightest most air lock fit. If the decorative cork is a lot smaller then the opening of the wine bottle, forgo that option, as it will let in a lot of air and do a lousy job of preserving your wine (even if it looks pretty). If you do use the original cork, be sure to stick it in as far as you can, so that you need to use a corkscrew to get it out again. This ensures the tightest seal possible. Using this technique, along with refrigeration, the wine will keep for around 3 days, though you will notice oxidation the next day.

Vacuum Pump
The next step up in preserving wine is the vacuum pump. After placing a rubber stopper in the bottle, a hand pump, or electronic pump is placed over it to remove all the air form the bottle. By taking out some of the oxygen, it helps keep the wine fresh by preserving some of its aromas and flavors. While is impossible to replicate the state of the wine after its been bottled, as it has already been exposed to the air, the goal of this technique is to remove any more oxygen that may remain in the bottle, and prevent any more from seeping in, with an air tight seal. A hand pump should keep the wine for 7 days, while an electronic pump will keep it for around 21 days.

Gas Spray System
Perhaps the most advanced option in wine preservation, takes on a different approach then the former options. Rather then solely removing the existing oxygen, it uses a mix of gasses (Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide, Argon) that is sprayed into the bottle, displacing the oxygen out of it, and creating a protective blanket over the wine. Putting back the cork immediately, this technique can preserve your wine for 30 days up until several months.

When it really comes down to it, most wines are best the first day and the length of time it is still drinkable really comes down to personal preference. In fact, one of the most memorable wines for me was a Guado Al Taso, the day after opening it. It was such a full, but young wine that it needed that extra night to aerate. An alternative to saving it for drinking is to use it in cooking. Just because you may not want to drink it a few days later, doesn’t mean it couldn’t make a great reduction!

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