Why You Should Preserve Your Wine
Is there anything more soothing than a glass of wine perfectly paired with your entree after a long day? While this is a great way to relax and unwind, many people hesitate to pop the cork on a bottle of wine because they don't plan to finish the whole bottle. Many delicious wines are pretty pricey, so you want to ensure you save the leftover wine properly in order to protect the flavor for the next time you decide to dive into it. Here's what you should know about preserving your wine so you can enjoy each bottle, down to the last drop:
"Prolonged exposure to air is never good for wine."
What Air Does to Wine
The simplest explanation as to why your wine begins to taste funky a day or so after uncorking is the fact that the air let into the bottle causes the wine to oxidize. This is because the natural bacteria in the grapes - which need oxygen to grow - can turn the alcohol in the wine to acetic acid, which tastes like vinegar. Depending on the variety of grapes, this can be a good or a bad thing in the short term, but prolonged exposure to air is never good for any type of wine.
If you go to a dinner party and someone pops a bottle of red wine open, but allows it to "breathe" for a while before pouring you a glass, he or she isn't just being a wine snob. Short-term oxygen exposure causes a red wine to develop a more full-bodied flavor. However, this flavor stops developing after a while and the flavor begins to deteriorate. The average bottle of red wine can only maintain its flavor for three to five days once the contents are exposed to air, even after you re-cork it. A white wine lasts a little bit longer in the refrigerator, re-corked, but no longer than a week. It'll still be safe to drink, just not very enjoyable.
The only exception to storing is sparkling wine, like Champagne, Cava or Prosecco. Champagne and Cava will last a little longer than Prosecco, since their bubbles are produced through fermentation. The longer a bottle of bubbly sits after being exposed to oxygen, the flatter it'll get - just like carbonated soda.
What You Can Do
Some people use rubber bottle stoppers or pour the remnants of their wine into smaller bottles so the wine will be exposed to less air. However, the ultimate way to ensure your wine lasts longer than just a couple of days is to remove the air from bottle using your FoodSaver® Vacuum Sealing System.
FoodSaver® Bottle Stoppers are made with BPA-free polycarbonate plastic and fit all standard wine bottle necks. To get the air out of your wine, simply close the bottle with a stopper and connect the hose from your FoodSaver® vacuum sealing system. The machine will remove the air from the bottle and create an air-tight seal on the bottle. When you're ready to finish the bottle, just pop the stopper off and it'll be like your wine was never opened! You can reuse the stoppers and even clean them in the dishwasher. The stoppers can be used on most olive oil or balsamic vinegar bottles as well.
Even with the air removed from your wine, though, it's important that you still store the bottle in proper conditions to ensure it'll taste its best upon reopening. Whether it's a red or white wine, you'll want to store it in the refrigerator to halt any oxidation that's already begun to occur. If you prefer to drink your reds at room temperature, just remember to remove it from the fridge for a while before you drink it so it'll reach your ideal temperature.