As much as people like to open up a bottle of wine to have a drink at dinner, there’s always the question of what to do if you don’t finish off the bottle. Wine is never as good after it’s been sitting in an open bottle, but there are things that you can do to save your leftover wine for at least a little while.
Even though you can’t usually put the original cork back into a wine bottle, you can buy stoppers that will minimize your wine’s exposure to oxygen after the bottle has been opened. Stoppers are easy to come by, so have a few on hand if you like to drink wine but won’t always finish the bottle.
Store It Vertically
When you store leftover wine, keep it in a vertical position even if you have a stopper in place. You won’t have any less air in your bottle if you place it vertically instead of horizontally, but storing it vertically will minimize the amount of wine that comes into contact with the air.
Refrigerators are mostly air-tight, so you can prolong your wine’s lifespan by keeping it cool. Your wine won’t keep indefinitely in your refrigerator, but it’s better than leaving it on your kitchen counter.
Pour Your Wine Into a Half-Bottle
If your wine bottle is corked and you don’t have any stoppers to replace it, consider investing in some half-bottles with screw-on caps. They may not look as classy as a wine bottle that once had a cork, but they will minimize your wine’s exposure to air if you can pour them quickly enough. Pouring your wine into smaller bottles also means leaving them exposed to less air, so you might be better off using small bottles anyway if you don’t have a lot of wine left.
You can purchase devices that will vacuum seal a wine bottle, which is perhaps the next best thing to re-corking it. Vacuum devices won’t remove all the air out of a wine bottle, but they will remove enough of it to keep your wine drinkable for hours or even days. These devices are relatively inexpensive as well, so don’t hesitate to ask about them the next time you buy a nice bottle of wine that you want to save.