Mailbag Monday: Storing Open Wine?

Hi Alleigh,
Your discussion on corking a partial bottle of wine is interesting.  You seem to only discuss inert systems.  Have you tried the various vacuum systems?  I would be interested in hearing if you have results or opinions about them. 

I’ve tried a number of different systems from re-using the cork to a battery powered vacuum system.  I don’t notice significant differences in them. 

Recently I’ve started using a champagne bottle stopper for regular wine.  These stoppers are plastic and can be washed and reused.  The major feature is that they mechanically tighten on the mouth of the bottle and stop any bubbles from escaping.  This is nice for regular wine also since I like to put them back into the wine fridge which means they will be on their side.

By the way, really glad to read that you like the new job.  That is so important in an overall happy life.

Hi—And, thanks for the email.  The preserving wine problem is one that I feel like I’m constantly struggling with.  And, that has been particularly true since my surgery, as I’m opening a bottle for literally a single glass of wine because I really don’t want to mix alcohol and medication.  After three days, though, I’m still not finished with the bottle…although the bottle is definitely finished with me.

Wine ShieldI actually tried using a Wine Shield, which I received as a sample a while back.  The Wine Shield is a flexible, plastic disc that looks almost like bubble wrap.  It is placed inside the open bottle and floats on top of the wine, essentially creating a barrier between the wine and the air.  Admittedly, I have mix feelings about the Wine Shield.  The directions were complicated and getting the disc properly inside the bottle was a little precarious, but once the disc was in place, it did an ok job preserving the wine.  Unfortunately, it only works once.  So, if you don’t finish the bottle during the second go-around that means the first Wine Shield is bathing in your wine and a second needs to be put in the bottle to preserve the remaining wine.  At the end of the day, it seemed more like it was more of a hassle than it was a help.

In terms of vacuum systems, I have a Vacu Vin.  It’s one of the ones where you use a hand pump to suck the extra air out of the bottle in an attempt to make tight seal.  However, like you, I don’t notice much difference between using the Vacu Vin and re-using the cork, so I usually don’t take the extra effort to use it.

I’ve looked into the Preservino, which is an argon gas preservation system.  However, I don’t personally know anyone who has used one and all the reading research I’ve done hasn’t quite convinced me that it was worth making the financial investment.

Someone else recently mentioned the idea of using a Champagne stopper, and I think it’s a good suggestion.  As embarrassing as this is to admit, though, I don’t actually have one.  I’ve occasionally looked at them and thought I should buy one, but I’ve just never done it.  Clearly, this is something I need to fix!  I’d love to hear if you have one that you recommend.

I’m sorry that my response ended up being so long, but I feel like this is a big problem that wine drinkers struggle with, and I just don’t have a great answer or solution.  And, thanks for the support about the new job.   Like you said, if the “work” side of things is off-kilter, having a happy life just isn’t going to happen, and things were definitely not working out in the old job.  Sometimes change is good!

Question of the Day: Have you used a Champagne stopper to help preserve your wine?  What are you thoughts on how that worked?  And, do you have a stopper you would recommend?


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  1. says

    On the third evening I had that final glass. The wine was surprisingly good still. It appeared the Wine Shield worked pretty good. From previous experience I don’t think the vacuum stopper would have been as good.

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