Wine Talk

Snooth User: thepenas

Help with Reds

Posted by thepenas, Jan 2, 2010.

I am a newbie and have a question about preserving reds after I open the bottle. I want to have a glass of red (varieties will differ) a day but I worry about the wine going stale. Assume I will get 4 glasses out of a bottle, what is the best way to store it? Cork it and let it sit on my counter?

Any help would be great.

Thanks,

Chris Pena

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Replies

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Reply by penguinoid, Jan 2, 2010.

A difficult question. There's lots of options such as vacuum stoppers, but opinion seems to vary as to how well, if at all, they work. At the very least, try to reseal the bottle well. Assuming the bottle is well sealed, putting it in the fridge should help too -- any oxidation reactions will happen slower with the lower temperature. Since it's red wine, just allow at least the glass of wine you will be drinking to return to room temperature before drinking it.

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Reply by thepenas, Jan 2, 2010.

Thanks Penguinboid, I have also heard those vacuum stoppers aren't that helpful.

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Reply by amour, Jan 2, 2010.

Sometimes you can buy half bottle sizes and also quarters....rarely though!
At Christmas, while shopping in MIAMI, FLORIDA,
I did see some half bottles of fairly decent wines....of course...not as cost-effective, though.

In London, England, I always bought QUARTER BOTTLES OF CHAMPAGNE at FORTNUM AND MASONS in PICCADILLY !!
I travel with QUARTER BOTTLES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!!
(THEY WERE NON-VINTAGE BUT DID THE JOB!!!!!!)
CHEERS!

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Reply by penguinoid, Jan 2, 2010.

I've bought Wirra Wirra Church Block (McLaren Vale, Australia) in a half bottle -- that's a pretty good wine.

If you do get hold of a half bottle, decanting half of a new bottle into that before you get started on the rest of the bottle will keep that half better than if it were left in a full bottle. The smaller bottle should mean there is less air that could oxidise it. Decanting it off before you drink the rest of the bottle will help too, as every time you pour another glass you're adding more oxygen to the wine. Not much of a problem over the course of one evening, but might be if you're keeping the wine for a few days. See http://www.snooth.com/talk/topic/qu...

Quarter bottles of champagne sounds like a great idea, if you can find them. I remember visiting Fortnum & Mason's for afternoon tea once, but that was a few years ago...

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Reply by thepenas, Jan 2, 2010.

Thanks for the recommendation on the half bottles, will see what I can find at my local shop. Also I have looked at the Vacu Vin seems to have rave reviews on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Vacu-Vin-Conc...

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Reply by amour, Jan 2, 2010.

penguinoid.....we have tea in the same elegant joints!!!! CHEERS!! SILVER NEEDLE!!!
TEA AT THE SANDERSON HOTEL IN LONDON IS ALSO GREAT!!

By the way, I often got a range of fine wines at FORTNUM'S and in ST. JAMES at BERRY BROTHERS & RUDD.
HAPPY HEALTHY 2010!

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Reply by judgelog, Jan 2, 2010.

Chris, I lay down a layer of argon gas on top of my open wine, and it can keep it fresh for days or even up to a week. I use the Private Preserve brand, and they cost about $5 a can online if you buy them by the case. Works great. I get maybe 25 uses out of a can (though I don't track that) so it is pretty cheap. You can also get fancier systems that do the same thing for a lot more dough .

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Reply by atonalprime, Jan 2, 2010.

Another tactic is finding a wine that will stand up for a few days -- my recent discovery of a Crianza from the Campo de Borja region of Spain proved to stand up perfectly well over 4 days of sitting in a decanter, covered with plastic wrap. http://www.snooth.com/wine/bodegas-...

Another great wine that improved over 3 days was a Duckhorn Merlot:
http://www.snooth.com/wine/duckhorn...

It would be worth having a system or storing wines, but I'd like to know for sure that they are wines that need the preservation instead of wines that have potential for opening up further. So far, the biggest dissapointment I've had was a Barbera d'Alba that lost all of its magic after about 20 hrs:
http://www.snooth.com/wine/terre-de...

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Reply by fibo86, Jan 3, 2010.

@thepenas the link you put in was for the vac pump mentioned before, the better option IMHO would be the item that was mentioned by judgelog with the argon gas as it forms a layer that air cannot penetrate.
Although the more simple thing is the half bottle option.

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Reply by gregt, Jan 3, 2010.

The half bottle and the fridge is the best solution I've found, although the argon should work in theory. I don't have it though. When I take wines out to show, I often pour half into a small bottle and put in the fridge before leaving. That gives the rest of the wine a chance to open. We'll finish those that night. They rarely hold up a second day after being jostled for a day. Those in the fridge might last a week tho.

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Reply by TerriF, Jan 3, 2010.

The Snooth community gave me the idea of tha half bottles and it does work quite well...I just make sure to fill the bottle all of the way to the top so that a little spills over when I cork it. I actually bought a Semillon that I didn't exactly love just to get the half bottle, lol :) I have used the Private Preserve inert gas for about 8 months or so and have found it to work quite well...inexpensive too :))

Good luck!!

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Reply by thepenas, Jan 3, 2010.

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!

Happy New Years

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Reply by penguinoid, Jan 3, 2010.

Berry Brothers and Rudd is a wine store I've been wanting to visit for a little while. Maybe next time I'm back in London. It seems such an august institution though that I'm never quite sure whether it's okay just to go in and browse and maybe buy a bottle of something. Doesn't sound grand enough somehow ;-)

Anyway, this page on Jancis Robinson's website has some tips on storing leftover wine, under the section 'Leftovers':
http://www.jancisrobinson.com/artic...
in summary, she also suggests the use of a half bottle, filled as much as possible and stored in the fridge.

One day I'll look into the inert gas idea myself though, too...

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Reply by dmcker, Jan 3, 2010.

BBR is a decent online provider, too, penguinoid. You should check to see if they'll ship to you.

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Reply by penguinoid, Jan 3, 2010.

Yes, I've seen that they'll do that too. Whilst they would deliver to where I am at the moment, the cost of postage is not insignificant (as in "more than I'd probably spend on the wine itself" - £75 for 1-2 bottles).

I'll wait till I'm living in the UK, or at least the EU, again for that...

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Reply by downhilldiva, Jan 3, 2010.

3 or 4 quick sprays of "Private Preserve" nitrogen does the trick for me everytime!

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Reply by D9sus4, Jan 4, 2010.

Thepenas, this issue was addressed before on Snooth, but I will reiterate a comment I made before. The Vacuvin works great for 1-3 days. For longer storage, I now use an empty beer bottle (not a twist off), fill it as high as possible, and re-cap it using a standard issue bottle cap available from any home brew supplier in bags of 144. You'll need to invest in a bottle capper, but basic ones are not more than the Vacuvin: http://www.homebrewit.com/aisle/2060

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Reply by dmcker, Jan 4, 2010.

Pentuinoid, that sounds quite a bit pricier than shipment to Japan. Do they offer any case discounts? Here in Japan I've found it definitely pays to work out the kinks of online ordering. Even with shipping and VAT on the receiving end I pay less for well known labels, and I'm also able to access a whole range of labels that don't ever make it to liquor stores over here....

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Reply by chadrich, Jan 5, 2010.

I've also had fairly good success with the VacuVin for up to 3 days. After 3, I think you're pushing your luck no matter what method(s) you use. Pouring off some of the excess into a half bottle or beer bottle while leaving very little air space (as mentioned above) is also a good alternative. But keep in mind that the pouring process, no matter how delicately done, is aerating the wine to some degree and starting its decline. The only sure solution is to finish the bottle!

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Reply by gregt, Jan 5, 2010.

It's true. Pouring it does aerate the wine. That's why it's important to put it in the fridge ASAP. The cold slows down the reactions. It won't last forever this way, but it will last a lot longer cold than on the counter. And you don't need a beer cap - the cork works pretty well!

As far as the vacuum - I have one of those but I don't know that they're really all that successful in practice. I haven't noticed a discernable difference between a bottle stored with the air sucked out and without doing that. I just try to leave no air space.

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