Keeping Red Wine Fresh, from Vacuvin to Coravin and Beyond

by tarynlachter

It does happen.

Every now and then you’ll open a bottle of wine that you can’t finish.

Maybe you only just want that one glass at the end of the day, or you open something for a friend who isn’t keen on finishing it herself.

It does happen. Every now and then you’ll open a bottle of wine that you can’t finish. Maybe you only just want that one glass at the end of the day, or you open something for a friend who isn’t keen on finishing it herself. Either way, it’s very important to preserve the remnants of that bottle. Friends don’t let friends waste good wine! 

But how? White is pretty easy. It gets re-corked and put back in the fridge. But a red? We wouldn’t dare shove a good red wine in that cold box, would we? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers to all of these questions.

First, it’s crucial that an open bottle get re-corked. Invest in those great rubber stoppers that fit into standard size wine bottles – they mimic that vacuum seal the bottle goes through when originally corked and this keeps out any additional oxygen. These are great if you know you’re going to finish that up in the next few days and just need to store it briefly.

The refrigerator is absolutely the place for an opened wine. Red wine can turn to vinegar if the fermentation process continues and cold temperatures will help keep that to a minimum. A bottle of red only lasts a few days in the fridge once it’s been opened so make sure you keep an eye on that otherwise you’ll end up with salad dressing.

For longer term storage of open bottles, that’s where vacuum sealers come in handy. The key to freshness is avoiding any external air getting inside that bottle. So while the rubber stoppers mimic an air-tight seal, a vacuum sealer actually creates it. 

Vacuvin is a simple vacuum pump that removes all extra air and inserts a reusable rubber stopper. It’s very simple to use and can extend the life of an open bottle by up to two weeks, and is pretty affordable especially if you’re a regular wine drinker.

Then there is Coravin which is a system that allows you to drink your wine without ever removing the cork. These contraptions insert a needle into the cork and allow you to pour through, without oxygen ever touching the wine inside the bottle. Because of that, you simple remove the system from the bottle and the wine inside is preserved as if you never touched it. These range in price and features, and new models come out regularly that are pretty fancy and full of technology. Coravin is great if you’re drinking especially rare or reserve varietals that should be treasured and preserved at all costs.

The key to keeping your red wine safe is to make sure it stays away from oxygen. Re-cork your bottle after every pour and when using a rubber cork or stopper, make sure it’s fully sealed.



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