Wine Club Newsletter - April 2022
How Long Does an Open Bottle of Wine Last?
From Gary . . . I ran across this article (below my commentary here) written by Tamara Gane in Southern Living Magazine. Of course, I have opinions about how long wine will last after opening them the day before. This happens to me a lot, being in the world of having multiple bottles open for tasting from vendors, with friends, and for the tasting notes for our club members.
Over the years, I have seen numerous “Wine Preservation” devices designed for both commercial (restaurant/wine shop applications) as well as much more practical devices for use at our homes. There are probably three or four devices that might make sense for our home consumers
I put open bottles in my refrigerator for no more than a day, two at most, so I do not use any devices to preserve my open bottles of wine. I have found that sealing the bottle with one of those glass wine bottle enclosures that you find on many of todays imported Rose’ wines, that take care in lovely packaging, is a good re-seal for an open bottle.
I also have rubber stoppers from a device called a Vacu Vin. The Vacu Vin was invented a couple decades ago, and its premise is quite simple: You pop on their rubber stopper and then pump the air out of the bottle using their small hand-held pump. They claim it will keep wine fresh for up to a week, and to a large degree, I have found that to be true.
Another method for home wine preservation is the spray gas wine preserver. You simply spray the gas (a combo of carbon dioxide, nitrogen and argon) from the can into the bottle, and place it into the refrigerator, for up to a week or more. My issue with this method is that I have found the gas may numb/dull the aromatics and flavors of the wine. Even upon aggressive swirling and long airing times, I still felt the wine was inhibited when opened later.
Finally, the most effective and expensive wine preservation system for home use is the “Coravin Model Two Plus Pack”. At over $300, it may only make sense for those indulge in wine that is more rare, expensive, delicate, and that they may wish to enjoy over several weeks. For practical everyday use, it is overkill, and even though the 99.99% pure argon gas rating, which is claimed to be inert, I still hold my gas grudge with it.
How you may want or need to preserve your opened bottles of wine is up to you, of course. I have a friend in the wine industry who adamantly claimed his method produced the best results for keeping wine fresh: He would re-seal his opened bottle of wine with a Champagne stopper, and then freeze it. When it came time to drink the remainder of the bottle, it would go into the microwave until the wine went back into liquid form, without it getting warm.
I couldn’t ever bring myself to try it . . .
How Long Does an Open Bottle of Wine Last?
Tamara Gane in Southern Living Magazine.
Here’s how to know if that opened wine is past its prime.
A glass of wine with dinner is a wonderful thing, but if you only indulge in a glass or two, you're bound to have a good part of the bottle leftover. While leftovers can be wonderful, wine does have an extremely limited shelf life. According to Mary Catherine Edmondson, Wine Director at Lutie's and Commodore Perry Estate in Austin, Texas, there's a good reason.
"Once opened and exposed to the air, wine begins to oxidize, just like fruit would," she says.
"Picture an apple that's been cut open and left behind on the kitchen counter. It loses its vibrancy, its color, and its jazz."
She explains that in technical terms this means acetaldehyde is converting to acetic acid, which essentially turns the wine into vinegar. The good news, however, is that this process takes a while and you'll definitely notice when it's happened.
So does this mean you should get rid of your wine if you don't finish the bottle the next day? Thankfully, the answer is no. This is what you need to know about how long an open bottle of wine will actually last.
How Long Does Wine Last After Opening?
According to Edmondson, there isn't a hard and fast rule about how long an open bottle of wine will last. "Several factors affect this, including how full the bottle is (remember more oxygen = faster aging), how old the wine was before you opened it (wines with considerable age are already more delicate), and how much sulfur is in the wine," she shares. "Natural wines, ones with no sulfur, typically go bad much faster. Sulfur is a stabilizer and preserves freshness once the wine is open."
When you take all of these factors into consideration, Edmondson says it's best to consume open wine within 24 to 48 hours. She adds that the same rule applies to both red and white wine.
How Can You Make an Open Bottle Last as Long as Possible?
Since the quality of wine deteriorates when it interacts with the air, the best way to preserve your wine is simply to put the cork or a reusable stopper back in to keep as much oxygen out as possible.
How Do You Know When Your Wine Has Gone Bad?
Let your senses guide you if you're not sure if your wine has been opened too long. "Once the wine hits peak aroma and taste, it will slowly start to decline," Edmondson explains. "The nose may become muted first and then the taste less intense. The delicate florals and fruit seem to fade first so the wine may start to taste more alcoholic, more tannic, or more bitter."
Eventually, the wine will actually begin to turn bad. If your wine has gone sour or no longer tastes enjoyable, it's technically still safe to drink. However, as Edmondson puts it, life is short, so don't drink anything that tastes bad. We couldn't agree more.
Gary Parker, Owner
The WineSellar & Brasserie