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To preserve wine, you must first understand whether you need to maintain a bottle of wine once it has been opened or whether you intend to keep a closed bottle of wine to open it later after perfect refinement.
How do you store a closed bottle of wine?
In this case, you want to find out the characteristics of a perfect storage environment that does not risk compromising the keeping of the wine. If you decide to keep a bottle for an extended period, it is an important bottle (and precious to you) or, in any case, a wine capable of improving with age (often, the two things coincide).
Not all wines tolerate long storage and derive positive effects from it: as you know, there are wines called “ready to drink,” which must be harvested in their youth. In other cases, it can be fascinating to drink a bottle of wine at different times: 1, 10, 20, or 30 years after its marketing by the producing company. In the latter case, precisely its correct conservation makes the difference between a beautiful tasting experience and a defective wine.
The wine needs a suitable place to reach the opening time perfectly. It is a living product that continues to evolve in the bottle; it ripens, and we must do our part to preserve it so we can enjoy it at its peak when we pour ourselves a glass.
Following these seven simple steps will allow us to avoid nasty surprises!
The simplest and most effective option is a cellar or cabinet constantly at perfect temperature.
But what if we don’t have a cellar? Here are our suggestions:
- Do not expose wine to direct light.
The bottles should be kept in the dark, protected from light, especially sunlight, because UV rays trigger chemical reactions that can ruin the wine.
Artificial light is less harmful but can make the label fade… it has its charm, but it’s not the height of elegance!
- Do not subject the bottles to temperature variations.
Ideally, they should be constantly stored at 10 to 15 ° C. At higher temperatures, the wine will age more quickly than usual.
The kitchen is not the right place to store wine because it tends to be the warmest room in the house and with the most remarkable temperature changes. Temperatures below the ideal range are also not suitable, and that includes the refrigerator. Lack of humidity can dry the cork, causing it to contract and letting in oxygen and bacterial particles that could degrade the wine.
A good alternative is a cupboard away from heat sources, on the bottom shelf.
- Do not keep bottles closed in cartons or other airtight containers.
Although bottles are best stored in a dark place at a constant and relatively low temperature, this does not mean they must be hermetically sealed. A little ventilation is good. It reduces the possibility of mold and reduces odors that could contaminate the wine.
- Do not expose to odors.
Odors do not permeate glass bottles, but we should not store our wines in the kitchen, for example, or in places with strong scents such as detergents or chemicals.
- Do not hold bottles upright.
The liquid must be in direct contact with the cork, especially if it is made of natural cork. As mentioned above, if it dries out, the cork shrinks and lets in oxygen, causing the wine to oxidize.
- Don’t move bottles often.
Ideally, bottles should remain still, away from excessive vibration. If you need more space, keep them well organized and cataloged so you don’t have to take bottles out and put them back when looking for a particular wine.
- Do not store bottles in very humid places.
Wines are best stored with a humidity level between 65% and 80% to keep the cork in good shape and maintain its elasticity, preventing infiltration, mold, and air inside the bottle. A dehumidifier can help. Conversely, if the air is too dry, you can opt for a humidifier or place a small water container in your storage area.
How do you store an open bottle of wine?
How long does an open bottle of wine last? How to store wine once the bottle has been opened? How many days can I keep a bottle of wine in the fridge?
These are typical questions of a wine consumer.
Drinking daily during meals, you have often found yourself uncorking expensive bottles which day after day affect our ever-shrinking budget and which, not infrequently, end up unopened as best as possible, stored in the refrigerator without the appropriate tools. After some time, you will undoubtedly have experienced how that bottle can be undrinkable or, in any case, with an irremediably altered taste.
Let’s start by saying that to establish the duration of an open wine, there are no standard measures. Each type of wine is a story in itself. What is certain is that prolonged contact with oxygen is responsible for the deterioration of the organoleptic qualities of wine (this is the OXIDATION process).
Once opened, a bottle of wine will not last longer than two/three days, maintaining its qualities unchanged; the perception of real defects can begin beyond this threshold.
Why is wine conservation important?
Oxygen, once the bottle is uncorked, is obviously responsible for what is called oxygenation of the wine. You will often hear, “this wine must be opened,” or you will have been advised to uncork the bottles, especially of important red wines, before drinking them.
However, the oxygenation process that allows the “opening” of the bouquet of aromas and scents of the wine is unstoppable. A long exposure of wine to oxygen leads to the deterioration of the organoleptic qualities of the precious wine (to the so-called oxidation). Preserve the open bottles for a little longer just need some small care so that when we would like to enjoy a glass, the wine is not flattened in taste or irreparably dulled by vinegar.
If oxygen is the problem, simply remove it from the bottle to slow the inevitable oxidation process.
BUT HOW DO WE REMOVE THE OXYGEN FROM THE BOTTLE?
It’s very simple: we only need two easily available and economical tools, which absolutely cannot be missing in the home of a wine enthusiast.
First of all, it is advisable to keep the open bottle of wine in the refrigerator; the low temperature slows down its deterioration.
But it’s not enough.
The definitive solution: vacuum wine stoppers
Some tools allow the correct conservation of wine once opened. These tools are simple caps equipped with a valve with a small pump attached.
How it works?
These rubber “wine-saving” tools (corks) are positioned on the open bottle, and the pump is applied; through the latter, with a few movements, you can suck the air inside the bottle until you hear a “click,” a sign that the internal air (responsible for the deterioration) has now run out. With this simple trick, you can postpone worsening the precious “grape juice” quality for at least 3/4 days.