Wine Cellar Innovations Blog

Storing Your Leftover Wine

April 6th, 2011

Leftover WineSave leftover wine and prevent wine spoilage!


So we’ve been talking about gorgeous wine cellars and wine racks these past few days and we thought we’d give the wine rack talk a break for a while. We were reading about leftover wine in Wine Taste TV recently and enjoyed an article from Serious Eats about what to do with leftover wine so we thought: Many of us wish to save leftover wine, but how do we keep them from spoiling?

Since majority of us are not exactly wine sommeliers, we may first need a little help in determining whether our wine is spoiled or not. If you suspect that your bottle of wine may be spoiled, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Look: Does it have a noticeably brown color? Is the cork warped?

Smell: Do you smell aromas of sulfur, must or mildew?

Taste (if you can): Does it taste acidic or vinegar-like or moldy?

If you answer yes to any of these things, the wine is most likely spoiled.

The culprit for tainted wine is, as you may already know, improper storage. We all know how heat, vibration, humidity or inadequate re-corking or sealing can easily ruin a wine, but the good news is, these things can be avoided.

So here are some common methods we’d like to share from our readings:

Refrigerate. Put that wine bottle in the refrigerator. Keeping it in a cool, dry place may be the best chance of keeping it as fresh as possible, not to mention refrigeration can slow the growth of bacteria. But, even with refrigeration, the remainder of the wine should still be consumed within three or four days.

Use a wine stopper. This prevents new air from entering the bottle. Note, however, that it does not let the air already in a bottle escape. This still allows for oxidation to occur, but not as quickly as a bottle that is re-corked or not corked at all. A wine stopper may hold your wine for three days or so.

Use a wine preserver spray. This serves to protect and preserve your wine by spraying inert gas (non-toxic) to remove all of the oxygen from your opened bottles, keeping them fresh and preserved!

Use empty wine splits. Store your leftover wine in a new, smaller wine bottle. This storage method works because you can fill the bottle to the top, preventing any air from existing within the bottle. Simply cork it and it is ready to go for the next time! You can find these in certain specialty wine stores.

Keep in mind that these are just preventive measures. They only serve to delay the inevitable deterioration of the wine. Oxidation will eventually occur, and once a wine is spoiled there is no way to reverse the process or improve the taste! So the next time you get a bottle of wine but don’t think you can finish it in one day, just invite friends over to share so you don’t have to worry about spoilage!

If you want more information check out these great reads:  Real Simple’s 5 Recipes That Use Leftover Wine, Lifehacker’s tips on what to do with leftover wine.

What are YOUR thoughts on leftover wine? We would love to hear your opinion!

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