Lesson 01 – How to preserve left-over wine for tomorrow?

You open a few bottles during a dinner party for friends and there is a lot of left-over wine. It is a terrible waste to pour good wine down the drain. Can these half-finished bottles be saved for enjoyment the next day? The answer is CERTAINLY YES.

Let’s understand the problem first before we discuss a solution.

The problem can be expressed in one word – oxidation. Oxygen in the air causes the wine to deteriorate. All we need to do to preserve a semi-finished bottle is to eliminate or to reduce oxygen contact with the wine.

Here is an easy and inexpensive way to achieve this.

Transfer the wine from the bottle into a smaller container such as a small plastic mineral-water bottle, so that the wine fills up the entire bottle leaving very little room inside for air. This immediately reduces the air-to-wine ratio inside the container.

To achieve even better results, we must reduce the negative impact of air contact with wine by reducing oxygen’s oxidizing power. This is done very simply by lowering the temperature of the container, as low as possible without freezing the wine. At very low temperature, oxidation hardly occurs.

We can’t rejuvenate wines. At best we can only stop or slow down its deterioration once the bottle is uncorked. So if you notice half way through dinner that some of the wines will not be finished, start the preservation process earlier so the wine is fresher to begin with when it enters the smaller container.

Sparkling wines can be resealed with a Champagne stopper (costs about p500 each) and kept reasonably lively overnight if stored in cold temperature. Its pressure of the fizz inside the bottle prevents external air from entering. Furthermore, Champagne is very high in acidity which helps to preserve it against oxidation also.

For very serious – read expensive – wines especially older and more fragile bottles, you might have to invest lightly on a pump-and-stopper apparatus. It will set you back p1000 and change but your leftover can be enjoyed for 2-3 days. Of course, why would you take that long to drink it? That’s beside the point. This gadget allows us to create a vacuum inside the bottle by pump air out of it. Don’t apply it to Champagne of course. You don’t want to pump the bubbles away.