WilfBrim


quality posts: 18 Private Messages WilfBrim

I've asked this over on deals, and got very little in they way of answers. Today's deal over on Sellout:
http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/43be71a9-7ef1-45b8-9430-b2971a76400f/vintage-vac-wine-sealer-2-pack

has brought the subject to my mind again. What is the best way to preserve (for as long as possible) an open bottle of wine? Yes, I know that the best results come when the wine is not stored. I'm living alone (for the moment) and on most nights drinking a bottle (or even more than one serving) is inadvisable due to the issues of both alcohol and calories. Ideally, I'd like to have just one glass at a time.

I have found two means to preserve wines. The most common and cheapest is vacuum. These include the Vintage Vac Wine Sealer (above), VacuVin and others. The theory is that by decreasing the total pressure over the wine, you are decreasing the partial pressure of oxygen over (and, per Henry's Law, in the wine). I have used vacuum sealers in the past with fair to poor results. I don't think that these decrease the pressure to a degree significant enough to decrease oxidation noticibly. They may be enough to keep a red decent for one more day, but that is about it.

The other way is the poor man's version of the nitrogen systems used in wine bars. Something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Oenophilia-Private-Preserve-Wine-Preserver/dp/B0000DCS18?tag=dealswoot-20
alleges to put a layer of gas (N2, CO2 and Ar)over the wine. It (one would think) is more dense than the oxygen in the bottle, displacing it up, covering the surface of the wine, decreasing the oxygen content over (thus in; Henry's law again) the wine. I've never used them, partly due to cost, partly due to the feeling that I couldn't flush enough oxygen out to make a difference.

What are your collective experiences? Should I try the gas wine preservers, or just go back to the VacuVin and take the wasted vino as a cost of doing business?

North316


quality posts: 107 Private Messages North316
WilfBrim wrote:I've asked this over on deals, and got very little in they way of answers. Today's deal over on Sellout:
http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/43be71a9-7ef1-45b8-9430-b2971a76400f/vintage-vac-wine-sealer-2-pack

has brought the subject to my mind again. What is the best way to preserve (for as long as possible) an open bottle of wine? Yes, I know that the best results come when the wine is not stored. I'm living alone (for the moment) and on most nights drinking a bottle (or even more than one serving) is inadvisable due to the issues of both alcohol and calories. Ideally, I'd like to have just one glass at a time.

I have found two means to preserve wines. The most common and cheapest is vacuum. These include the Vintage Vac Wine Sealer (above), VacuVin and others. The theory is that by decreasing the total pressure over the wine, you are decreasing the partial pressure of oxygen over (and, per Henry's Law, in the wine). I have used vacuum sealers in the past with fair to poor results. I don't think that these decrease the pressure to a degree significant enough to decrease oxidation noticibly. They may be enough to keep a red decent for one more day, but that is about it.

The other way is the poor man's version of the nitrogen systems used in wine bars. Something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Oenophilia-Private-Preserve-Wine-Preserver/dp/B0000DCS18?tag=dealswoot-20
alleges to put a layer of gas (N2, CO2 and Ar)over the wine. It (one would think) is more dense than the oxygen in the bottle, displacing it up, covering the surface of the wine, decreasing the oxygen content over (thus in; Henry's law again) the wine. I've never used them, partly due to cost, partly due to the feeling that I couldn't flush enough oxygen out to make a difference.

What are your collective experiences? Should I try the gas wine preservers, or just go back to the VacuVin and take the wasted vino as a cost of doing business?



I personally don't do anything special other than put a stopper in my wine. It is usually my wife and I having a glass each night, but the way I look at is you get about 4 glasses per bottle. If you a glass on opening and a glass each night for the next 2, that's 3 of the 4 glasses and there should be no problem with oxidation at that point. You can likely stretch it another day and drink the final glass, or better yet, just use it in cooking you meal that night, whether as a marinade or a deglazing pan sauce. Problem solved.

I know that doesn't really answer your direct question, but it is another way to look at it.

My CT
"Trust your homies on the net", Clark Smith.
R.I.P. Inkycatz - Feb. 2013

trifecta


quality posts: 74 Private Messages trifecta

My opinion would be to try and reduce the surface area that the wine is in contact with air. I do this by using a 375 ml bottle when I get below a half bottle. You could try to get an arsenal of bottles such as a 500ml, 375ml, 250ml, etc... and just choose the right size for that night.

From there just use you vacuum and store in a cool place (I don't use the fridge).

Someday I may try and make myself one of those fancy wine preservers.... but when will I really have the time??

rpm


quality posts: 183 Private Messages rpm
trifecta wrote:My opinion would be to try and reduce the surface area that the wine is in contact with air. I do this by using a 375 ml bottle when I get below a half bottle. You could try to get an arsenal of bottles such as a 500ml, 375ml, 250ml, etc... and just choose the right size for that night.

From there just use you vacuum and store in a cool place (I don't use the fridge).

Someday I may try and make myself one of those fancy wine preservers.... but when will I really have the time??



We've done this for most of the past 20 years, and still do when the wine is much more than a daily drinker and we know we only want 1/2 bottle.

For most wines, it's not worth the trouble - just cork the bottle and put it in the refrigerator overnight. If it's a red, take it out an hour or so before you're going to drink it.

If you're just one, drinking 1/4 or 1/3 of a bottle, I think the advice is equally sound for whites for sure, and for most reds.

You don't really want to drink a bottle that is sufficiently aged or delicate that it won't be OK overnight by yourself, do you?

Wine-tasting in 8 words:
Pull lots of corks!
Remember what you taste!

bhodilee


quality posts: 32 Private Messages bhodilee

This whole conversation confuses me. Just drink the whole bottle.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

– George Bernard Shaw, author (1856-1950)

redwinefan


quality posts: 74 Private Messages redwinefan

Vacu-vin well, then put the bottle in the fridge. If you are feeling more adventurous, transfer the remains to a 375 as mentioned above, vacu-vin that, put it in the fridge.

"You need to invest in a corkscrew. Wine is for drinking." -- Peter Wellington

InFrom


quality posts: 34 Private Messages InFrom

Here's a link to a similar conversation from days of yore.

A couple of years ago I sprang for the ReServe argon gas gizmo that was here on wine.woot, and still use it from time to time. I think it's pretty good, though whether it's that much better than just funneling the leftovers into a half bottle, I wouldn't bet money. I have a feeling it keeps it an extra couple of days beyond simple re-bottling. But I may just be kidding myself - I do love the gadgets (if that isn't obvious from my mere presence here on Woot).

cjsiege


quality posts: 14 Private Messages cjsiege

For sparkling wines, I have had HUGE success with the Metrokane Velvet Chanpagne and Wine Sealer. Also works for the larger bottles of artisanal beers or hard cider. Partial bottles continue to be bubbly up to a week later, as long as you don't open & close & open & close. I've started giving them as gifts.

chipgreen


quality posts: 207 Private Messages chipgreen
cjsiege wrote:For sparkling wines, I have had HUGE success with the Metrokane Velvet Chanpagne and Wine Sealer. Also works for the larger bottles of artisanal beers or hard cider. Partial bottles continue to be bubbly up to a week later, as long as you don't open & close & open & close. I've started giving them as gifts.



Note that it is currently eligible for Amazon's 4-for-3 promotion, so $7.50 for 1 or $22.50 for 4. If you're not a Prime member, you can buy 5 for $30 to get free shipping.

CatherineB


quality posts: 3 Private Messages CatherineB

I'm so confused.

What is this 'left over wine' of which you all speak?

WilfBrim


quality posts: 18 Private Messages WilfBrim

I did some more research on VacuVin. Despite high ratings and reviews on Amazon, etc., it isn't doesn't appear to do much.

Here is a long post, with some expired links, some not so.
http://johnonwine.com/2009/12/17/friends-dont-let-friends-vacu-vin/
The take away is that when measured, the VacuVin fails to do what it claims. Accordng to testing by Consumer Reports, the relatively weak vacuum dissapates quickly. After 2 hours the vacuum has dropped by 15%. After 12 hours it is gone completely.

There is another issue of the bouquet getting "sucked out" of the wine. I guess this could theoretically be true, but I would still think that the esthers, et al would come to equilbrium in the headspace of the bottle very quickly and probably not alter it much.

So, I'm still cast adrift in ignorance. If I had unlimited resources I'd do a double blind taste test, comparing newly opened, opened and refrigerated, and opened and VacuVin(ed) wine. Never going to happen.

ricksana


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ricksana

I think the best way to easily and with little cost preserve wine is immediately upon opening the wine, pour the wine into three small 187 ml bottles all the way to the top [leaving no room for air] and screw on the cap. You will have a small amount left over for a glass. Put the small bottles into the refrigerator or wine refrig. Each 187 bottle provides a glass serving. I have done wine tastings on very good wines (e.g. WS 91 points) and after two weeks no one can tell the difference.

WilfBrim wrote:I did some more research on VacuVin. Despite high ratings and reviews on Amazon, etc., it isn't doesn't appear to do much.

Here is a long post, with some expired links, some not so.
http://johnonwine.com/2009/12/17/friends-dont-let-friends-vacu-vin/
The take away is that when measured, the VacuVin fails to do what it claims. Accordng to testing by Consumer Reports, the relatively weak vacuum dissapates quickly. After 2 hours the vacuum has dropped by 15%. After 12 hours it is gone completely.

There is another issue of the bouquet getting "sucked out" of the wine. I guess this could theoretically be true, but I would still think that the esthers, et al would come to equilbrium in the headspace of the bottle very quickly and probably not alter it much.

So, I'm still cast adrift in ignorance. If I had unlimited resources I'd do a double blind taste test, comparing newly opened, opened and refrigerated, and opened and VacuVin(ed) wine. Never going to happen.



k1avg


quality posts: 82 Private Messages k1avg

I used to Vacu-Vin pretty regularly, but like the authors of the (much-more-extensively-researched) blog post linked above, found that it didn't really do a whole lot of good. (The Vacu-Vin has actually turned out to be somewhat useful, though, for sucking the spritz out of a few bottles of Racchus Red or other wines that had a bit of secondary fermentation going on.)

I'm also somewhat skeptical of the "transfer to a smaller bottle" method suggested by a couple, as I would think the pouring and sloshing necessary would do more to aerate the wine than the little bit of surface exposure saved. If RPM swears by it, though, then there must be something there.

I would also definitely steer clear of the fancier gidgets and gadgets - they're invariably part of the whole cottage industry designed to pander to wine snobs with more money than sense.

I rarely open a new bottle of wine when by myself nowadays (or when I do, end up drinking all or most of the bottle), so the whole point is kind of moot for me. For you, I think what others have said is pretty reasonable - no need to stress. Re-cork-and-refrigerate should be 80-90% as effective as any other method you could use, provided you plan to drink the rest of the wine within a few days.

--
Lawyer (of sorts) by day. Drinker of fine wines, homebrewer of fine beers, connoisseur of fine Scotches by night.
The current holdings.

bkarlan


quality posts: 46 Private Messages bkarlan

oops, just posted in the wrong thread, too much wine I suppose. Anyway..

I am giving this a shot. http://www.winesave.com/. Some food safe Argon gas once I transfer it to a smaller bottle.

I have a few vintage vac sealers and they really dont do that much.

If your bottles are sitting more than 3-4 days I haven't noticed a difference in the vintage vac and just recorking it.

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse..." - John Stuart Mill