I can’t prove this scientifically, but I believe more methods and gadgets are dedicated to storing partially consumed bottles of wine than for any other wine-related function. There are vacuum pumps (they’re terrible) and cans of inert gas (they’re great) to get wine-killing oxygen away from the wine.
A new gadget called the Coravin allows you to pull wine out of a bottle without removing the cork. It’s all the rage with wine collectors, restaurateurs and wineries. It’s also $300.
Some wine lovers keep around empty half-bottles so they can pour what’s left of a regular bottle to keep out the oxygen. Some go so far as to drop marbles into the half-full wine bottle until the bottle is full again (I tried this exactly once).
One of my wine expert friends swears by putting the cork back in (or screwcap back on) and tossing the wine in the fridge (red or white), which he says will keep the wine good for a couple of extra days.
Even if you just shove the cork back into that bottle of red and leave it on your counter, it probably will be just fine for two or three days — and in many cases with young wines, it will taste a little better before it starts going bad.
Several years ago, we tested many of these methods (except for the Coravin, which didn’t exist) over the course of several weeks. The inert gas worked the best, as I recall.
Not long after, Seattle-based outdoor outfitter Cascade Designs rolled out the PlatyPreserve, which is effective, inexpensive and portable, but certainly not elegant.
All of this is a lot to think through just to preserve four glasses of wine that you didn’t happen to consume during the course of dinner last night.
Might I suggest Savino to solve nearly every issue with preserving wine properly.
Savino is a decanter with a float that sits atop the wine to keep oxygen away. It’s as clever as it is elegant. Here’s how it works:
- Fill the Savino decanter with your wine. It will hold a full 750ml bottle.
- Slide in the float. It will sit atop the wine regardless of how much is left.
- Put on the lid.
- Leave it on your counter if you’re drinking red or in the fridge if you’re drinking white. It should taste just as good in a week as it does when you open the bottle.
The elegance comes when you go to pour yourself a glass. The float tilts with the wine, so it pours easily into your glass. It is really slick.
The Savino retails for $60, and a plastic version sells for $30. It’s well worth picking up one or two or adding it to your Christmas wish list.
Note: This doesn’t work with sparkling wine. To preserve a partially consumed bottle of bubbly, buy a sparkling wine preserver, which is a metal cap that easily slips over the top of the bottle and hooks to the lip of the bottle. It costs under $10 and works like a champ every time.