August 04, 2021 4 min read
Red, Pink, White, Reserve, Sparkling ... Wine, in all its varieties, is an ingredient that cannot be missing from our dinners and convivial moments with family or friends. This living element, which is constantly evolving, requires specific environmental conditions in order not to lose its peculiarities and its great benefits. Below, we offer a small guide to prevent the 'drink of the God Bacchus' from becoming oxidised, ruined by the oxidative action of air (oxygen).
Opened wine can be consumed up to after 36 hours and maybe even longer if we respect some basic rules. Once the bottle is open, the wine begins to oxygenate and with it its properties begin to be diluted because, many of its components are volatile, so the longer they are in contact with the air, the more they will be lost.
We must bear in mind that the opened bottle needs special conditions to maintain the properties of the wine and to be consumed at a later date. Among these concrete conditions, temperature is essential. The bottle must be stored in a cool area away from domestic humidity.
The advisable thing to do in summer is to keep the wine open in the fridge, as temperatures are higher and wine spoils more quickly. Secondly, light is a factor that we must take into account when storing our open wine. It is important to keep the open bottle away from sunlight and artificial light.
When we think of a winery, the image of hundreds of bottles of wine carefully stored horizontally immediately comes to mind. However, the story is completely different when it comes to an open wine. In this case, the best position is vertical. In this way we reduce the contact of air with the wine and avoid oscillations of the bottle.
The open bottle must always be corked, preferably using caps with a valve that allows a vacuum to be created inside the bottle. There are a number of brands on the market offering good solutions. Another possibility is to inject inert gas, nitrogen or argon, and put a stopper on it. The gas, being heavier than air, settles on the surface of the wine, acting as an insulating buffer and preventing the air from oxidising the wine. If you do not have special caps and gas, the best solution is to re-cap the bottle with its own cap and place it in the refrigerator or a professional refrigerated cellar.
For white, rosé and sparkling wine, for which it is advisable to have a special sparkling wine stopper, cold is certainly not a problem, as they are served cold.
For the red wine, once removed from the fridge it will need to be allowed to return to temperature before tasting. The cold helps the preservation but could create a bit of cremor at the bottom of the bottle, so be careful to pour the last glass to avoid those typical annoying little stones ending up in the glass.
In the case of very young wines, sometimes left corked for two or three days in the fridge, once opened, we discover, tasting them, that they are even better than the same wines drunk two or three days earlier. In practice, the wine has had the necessary evolution to open up its perfumes and aromas and bring it to the ideal point of evolution.
However, in order to avoid leaving a drained bottle, the ideal alternative is to decant the contents into a smaller bottle. The important thing is to try to fill the bottle as much as possible in order to reduce the volume of air between the wine and the neck of the bottle. In any case, always keep it cool.
For our part, we can share the many years of experience we have gained from 35 years of presentations and tastings. In our cellar, customers have the opportunity to taste our entire wine repertoire on a daily basis during opening hours. This means that we have more than 20 wines open every day. Whites, rosé reds and sparkling wines. Over the years, we have refined our technique to best safeguard the quality of the wines we offer for tasting. In practice, we keep the whites and rosés in the fridge, with the addition of Argon gas and properly corked.
Sparkling wines are kept in the refrigerator with the special stopper that preserves the perlage and aromas, while red wines are kept in a special refrigerator with Argon gas added and sealed with special rubber stoppers, at a temperature slightly lower than the serving temperature. These measures allow us to preserve the wines and maintain the quality of the tastings for at least a week after opening the bottle.
If you follow these little rules, you will enjoy drinking the remaining wine and avoid having to throw it away because it has turned into vinegar.