"What is the definition of a good wine? It should start and end with a smile." ― William Sokolin
That is just the right way to put it! The purpose of creating the aromatic wine is to fill your senses with pleasure which you gain while enjoying the flavor of a good wine―from the start till the end! It takes years for a good wine to age and acquire its aromatic flavor, which is perfectly sealed for years, just waiting for you to open it up in time and sip in the flavors to light up your senses. However, if the bottle fails to get empty when it is opened, the question arises, whether to store the opened wine, or pour it down the drain? Many wine lovers know that there are many risks involved in storing wine after the bottle has been opened. It tends to lose its aroma and the actual flavor. Therefore, they prefer finishing it on the day the bottle is opened, or, throw the rest of the wine away. Personally, I don't think that throwing the leftover of a wine bottle for which you have paid $60 is something sensible to do. However, I strongly recommend people to finish the opened wine bottle within 2 to 3 days.
Essential Tips to Store Leftover Wine
Every wine lover, or anyone who drinks wine, should know about the methods of storing wine, especially if you are someone who would love to host a wine tasting party! The fact is that not all wines can be stored for a longer period of time. Among the different types of wines that exist, red wines, like the regular port wines, can be stored for a longer period of time once opened. On the other hand, the white wines are more likely to lose its original taste. Mentioned below are some ways which will tell you how and where to store the remaining wine so that it is apt for reuse.
Store in the Refrigerator
Of course, we all know that wine needs to be stored in a refrigerator. But there are many people who would rather keep it on the kitchen counter. But, how to do so is also important! The main goal is to stop the oxidization of the wine and slow the aging process. The best way to store wine after opening is to store the wine in a water bottle (the normal plastic ones) which should be just the right size to fill the wine till the neck or the tip. Seal the water bottle tightly with the cap and keep it in the refrigerator.
Now you must be thinking why not just use the original bottle and close it with the cork? This is because once the seal has been opened, the cork will give way to the air to enter the wine bottle which may ruin the wine. Storing it in water bottles filled till the top would leave no room for the air to enter. This method can actually store the wine up to a week, so you must finish it within that time period. While serving that wine, you can also pour it into its original bottle if you think people might find it awkward to see you serve from a water bottle! Make sure the original wine bottle is clean and dried.
Pump the Air Out
This works best for red wines. There are many vacuum devices―'Vac-u-Vin' being the popular one―available in the market which can help you pump out the air from the wine bottle. Once that is done, you can tightly seal the bottle and keep it in a refrigerator. Note that many wine lovers don't recommend this method for white wines.
Put the Gases In
A very popular product called the 'private preserve' was created by Scott A. Farmer from California. The concept of this product is to spray a mixture of nitrogen, argon, and carbon dioxide in the bottle of wine as these gases would form a layer over the wine and prevent the oxygen to get mixed. These gases don't have a smell of their own, so it would not corrupt the wine in any way whatsoever! Once you have sprayed the gases, put the cork back on the bottle as tightly as possible and refrigerate in an upright position. This would keep your wine good for a few days up to a week, depending upon the type.
Use the Half Bottles
This method is pretty similar to the first method of using a water bottle. If you often seem to have leftover wine, I would prefer you to buy half bottles. Though it might not be possible always, but then do keep some half bottles in stock which might actually help you store the leftover wine from the full bottle. The best thing to do is to pour half of the wine into the smaller bottle as soon as you open the cork. Seal the cork tightly and store it in the fridge, drink the remaining half. Fill the bottle till the cork makes it difficult for the air to enter the wine in order to keep the cork moist!
In all the aforementioned methods, you must have noticed that wine has to be refrigerated. In fact, when it comes to storing port wine, the Portuguese always believed to serve the port wine chilled. This article on wine storage temperature will be a useful read.
In case of Tawnies, the best way is to reseal the bottle and refrigerate it, but consume it within a week. However, if you have a vintage port wine, it would be better to finish it within a day or two. The most interesting thing about wine is that they tend to take the qualities of the things around them. If you keep it next to fermented food in the refrigerator, like cheese, it will take that smell. The best way is to store the wine away from the rest of the food, or from things that have a smell. Storing your wine in the refrigerator is best because then it is away from sunlight, air, humidity, and other factors that can contribute to its spoilage. The aforementioned methods might not be useful in storing sparkling wines because they have gases which will eventually release if you store them. Even white wines are hard to store for more than a day. So, if you really want to enjoy your bottle of wine from the start till the end, finish it till the end. Cheers!