Chateauneuf du Pape - Wines - Domaine André Brunel - Les Cailloux

How do you keep a bottle of wine open ?

How do you keep a bottle of wine open ?

Everybody must have found himself one evening with an open bottle, the question being: what can we do to save the wine as long as possible? But also in the best conditions! André Brunel’s estate is giving you some secrets to do it.

Elements that influence the preservation

We often say that we can keep an open bottle of red wine for two or three days, and some white one for 3 to 5 days, and a sparkling wine must be drunk the same day, the following next day which is the extreme limit. Why? Several factors have to be taken into account when we have to keep a red or a white wine. Once the bottle is open, aromas and flavors will evolve because of the oxidation of alcohol which is in contact with the air, creating ethanol which will be followed by a loss of freshness. Which will give to a red wine opened for a few days and badly kept a taste close to vinegar (because of its transformation into acetic acid). The oxidation is initially important: you are told to aerate properly your wines, to carafe them, but later air becomes the enemy of an efficient storage.

Temperature will also play its role: we said it previously, freshness is the best friend of a red or white wine, before its tasting, but also after. A temperature superior to 15° will quicken the oxidation described above.

UV light will also reduce your opened red and white wines. That’s the reason why the bottles containing red wines are tinted.

Myths to ged rid of

The habits often come from the idea that we are doing well, or from techniques used since the time of our grands-parents, techniques whose efficiency we would not doubt. Nevertheless, nowadays science disagrees with many of these bad habits. Here is a short list of the things which must be absolutely banished if you want to keep your wine perfectly.

  • Store red wine at room temperature. Everybody heard this: the white wine in a cool place, the red in the kitchen. A bad idea! At the room temperature, the oxidation will quicken. Plus, if you leave it in the kitchen, the cooking plates, the light and the UV rays from the window will play their negative role.
  • Re-use the original cork: also a very bad idea, as its bacteria may get into the wine: you must immediately throw it away.
  • Let the red or the white wine into its carafe: there is more risk to provoke oxidation, the carafe being larger than the bottle. So, if wine remains in it, put it back.

The most effective storage techniques.

Nowadays, we know exactly what permits to store properly or not a wine. Here are a few techniques to use, from the easiest to the most expensive.

For the red and white

As soon as the tasting is over, put a specific cork immediately. The best ones are glass caps, which are airtight and can adapt to all standards necks. Rubber caps are practical because flexible but much less efficient.

The best thing to do before putting the cork back is to evacuate the air with a pump. As much air as possible: you will slow down the oxidation and save almost twice the time of conservation.

Let the bottle in a cool place. The fridge can also protect from light and the UV rays that spoil the liquid.

Thanks to all these techniques, the red or white wines can be kept up to 5 days without too many changes as far as taste is concerned.

And don’t forget that you can also use the wine which is left in a dish or prepare a sauce if it’s not really good enough to be drunk.

The Champagnes

Sparkling wines containing bubbles, the rules to save the wine will be more difficult. The best thing to do is to drink it the same day – or to put a cork very correctly, pump the air and put in the fridge to drink it the day after at the utmost.

Technology can help

Now there are more professional techniques to help you to save wines: technological air pumps able to extend preservation but also machines that can preserve liquids very well, for example three weeks for the red ones, the white ones and even the sparkling ones thanks to a CO2 injection.

The best technique actually is to be sensible and far-sighted so as not to have to throw your wine: try to know in advance the quantity of wine you will need for your special occasion, and only open the last bottle if you're sure it's worth it. Without getting frustrated, of course!

Published : 2023-09-05

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