Any of you know a good way to keep a bottle of red drinkable for more than a few days once it’s been opened? I’d like to drink one or two glasses a day (they say it’s good for the arteries…at least that would be my official reason), but being the sole imbiber in the household, I’d be hesitant to buy a whole bottle and have to pour down half or three quarters of it down the drain a couple of days later. Half bottles aren’t really an option (choice-wise) where I live. I’m sure I’d have more than a few volunteers to “take care of my problem”, but the logistics of it might be a bit tricky
If you’re just drinking the red for your health (snicker), forget expensive wines that lose their “bouquet” after they’ve been opened. Get a nice big jug of cheap red wine with a screw-on bottle cap. Stuff keeps (well, gets no worse) for weeks.
Actually, a 750 ml bottle of Californian or French red in the $7 to $10 range (a Merlot, a Cabinet Sauvignon, a Shiraz, a Zinfandel–Not! that White Zinfandel stuff that is so embarrassing that it blushes–or a few others) will not generally go bad by the time you drink it if you have a 6 oz glass each evening. I won’t claim that each glass will present the ultimate experience in oenology, but it will be quite drinkable. Simply recork the bottle and keep it in a cool place in the house (not the fridge).
If you are interested in maintaining ultimate freshness, your local wine store may have one of those resealing pump caps that allows you to remove a lot of the air in the bottle. (They hardly create a vacuum, and I don’t know how worthwhile they are, but I’ve seen them sold.)
The pump caps (or whatever they’re called) work great. I haven’t bought a new one in a while, but as I recall it wasn’t very expensive.
If you want to go all out high class, wine supply companies sell these—I don’t know what to call them! It’s a wooden case that holds several bottles of wine and keeps all of them free of excess air. I know, lousy explaination, but I just can’t think of the right words. Anyway, what you end up with is a mini wine-on-tap bar. Very cool, but also very expensive.
“I think it would be a great idea” Mohandas Ghandi’s answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization
Some wine merchants will sell you aeresol cans of nitrogen. After you open the bottle, spray a blast of N into bottle, then re-insert the cork. The nitrogen drives out ordinary air, which prevents the wine from oxidizing. This is supposed to work much better than the Pump.
Many thanks guys. The pump I knew about: I didn’t know how efficient it was. The nitrogen cans are new to me: makes sense though.
I was at a friend’s house a couple of weeks ago and he had a nitrogen aerosal for his wine. The way he explained its workings to me didn’t stress forcing the air out. He said the inert gas, being heavier than air, forms a layer between the air and the wine, preventing oxidation.
Actually, some red wines taste better if they’re left open on the counter for a few days. Cabernets especially are much smoother. This is the reason why wine lovers decant red wine – the decanting process mixes oxygen into the wine to remove some of the harshness.
I recall once drinking an Australian cabernet (no Monty Python jokes). When opened, it was harsh. We left it on the counter for a week, and it was delicious.