Because I’m the only one in the house who drinks wine regularly, a standard 750ml bottle will last about three days. While your typical decent California wine, with regional appellation and costing about ten or thirteen dollars, will still be drinkable after a couple of days, I can still tell that there’s something missing. It isn’t all that it was when I opened the bottle.
In a recent thread about wine, somebody mentioned a strategy for this situation: you buy a half-bottle and drink that, saving the empty bottle. Then next time you open a full bottle, you pour half of it into the empty half-bottle and recork that. Then when you’ve finished using up the remainder in the full bottle, you open the half bottle, fresh and delicious.
I suppose one could take this strategy further and get two half-bottles, and immediately distribute the large bottle into both upon uncorking. This would also reduce surface-to-air exposure in the “first” half that you drink.
Of course, if you meant if the half bottle was to be finished in the course of a single evening, then yeah, that could conceivably happen and I might not bother using a second small bottle in that case.
I remember reading an article not too long ago about preserving wine (sorry, don’t remember where it was) and it advocated the half-bottle solution as well, as long as you had a half-bottle to store. If you only had a glass or so, it didn’t do so well.
The key to wine preservation seems to be minimizing contact with the air. I like the vacu-vin because it works with any size bottle and I don’t have to pour the wine into a smaller bottle. But I rarely keep wine longer than a day or two.
Which is a great shame from an environmental point of view, as the ancient cork forests are a very important habitat in southern Europe. If the bottom falls out of the cork market, then the cork trees will likely be grubbed up and replaced with something more profitable, like golf courses or Starbucks.
(Cork is sustainable, in that you peel off the cork bark and it magically grows back, without harming the tree).
It works, but not as well as a vacu-vin or some other preservation device. The wine wil not be ‘fresh and delicious’ though, it might just be slightly less oxidized than if it were stored in a 750 ml with just a cork, that’s about it.
I’ll suggest again a can of gas and a stainless steel cork. Best bet for the money.
I’ve got all kinds of wine gizmos around here, including 375 ml bottles, various kinds of corks and stoppers, etc.
Maybe this weekend I’ll conduct a test on 3 or 4 different preservation methods and report back.
I recently read a bunch of back issues of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, and one of them had an article on this subject. They tried various methods and devices for preserving that half bottle of wine, and the easiest and best method they found was cheap and simple, though not classy looking. You merely pour the remaining wine into a clean, plastic water bottle (you know, like Dasani or you could even use a Pepsi bottle…just one of those plastic disposable bottles) squeeze it down to force out the extra air, and put the plastic screw-cap back on. Inexpensive, handy, and in their testing it did a better job of preserving the wine that the pricier solutions, and they specifically said it worked better than a Vacu-vin. . So try that during your weekend experiment. It doesn’t look as pretty, but hey, it’s just for you, so who cares?
You probably are filling those glasses too full. If you’re using those big bulbous globular glasses, I recommend not filling them more than halfway, in order to “leave room for the nose”, as I like to say.