How to Properly Store an Open Bottle of Wine

My bride and I had an opportunity to dine at one of the most romantic restaurants in thewineopen Phoenix area the other night: the Top of the Rock at the Phoenix Marriott Tempe at the Buttes. As you may have gathered from the name of the resort, the restaurant is situated on a hillside overlooking the glimmering lights below.

The restaurant had a good wine-by-the-glass list, but I spotted a bottle that I really wanted because it would pair so perfectly with both of our meals. Only one problem: I knew we wouldn’t finish the bottle in one sitting because we were there for work and I needed to get up early the next day. So I asked our server, “If we order a bottle and don’t finish it, can we take what’s left to our room?”

The answer was yes, so I needed to make sure the leftover wine inside that bottle made it to the next evening in good shape.

In this particular case, it was an easy “process.” I simply put the cork back in the bottle’s top, and placed the bottle in our room’s small closet so no sunlight could reach it in case our room attendant left the shades open.

From a “freshness” standpoint, it’s always best to consume the full contents of a bottle within a few hours of its opening. That said, most bottles will keep just fine for anywhere from a day to a week if you follow a few simple steps…

  1. Re-cork the bottle (or, if the wine came with a screw cap, re-screw it).
  2. If you plan to consume the rest of the wine the next day, place the bottle in a cool place, away from sunlight.
  3. If you plan to consume the rest of the wine between two and seven days later, place it in the refrigerator. (Yes, this applies to both white and red wines.)
  4. On the day you plan to finish the wine, take it out of the refrigerator one hour before serving for whites, and three hours before serving for reds.

Long-term aging requires greater attention to storage, but once a bottle is opened, you have about a week to keep it “fresh” and finish it off.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Editor's Journal
Members-only Wine sampler specials delivered straight to your inbox via our Cyber Circle newsletter.

%d bloggers like this: