For any number of reasons, not every bottle of wine gets finished in a single sitting. That means we need an effective way of saving and storing open bottles for finishing later.
Here are a few suggestions to make sure that leftover wine goes down your throat, and not down the drain…
Once a bottle of wine has been uncorked… or unscrewed, as more and more wineries embrace screw caps… the wine’s aging process accelerates.
This can be mitigated to some degree by immediately re-sealing the bottle after pouring the wine into glasses, or by using one of several products on the market that utilizes certain processes to return the wine to its “unopened” state.
But in our experience, the wine still loses “something” even when such products are used, whether it’s the strength of its aroma or its freshness on the palate. Thus, don’t plan on keeping an opened bottle more than a few days, because with each passing hour, it will lose a little bit of its personality, or what we like to call its “oomph.”
Some urge against it, but it’s perfectly fine to put the re-sealed bottle in the refrigerator for a day (no more). Just be sure to take it out at least an hour before reopening and pouring it the next day.
Older wines will “devolve” more quickly than younger ones, so keep that in mind as well.
If we had to commit to a specific time frame, we’d strongly suggest finishing off any bottle within three days of its first opening. When it comes to an opened bottle of wine, “the sooner the better” is a good rule of thumb.