Three wine glasses clinking together
I’ve Tested the Best Ways to Store Leftover Wine – And These Are My Favorites

You don’t have to pour money down the drain. And you don’t have to finish the bottle just because you don’t want it to go to waste. There are several good options for keeping wine fresh, even days later.

My significant other is more of a beer drinker, and since there’s no way I can or should polish off an entire bottle by myself in one night, I’ve had lots of real world experience in testing out the various methods of wine storage. Here’s how they rank, top to bottom, plus a few of my tips:

Wine Saving Carafe

Coming in at number one is a device called Savino. I love how it looks – a sleek design that seamlessly goes from fridge to tabletop – and appreciate how it functions even more. As soon as the bottle of wine is open, I pour the entire bottle into the glass carafe. There is a piece that floats on top of the wine, keeping air from reaching the liquid. As one pours the wine from the carafe, the floating piece remains in constant contact with the surface of the wine, slowing oxidation. I’ve kept wine for several days using this method, with little change to the aroma or flavor. After about four to five days, I’ll notice slight changes in the wine, and after a week I’d say the wine is still drinkable, but will taste like it’s been opened for a day or two. Maintenance is a cinch – I never use soap on the Savino, I simply rinse it out and dry well.

Red wine in Savino wine carafe

There are a few competitive products, each with their own unique design, that function in a similar way to the Savino.

Wine Saver Pump

The suction method comes in at number two. The idea here is to remove oxygen from the bottle, creating a vacuum, thus limiting oxidation of the wine. This was the method I used most often before I got my Savino, and find that it works fairly well. After a day the wine still tastes fresh, after two you’ll begin to notice a slight change, and on days three and four the wine will taste like it has been opened, but can still be enjoyed. Vacu Vin is the most common brand of wine pump, and it and others can be found online or in specialty wine stores. 

Vacu Vin Wine Pump with two stoppers

The Half Bottle Method

Oxidation happens when the contents of the bottle is exposed to air. The half bottle method is not a device, but a method of attempting to limit the exposure to your wine by pouring the remainder of a larger bottle into one with less volume. The next time you are at a wine store, pick up a half bottle of a wine that you’d like to drink. After it has been consumed, rinse out the half bottle, allowing it to air dry. The next time you have leftover wine from a 750ml bottle, use a funnel to pour the contents into the half bottle, the more full the better. A half bottle with a screw top makes capping easy – or use a vacuum pump as described above to seal the contents, and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it again.

Red wine in a glass on a wooden table

A few more tips:

Always refrigerate both red and white wine when storing after it’s been open. This will help prolong its life, slowing oxidation. Allow red wine to come up toward room temperature before serving again.

Even when you employ the best methods of wine preservation, open wine will begin to oxidize after some time. If you have leftover wine that isn’t bad, but you simply aren’t enjoying it anymore, try adding a splash of liqueur to your glass to flavor the wine. I like St. Germaine, an elderflower liqueur, or Creme de Cassis, a black currant liqueur. You could even add ice to the glass, and maybe a strawberry or mint sprig to make a whole new cocktail.

If I have leftover wine from a bottle that I thought was decent, but not my favorite, often I’ll freeze it to use in cooking. I use larger silicone ice cube trays that hold about a quarter cup per cube. After the wine is frozen, I pop the cubes in a Ziplock bag for storage.

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