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How To Store Open Red Wines

November 10, 2021 by Antone Boustani

Oxygen turns red wine into vinegar. Thus the key is to reduce the amount of oxygen touching the surface when storing open red wine. There are a few methods used to prolong shelf life, all based on minimizing exposure to oxygen either by replacing or removing the oxygen or reducing the surface area of the wine. With the necessary TLC some red wines can be stored open for up to a week.

Basics After Opening
Re-cork the wine after every glass pour. Keep the open wine bottle out of light and stored under room temperature. In most cases a refrigerator goes a long way to keeping wine fresh longer; even red wines. When stored at colder temperatures the chemical processes slow down, including the process of oxidation that takes place when wine is exposed to oxygen. Wine stored by cork inside the fridge will stay relatively fresh for up to 3-5 days. This is a good start, but I think we can do better!

Re-cork It Right
The first rule of preserving your wine is to replace the cork correctly. While the “clean” side may seem easier to fit in the bottle, resist. The stained side has already been exposed to the wine, and it tasted fine. That “clean” side may not be so clean, and it can taint what you’re planning to drink in a day or two. 

Freshness Tips
• For best results, store the wine upright to minimize surface area exposed to oxygen.
• Prevent dramatic temperature changes which can damage your wine, such as quickly going from cold to hot.
• You can warm up a red wine bottle in luke warm water. Be careful not to use hot water, it should only be slightly warmer than room temperature.
 
What to Avoid When Storing Open Red Wine
• Don’t store open wine on its side – it increases the surface area exposed to oxygen
• Don’t store open wine by a window – because of sun exposure and discoloration

If you don’t want to buy any wine preserving tools, consider rebottling the wine in a smaller container so that the amount of wine that touches air is reduced.

Buy an Affordable Wine Preserver
There are a few wine preservation systems available. Most of them don’t work that well, some do more harm than good, and others are just blatant rip-offs. I’ve narrowed it down to two fundamental types: the vacuum pump wine preservation and inert wine gas preservation. Before jumping into which to buy, it’s important to disclose the controversy on vacuum pumps.

Use Half Bottles
Air flattens your wine, lessening flavours and aromas. To minimize air exposure, use a funnel to pour the remaining vino into a screw-cap half bottle. Even if there’s a little air at the top, it’s far less than in a regular bottle.

Refrigerate It
It’s amazing how often people will keep leftover wine on the counter after they’ve recorked it. You wouldn’t do that with food, so don’t with wine. The cool temp can’t stop exposed wine from breaking down, but it can slow the process significantly. 

Don’t “Open” It 
If popping high-end bottles is what you call Wednesday (or you’re itching to taste those gems in your cellar), it may be time for a Coravin. This device, which looks much like a Rabbit opener, pierces the cork with a needle and tops the bottle with argon gas. Pour what you want, remove the needle and the cork will seal naturally. Many restaurants use it to sell top-shelf wines by the glass

Finish It
Look, there are roughly six glasses of wine in a regular 750-ml bottle. If you and yours have two glasses each and split that last glass—all while eating a decent-sized dinner—it’s not bad. In fact, according to recent studies, 1–3 glasses a day may improve your heart health. 

Which Red Wines Go Bad The Quickest
• Pinot Noir is one of the most sensitive red wines when exposed to air.
• Old wine over 8-10 years – Once we drank a 10 year old pinot noir that went bad in 4 hours! P.S. Shame on you for not finishing a 10 year old bottle!
• Organic wine or sulfite-free wine are typically more fragile.
• Light coloured red wine varietals including Grenache, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo

How long does wine last after it’s opened?
Most wines last open for only about 3–5 days before they start to go bad. Of course, this greatly depends on the type of wine! Find out more about this below.


 
Sparkling Wine
1–3 days in the fridge with a sparkling wine stopper Sparkling wines lose their carbonation quickly after opening. A traditional method sparkling wine, such as Cava or Champagne, will last a little longer than a tank method sparkling wine like Prosecco. The traditional method wines have more atmospheres of pressure (more bubbles) in them when they’re bottled, which is why they tend to last longer.

Light White, Sweet White and Rosé Wine
5-7 days in a dark place if corked Most light white and rosé wines will be drinkable for up to a week when stored in your refrigerator. You’ll notice the taste will change subtly after the first day, as the wine oxidizes. The overall fruit character of the wine will often diminish, becoming less vibrant.

Full-Bodied White Wine
3 -5 days in a dark place if corked. Full-bodied white wines, like oaked Chardonnay and Viognier, tend to oxidize more quickly because they saw more oxygen during their pre-bottling aging process. Be certain to always keep them corked and in the fridge. If you drink a lot of this type of wine, it’s a really smart idea to invest on vacuum cups 

Red Wine
3 -5 days in a dark place if corked The more tannin and acidity the red wine has, the longer it tends to last after opening. So, a light red with very little tannin, such as Pinot Noir, won’t last open as long as a rich red like. Some wines will even improve after the first day open. Store open red wines in a chiller or a dark cool place after opening them. If you don’t have a chiller, your fridge is better than letting the wine sit out in a 70°F (21°C) room.

Fortified Wine
28 days in a dark place if corked Fortified wines like Port, Sherry, and Marsala have very long shelf lives because of the addition of brandy. While these wines do look marvellous displayed on a high shelf, they will lose their vibrant flavours more quickly from exposure to light and heat. The only wines which will keep forever when open are Madeira and Marsala–they’re already oxidized and cooked! Just so you know, the sweeter the dessert wine, the longer it will last open. The same temperature-based rules apply here: best to keep them stored in the fridge.

Why Wine Goes Bad
Wines stored after opening can go bad in two major ways. The first way is when acetic acid bacteria consumes the alcohol in wine and metabolizes it into acetic acid and acetaldehyde. This causes the wine to have a sharp vinegar like smell.  Additionally, the alcohol can oxidize, causing a nutty residue, that robs the wine of fresh, fruity flavours. These are both chemical reactions, and the lower the temperature, the more slowly this will happen.

Storing wine is a passion of Kennards Self Storage. Kennards Storage has purpose built wine storage cabinets in temperature controlled environment that is accessible 24 hours a day. Wine storage can be easy to organise. Self storage is great because you get your own space and there are no lock in contracts meaning you only pay for the days used. The quoted amount is for a one month period. Pay for that period and then get a refund for the days not used if you move out before months end. This pro-rata amount is calculated to the day you finish. Kennards moving boxes range includes the wine storage box which carries 12 bottles of wine and fits the wine storage cabinet perfectly.

Go here to learn more and reserve your wine storage online


You will find Kennards Wine Storage and be able to view prices and sizes. You can then reserve or rent a space at a location near you with in a couple of clicks. From there you can then purchase Wine Storage Boxes and get them delivered to your home or office. Pack your wine and then bring them to your storage space. 

If you purchase wine online, get them delivered to your Kennards Storage facility and we will accept the delivery on your behalf and then contact you so that you can pick them up or put them away! No more wine sitting at your front door waiting for your to come home.

How to store open red wine is only a problem if you let it be. There are solutions to all problems. Kennards Self storage has decades experience in providing storage solutions to the casual drinker, the wine collector and businesses like wine importers and restaurants.

Antone Boustani

Antone joined the Kennards Self Storage in 2012 as a Team Support Manager. Progressing to the roles of NSW Rostering Co-ordinator and Waterloo Centre manager led to the position of NSW Operations Manager in 2019. Antone has gained leadership skills at previous roles as a Manager at KFC and Decorug and did run his own business a Deli / Fruit shop called Naremburn Natural. He loves that we are the people that care and how that is achieved through procedures that enable our teams to offer great customer service. He is invested in improving himself and the team around him and believes that doing what you love is the key. Outside work Antone loves travelling overseas as much as getting on the open road and you can find him watching any type of sport but especially cricket.

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