A glass of wine (or two!) with dinner is one of life’s great pleasures. If you don’t finish the bottle, however, it can also be an expensive waste. With growing emphasis on decanting wine to unleash its full spectrum of flavors and aromas, it’s also prudent to consider what happens to unfinished bottles. Just as oxygen brings muted qualities to the forefront, overexposure over time begins a process of rapid deterioration.
The crème de la crème in wine preservation is the Coravin, a device that dispenses wine through a hollow needle inserted through the cork. As wine flows out, a cartridge pumps flavorless argon gas into the bottle; the leftover wine never comes in contact with air, meaning half-finished bottles can remain good for weeks or even months. However, with a price of nearly $300, the Coravin is perhaps best suited for serious oenophiles and expensive bottles.
For everyday drinking, consider a corkage system with a handheld vacuum pump like the Vacu Vin ($14.95). Instead of preventing contact with air, these inexpensive sets remove air from an open bottle through a rubber cork and extend drinkability for a few days.
An old-school trick has always been to store wine in Mason jars, leaving as little room for air as possible. The mid-price Savino Wine Saver Carafe ($59.95) utilizes the same principle with more convenience and style. The whole bottle is poured into a glass carafe with a floating disk that rests on the surface of the liquid, which tilts as you pour.
Before you open another bottle, consider investing in a gadget to save your wine. With options for every budget, there’s no excuse for letting wasted wine break the bank.