Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

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K Martin
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Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#1 Post by K Martin » June 4th, 2020, 1:48 pm

So, in such testing, worrying and frankly quite often boring times, I've decided to try and occupy my time by getting stuck into some wine tasting. However, as opposed to glugging away as per my usual style, I actually bought a notepad to take notes and to try and develop my knowledge and palate. [cheers.gif]

I opened two bottles earlier, pretty much at random, 1 old world and 1 new: A Rouchier St Joseph (la chave) and a Ridge Lytton Springs 2014.

I don't want to drink two bottles on a Thursday night - particularly 2 at 14+%! I know that every day's the weekend right now, but I'm trying to be sensible with the daily intake and that approach seems like the best option to further one's education. I searched the page and can't find any direct answers, so my question is:

What's the general rule of thumb / favoured process for storing wine at home from day to day? Should I just leave both wines open and start on them again tomorrow to see if I can perceive any differences from day 1? (both bottles are now half full in their bottles - not decanted). Or should I plug the bottles with their corks and go again tomorrow. I don't have a Coravin system or any fancy gadgets to aid with this.

In the past, I've left young Rhone and some other reds out uncorked at room temp or slightly lower and they've been even better the next day - Particularly Rhone. Burgundy less so, it loses massively on day 2 I think - young or old. I've had much less success with whites on day 2 - white Burgundy and Californian chardonnay to name two that weren't good the next day when left open and uncorked in my experience. They've been decent enough, although still not as good, with the cork stuck back in and then placed in the fridge until reconsumption on day 2.

Any help / comments / suggestions on the best approach would be great. Thanks in advance for any comments !

I really do hope everyone is keeping well, taking care and staying safe on here.

All the very best,

Kevin
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#2 Post by Ian Alper » June 4th, 2020, 1:55 pm

I immediately pour 1/2 into a split, put cork in and put in refrigerator.

I got a pretty good deal on an unused coravin on e-bay. You can look at previous threads on the subject but I think it is well worth it, especially if you are only trying to keep the bottles for a few weeks.

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#3 Post by K Martin » June 4th, 2020, 2:07 pm

Thanks Ian,

I'm only ever looking to store the bottles for 24 hours maybe 2 days (48 hours) at an absolute maximum. Do you have any advice based on that?
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#4 Post by Ian Alper » June 4th, 2020, 2:15 pm

Do the split trick - pour into 1/2 bottle as soon as you open. Should be fine.

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#5 Post by Philip G » June 4th, 2020, 2:19 pm

Coravin is best but expensive. The 1/2 bottle is a good idea. Argon gas canisters are not expensive and get you up to a week or so especially if you pour then cork right away.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#6 Post by K Martin » June 4th, 2020, 2:27 pm

thanks for the advice. I don't have a half bottle, but I'll get one asap and go with that and I'll also invest in Corivan. In the meantime, for tonight and this week what is the best option?

1. Keep the two red bottles open until tomorrow, store in a cool area and taste again tomorrow
2. Cork the two red bottles, store in a cool area and taste again tomorrow
3. Cork the two red bottles, put in the refrigerator and taste again tomorrow

thanks again for all your insight - it's much appreciated.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#7 Post by Eric Lundblad » June 4th, 2020, 3:08 pm

K Martin wrote:
June 4th, 2020, 2:27 pm
thanks for the advice. I don't have a half bottle, but I'll get one asap and go with that and I'll also invest in Corivan. In the meantime, for tonight and this week what is the best option?

1. Keep the two red bottles open until tomorrow, store in a cool area and taste again tomorrow
2. Cork the two red bottles, store in a cool area and taste again tomorrow
3. Cork the two red bottles, put in the refrigerator and taste again tomorrow

thanks again for all your insight - it's much appreciated.
Option #3 definitely. I do this with the majority of bottles I open at home. The next night, take the bottle out of the fridge several hours before dinner, to let the bottle slowly come up to the proper temp. If this doesn't work for you, for whatever reason, it's best to look for another approach.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#8 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f » June 4th, 2020, 3:14 pm

We generally drink half a bottle a night, mainly (as you point out) to try and prevent unhealthy levels of consumption, since we (or at least I - she takes a pass many nights) have wine with dinner almost every night. I typically decant the half we're going to drink into a decanter and then immediately put the cork or a stopper into the half-empty 750, and put it back in the cellar (which is 55 degrees), and leave it at that. I used to try some of the more involved methods with the half-bottles, or the gadgets (the vacuvin, the argon, etc.) but never found them to be worth the extra hassle for me.

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#9 Post by K Martin » June 4th, 2020, 3:16 pm

Dave - thanks for your reply. I've done exactly the same as you, but I've recently put them in the fridge. keep 'em in or take em out of the fridge? what do you think?

thanks again
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#10 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f » June 4th, 2020, 3:21 pm

K Martin wrote:
June 4th, 2020, 3:16 pm
Dave - thanks for your reply. I've done exactly the same as you, but I've recently put them in the fridge. keep 'em in or take em out of the fridge? what do you think?

thanks again
I don't think there is any doubt that the cellar is more preservative than leaving them out on the counter, and that the fridge is more preservative than the cellar. Every so often, I know it's going to be several days or a week before we finish a wine, and I will use the fridge. The rest of the time, I just use the cellar. In the pre-pandemic world, I tended to get home late from the office, most evenings, so having enough time for the wine to warm up was another issue with using the fridge that I just didn't want to mess with. I still wouldn't just leave it out on the table, especially in the summer, but for wines I'm finishing the very next night (which is the vast majority of them), the cellar has always worked fine for me.

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#11 Post by K Martin » June 4th, 2020, 4:30 pm

Thanks all for your advice - they're corked and in the Fridge!

thanks again - much appreciated!
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#12 Post by Philip G » June 4th, 2020, 4:31 pm

K Martin wrote:
June 4th, 2020, 2:27 pm
thanks for the advice. I don't have a half bottle, but I'll get one asap and go with that and I'll also invest in Corivan. In the meantime, for tonight and this week what is the best option?

1. Keep the two red bottles open until tomorrow, store in a cool area and taste again tomorrow
2. Cork the two red bottles, store in a cool area and taste again tomorrow
3. Cork the two red bottles, put in the refrigerator and taste again tomorrow

thanks again for all your insight - it's much appreciated.
My wife and I have found that one of the best uses for the Coravin is to be able to do tastings of multiple bottles just the two of us. We've done up to 6 in the past. It's really fun and great for learning. We're doing a 4 wine Rasa Vineyards tasting tomorrow. We'll Coravin 2-3 oz each per bottle. Might wind up opening one after but the others will only have about a glass removed and can be saved for months.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#13 Post by Andrew K. » June 4th, 2020, 4:39 pm

Coravin is great, but I use it more for long term tasting. I can take a small pour of a bottle over the course of several months. I just finished a Lafite I Coravin'd half of Christmas 2018. It was no worse for wear. I also had a DRC RSV that I took several pours out of over a few month span.

Coravining half a bottle every night just to finish it off in the next few days would be kind of obscene IMO. If you're regularly drinking half a bottle, another method makes more sense. I just drink half of the bottle and leave the other half on the counter corked. I start there the next day.

However, I will say that for the Coravin I use the knock off Argon capsules that are half the price (used to be 1/4 the price) of the legit ones.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#14 Post by John Morris » June 4th, 2020, 4:53 pm

Kevin- If I’m just keeping it overnight, I’ll just refrigerate the bottle and don’t usually bother to pour the wine into a half bottle. But if I expect to drink a half bottle or less, and won’t drink the balance the following night, I’ll pour off half into a 375ml bottle as soon as I’ve pulled the cork.

I ALWAYS refrigerated leftover wines. There are several reasons:

1. Oxidation, which varies with the wine. Some grapes, like Grenache, oxidize very quickly. Cabernet and Syrah, less so.
2. Some old world wines will develop noticeable volatile acidity (acetic acid/vinegar and/or ethyl acetate) overnight at room temperature.
3. Aroma compounds evaporate out of the wine much more rapidly as temperatures rise. In some cases, the wine becomes more aromatic with time — up to a point, such as a few hours. But I can’t think of a wine I would expect have better aromas after 24 hours *at room temperature.*
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#15 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » June 4th, 2020, 5:14 pm

Agree with most people here - put it in the fridge overnight. Just don't forget to take it out of the fridge well beforehand to come up to optimal drinking temp, especially if we're talking about reds.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#16 Post by Ethan Abraham » June 4th, 2020, 5:29 pm

The 4oz Boston bottles that people have been using for zoom tastings are a good option too. Fill it so no extra air and throw in the fridge should be good for days if not more.

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#17 Post by Mike Kuller » June 4th, 2020, 7:31 pm

For my reds - Private Wine Preserve (argon) and put it in the fridge.

For my wife's whites - Vacu-Vin and refrig.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#18 Post by cjsadler » June 4th, 2020, 7:55 pm

I was shocked to read James Laube’s article on freezing wine, but it really works. You can come back to a wine weeks later with virtually no change to it. I use either a half bottle or a beer bottle, which is close. Haven’t tried microwaving the wine to thaw like he suggests (!), though— I just run the bottle under warm water.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#19 Post by J. G o r d o n » June 4th, 2020, 7:57 pm

I agree with Mike above. Look at two things on Amazon:

1) a $12 can of argon gas -- use a 1-2 second squirt to preserve any wine
2) look at Repour Wine Saver on Amazon. I haven't used it yet but it came highly recommended to me and has great Amazon reviews.

In both cases, you should store leftover wine in your main fridge (not a wine cooler) and take them out 30-60 minutes before you want to drink them again.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#20 Post by HoosJustinG » June 4th, 2020, 8:06 pm

Surprised no mention of Repour corks for short term use. About a buck a pop, and I’ve really enjoyed them. I’ve used it to preserve wine 2-3 weeks no problem. They claim 1 cork works an unlimited # of times on the same bottle, but IME it’s really best to aim for 1 “corking.” I suppose you could use another brand new Repour if you wanna preserve a bottle for the second time.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#21 Post by C. Mc Cart » June 4th, 2020, 8:13 pm

Further to Ethan's suggestion above, I'm currently beginning to test this approach based on Fu's Zoom tasting group and the suggestion in Charlie's original thread from someone that sited that an MS candidate had done this previously with great success.

It really looks like the key is making sure there's very minimal headspace when you fill a bottle, not how you fill the bottle. I'm using 375's with screwcaps and will be holding wines for weeks and possibly months in order to test this for myself.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#22 Post by Paul Gordon » June 4th, 2020, 9:52 pm

Eric Lundblad wrote:
June 4th, 2020, 3:08 pm
K Martin wrote:
June 4th, 2020, 2:27 pm
thanks for the advice. I don't have a half bottle, but I'll get one asap and go with that and I'll also invest in Corivan. In the meantime, for tonight and this week what is the best option?

1. Keep the two red bottles open until tomorrow, store in a cool area and taste again tomorrow
2. Cork the two red bottles, store in a cool area and taste again tomorrow
3. Cork the two red bottles, put in the refrigerator and taste again tomorrow

thanks again for all your insight - it's much appreciated.
Option #3 definitely. I do this with the majority of bottles I open at home. The next night, take the bottle out of the fridge several hours before dinner, to let the bottle slowly come up to the proper temp. If this doesn't work for you, for whatever reason, it's best to look for another approach.
+1. I follow this regime with hundreds of bottles a year. Always with good results.

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#23 Post by Robert Grenley » June 4th, 2020, 11:12 pm

I’ve tried Repour, WineSave (argon), vacuvins, etc.
For me the best results, assuming you know in advance that you will only drink a half bottle, is to immediately pour into a 375ml bottle with screw cap to the brim so no airspace (and screw cap so you don’t have to leave space to recork) and put it into the fridge.
As suggested, remove from fridge a few hours in advance to let it get up to drinking temp.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#24 Post by Bob Davis » June 5th, 2020, 4:49 am

I used to pour 1/2 bottle into a 375ml then vacuum the 375. Now we have a Coravin.

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#25 Post by Dennis Borczon » June 5th, 2020, 5:57 am

You might be missing something if you are too hasty. Just drank a young Pernand Vergelesses (2017 Clos de la Chappelle) and consumed over three days with just corking and cold refrigeration. Last 1/3 of bottle was fantastic, stretched out with nutmeg, sexy vanilla undertones and spicy finish. Some younger wines actually do benefit with some oxidation and blossom. This is the main difference in drinking a complex wine versus a simple cheap example. Less exalted wines never improve with air, they just sit there. Better wines evolve even without special treatment. Coravining them just holds the wine in place, sort of like a bookmark...

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#26 Post by Thomas Ng » August 7th, 2020, 9:41 pm

I have repour, coravin and ArT Wine Preserver. The underlying technology is iron powder or argon. I have confident that either will do better than fridge. Just my 2 cent

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#27 Post by David Glasser » August 8th, 2020, 7:46 am

If you find that putting it in the fridge with a cork in it falls short (usually works for me for 1 day, less often 2), try the Repour. That extends the life of a bottle for 1 week, maybe more in my experience. You have to keep the bottle upright after opening. I’ve heard some report occasional failures (inadequate seal?) but haven’t encountered that yet myself.

Coravin is supposed to be great for longer term but I no longer use mine. First, I can’t use it on older bottles without stirring up sediment. Second, I’ve had an occasional seal failure on long-term Coravined bottles. Third, it’s inelegant compared to Repour for short-term bottles.

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#28 Post by Wes Barton » August 9th, 2020, 5:51 pm

I got some "amber 8 oz. Amber Boston Round with Black Poly Cone Cap" which is the same type people are using 4 oz and sometimes 2 oz versions of for socially distanced tastings. I've funneled into two bottles, then consumed the rest a few times. With a '90 Sociando Mallet I siphoned down from a higher platform. Oxygen tubing. 9 volt flashlight for even back lighting. You can lift the bottle you're flowing into to slow and stop the flow. Just had the last bottle about 2 weeks out and it was fine.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#29 Post by Chris Seiber » August 9th, 2020, 5:56 pm

Ian Alper wrote:
June 4th, 2020, 1:55 pm
I immediately pour 1/2 into a split, put cork in and put in refrigerator.

I got a pretty good deal on an unused coravin on e-bay. You can look at previous threads on the subject but I think it is well worth it, especially if you are only trying to keep the bottles for a few weeks.
This is the best plan if you want to preserve the wine as close to its initial condition as possible.

Some smaller percentage of wines might improve if left to get more air over the next day, like if you just recork the half full 750, but that depends on the wine and your palate preferences.

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#30 Post by Victor Hong » August 9th, 2020, 6:10 pm

Pour the remainder of a bottle into glasses. Pour glass contents down the throat.
The wine should store well until the next day, when you repeat the process.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#31 Post by Mark Y » August 10th, 2020, 7:30 am

Wes Barton wrote:
August 9th, 2020, 5:51 pm
I got some "amber 8 oz. Amber Boston Round with Black Poly Cone Cap" which is the same type people are using 4 oz and sometimes 2 oz versions of for socially distanced tastings. I've funneled into two bottles, then consumed the rest a few times. With a '90 Sociando Mallet I siphoned down from a higher platform. Oxygen tubing. 9 volt flashlight for even back lighting. You can lift the bottle you're flowing into to slow and stop the flow. Just had the last bottle about 2 weeks out and it was fine.
+1
Of all obscures thing I’ve learned during these social distance tastings is that Coravin is basically obsolete for me for home use. These polycone cap bottles keep the wine fresh for weeks without much concern.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#32 Post by Br1an Th0rne » August 10th, 2020, 7:36 am

I usually don't have this "unfinished bottle" problem, but I've found that storing leftover wine in 4oz boston and/or 5oz woozy bottles will keep the wine fresh and intact for upwards of a week. Just be sure to fill to the very top.

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#33 Post by John Glas » August 10th, 2020, 7:39 am

For vintages within the last 7 or 8 years I simply open and pour and cork. Wines are almost always good on day 3! [cheers.gif]

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#34 Post by Alex N » August 10th, 2020, 9:16 am

I use these and fill them to the neck.

https://www.midwestsupplies.com/collect ... %20Bottles

Amazon sells a bunch of various sizes/colors.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#35 Post by Mike C. » August 10th, 2020, 9:33 am

Mark Y wrote:
August 10th, 2020, 7:30 am
Wes Barton wrote:
August 9th, 2020, 5:51 pm
I got some "amber 8 oz. Amber Boston Round with Black Poly Cone Cap" which is the same type people are using 4 oz and sometimes 2 oz versions of for socially distanced tastings. I've funneled into two bottles, then consumed the rest a few times. With a '90 Sociando Mallet I siphoned down from a higher platform. Oxygen tubing. 9 volt flashlight for even back lighting. You can lift the bottle you're flowing into to slow and stop the flow. Just had the last bottle about 2 weeks out and it was fine.
+1
Of all obscures thing I’ve learned during these social distance tastings is that Coravin is basically obsolete for me for home use. These polycone cap bottles keep the wine fresh for weeks without much concern.
Another vote for this
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#36 Post by AndrewH » August 10th, 2020, 11:17 am

Alex N wrote:
August 10th, 2020, 9:16 am
I use these and fill them to the neck.

https://www.midwestsupplies.com/collect ... %20Bottles

Amazon sells a bunch of various sizes/colors.
Same, though from here: https://www.burchbottle.com

I bought a case of 375s, a case of 8oz (~ 1/3 bottle), and polycone caps to match.

Put back in cellar after pouring off half. A bit more secure than the Perrier bottles I had been using.

To the OPs question though:

1) If you want to see how the wine evolves, just leave it in its bottle.
2) If you want to preserve it like it's freshly opened, then do one of the various rebottling approaches.
Andrew H e i m e r t

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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#37 Post by HoosJustinG » August 10th, 2020, 11:43 am

Repour is a great option, but agree to aim for one “corking.”
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#38 Post by Eric Egan » August 10th, 2020, 1:32 pm

Wes Barton wrote:
August 9th, 2020, 5:51 pm
I got some "amber 8 oz. Amber Boston Round with Black Poly Cone Cap" which is the same type people are using 4 oz and sometimes 2 oz versions of for socially distanced tastings. I've funneled into two bottles, then consumed the rest a few times. With a '90 Sociando Mallet I siphoned down from a higher platform. Oxygen tubing. 9 volt flashlight for even back lighting. You can lift the bottle you're flowing into to slow and stop the flow. Just had the last bottle about 2 weeks out and it was fine.
+1. Siphon + small bottles are great (I’ve got a bunch of different ones but prefer the flip-top 100mls). Small tip: if you’ve got a soda fountain of some sorts (I’ve got an Aarke), you can release some CO2 into the bottle before you fill it. Theoretically, if you leave it for a while first, that should minimise the oxygen content at the bottom, where your siphon outlet should be. I’ve left a few for a month and they’ve been fine (though it might of course also have been good without the CO2).
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#39 Post by Pat Martin » August 10th, 2020, 11:22 pm

cjsadler wrote:
June 4th, 2020, 7:55 pm
I was shocked to read James Laube’s article on freezing wine, but it really works. You can come back to a wine weeks later with virtually no change to it. I use either a half bottle or a beer bottle, which is close. Haven’t tried microwaving the wine to thaw like he suggests (!), though— I just run the bottle under warm water.
viewtopic.php?t=154377
I’ve been freezing leftover wines for a long time and it works wonderfully as you say. The oldest, most dedicate wines sometimes do not hold up to it well (but I find these don’t like the Coravin much either) and it can fill up your freezer fast, but otherwise it’s like magic.
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Re: Wine tasting at home - how to store unfinished bottles

#40 Post by Brian Tuite » August 11th, 2020, 5:40 am

I’d just stick the corks back in and try them again the following day. The extra time will allow them to evolve. They’re not that old and the air won’t hurt them.

If you immediately put the remainders in splits and refrigerate they will be exactly as they are when you opened them and isn’t the point of tasting them over a few days to look for changes And development?
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