You may have wanted to drink a glass of wine to combine with a nice dinner or have a chat with your partner but then you gave up because you couldn't finish the bottle.
You might have thought "Then what do we do with the rest of the bottle? It is a sin to throw it away".


Once the cork is removed, the wine comes into contact with oxygen which will help the wine gradually release the flavors and smells that will make it even more enjoyable. This process, called oxidation, however goes on and the effects become more and more evident: the fruity taste begins to alter, the acidity fades and the wine gradually turns into color, olfactory and gustatory sensations until it becomes undrinkable.


How can you stop the oxidation process? You can't, but don't lose hope. There are some things you can do to slow it down and to minimize the amount of air in contact with the wine.

  1. CORK - Obviously it is essential to close the bottle again. You can use your own cork or another cork/rubber/plastic cap bought in an ordinary supermarket (for sparkling wines instead you need a special cork). In this way you will stop air circulation.
  2. VACUUM - Now that you have closed your bottle, a fair amount of air will still be in contact with our wine. To eliminate it there are some “special” rubber stoppers for vacuum packing on the market. Using the special supplied pump, it is possible to suck the quantity of air remaining inside the bottle. These are not professional tools, so a small amount of air will continue to enter, but with about ten euros you will be able to extend the life of your wine by a few days.
  3. FRIDGE - Low temperatures significantly slow down the speed of the oxidative process. Put your open (and then closed) bottle of white wine in the fridge.
    For red wine, it depends on the temperature of your home and when you intend to drink it again: to be drunk the next day, it is sufficient to keep it indoors, away from lights and heat sources and probably the next day will be even better. If it is summer or you plan to consume it after 2-3 days instead, even the red wine should be kept in the fridge but have the foresight to remove the bottle from the fridge to bring it to the right serving temperature (see article Serving temperatures of wines).
  4. POURING - If there were less than half a bottle of wine left, the ideal would be to transfer it to a smaller bottle and then follow the previous steps. The smaller the container, the less oxygen there is in it.


How long does an open bottle of wine last?

Not all bottles suffer the effects of oxygen at the same speed. The wines with more body or greater acidity oxidize more slowly than light, delicate and low-acid wines. The alcohol content also affects the shelf life of the wine: the higher the alcohol percentage and the sugar content, the longer the shelf life after opening.
In summary, with the previous tricks, any wine should last, with no particular changes in taste or aromas, for another two or three days. Particularly structured wines can last even a week. Sweet wines, passito or liqueur, even three or four weeks.


After three days, is the wine to be thrown away? Is it harmful to health?

Following these simple tips, after three days the wine will certainly still be good but most likely it will not have kept its taste and aroma unchanged.
If you still like it, it can still be drunk or used for cooking, but even if the wine no longer has a pleasant taste it will certainly not be harmful or inedible..


Do these tips also apply to sparkling wines?

For sparkling wines, however, there are special hermetic caps on the market, called stopper, capable of preventing the effervescence (perlage) of our wine from fading. Storage in the refrigerator is perfect in this case, as its temperature is very close to that of serving wines of this type (see article Serving temperatures of wines).


Does the "teaspoon method" really work??

Grandmothers are always right ... but this time not. If you want to learn more, there is a nice article on the site Dissapore