Food & Drink

Preserve your wine with these gadgets

Wine preservation items
Wine preservation items The Wichita Eagle

Summertime dinners on the patio at home almost always involve food and a nice glass of wine. And, when the evening comes to a close, sometimes wine is left over.

So what’s the best way to save that wine for another day?

Whitney Stratton of Jacob Liquor said that while she doesn’t usually have wine left, what she does have can be poured into an empty half bottle, re-corked and stored in the refrigerator.

“This ensures there is less surface area exposed to oxygen, and the cooler temperature will slow down the oxidation process as well,” she said.

Andrew McCown, manager at Plaza Wine & Spirits, offered a unique way to store leftover wine: pouring the leftovers into a plastic water bottle and squeezing out the air. “It’s a little undignified,” he said, “but if that’s all you have …”

Here are some other ways to keep and preserve your wine. Items can be purchased locally or ordered from websites including www.wineenthusiast.com, www.iwawine.com and www.amazon.com.

▪ Plastic lever bottle stoppers in metal or plastic. Push into the bottle and flip the lever over. These are easy to use and inexpensive; less than $5 for a package. Keeps wine good for a couple of days.

▪  Capabunga Caps resemble the bungs used to seal wine barrels. This brand-name closure prevents liquid from leaking, and the bottle can be stored on its side. Available at Bed, Bath & Beyond, $7.99 for two. Keeps wine good for three to four days.

▪  Keep those bubbles in any wine happy with a champagne stopper. The stopper fits over the neck of the bottle and clamps to the side, holding the stopper securely in place and preventing the bubbles from going flat. Several types are available at www.walmart.com starting at $7.63. Keeps the bubbles in for two to three days.

“I like a good, spring-loaded stopper for sparkling. They work great,” said Matthew Coleman, director of wine at Auburn Spirits. “I’ve had a bottle last for two weeks.”

▪ The durable Vacu Vin Wine Saver pumps air out of the bottle through a rubber stopper. “The Vacu-Vin wine saver works good for everyday use on red and white wines,” Coleman said. Priced from $10 at various stores and websites. Helps wine stay good for a week or more.

▪  Stop oxidation fast with a PEK Preservo system. The system injects a layer of argon gas on top of the wine through a stopper. This product price starts at $70 but can keep wine good for up to 10 days.

▪  For those serious about saving wine, check out the WineKeeper Basic Argon Keeper system. About $189 and available online, it can prevent “oxidation and spoiling … using a pressurized blanket of argon.” Available for more than 20 years, this is a relatively affordable system for the home. Keeps wine drinkable for weeks.

▪ One of the most exciting systems on the market today is the Coravin System. According to the website – www.coravin.com – it uses a “non-coring needle that passes through the cork while it is still in the bottle.” Once the needle is in, a glass of wine can be poured and enjoyed, and then the bottle can be returned to the cellar to be “enjoyed again, whenever desired.” Cost is $299 for the system.

“If you want to get real fancy, the Coravin is great,” Stratton said.

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