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Merlot, chardonnay, rosé or prosecco? No matter what type of wine you prefer, we've all opened a bottle, enjoyed a glass or two and then left the bottle sitting on the counter. But if you're looking to get the most bang for your buck, we suggest you drop this habit — immediately.
Shop TODAY spoke with Alexis Percival, the beverage director at Ruffian and Kindred in New York City, about how to ensure your wines are kept and remain in good condition. Don't be intimidated, though, it's not as tedious as it sounds!
How to store wine in your home
Percival stressed the importance of storing your wine somewhere that mimics the environment of a cellar or wine fridge, even if you don't have either. "Somewhere where there's no movement, the temperature doesn't fluctuate wildly, there's no light and that has consistent humidity," Percival said. "The humidity will help a natural cork keep its shape."
You don't want to put the wine straight into the fridge for a long period of time, because that will dry the cork. Instead, find the best place in your home that satisfies all of the above like a closet or pantry.
How to keep wine after opening the bottle
Oxygen is your friend once you open a bottle of wine — at least temporarily. Using a decanter or aerator after opening it allows your drink to "open up" and breathe, all while softening its tannins.
"When a wine opens up, the volatile compounds are going to be more active above the surface of the wine," said Percival. "When you're smelling it and sipping it, it's hitting both your olfactory nerves and your pallet at the same time."
Unfortunately, too much oxygen causes the wine to oxidize and flavors start disappearing. This is why it's crucial that you store your wine correctly once it's open. Percival advises, "the very best thing you can do is chill the wine. Whatever kind, once it's opened and you don't want anymore, close it tightly and stick it in your refrigerator. This will slow down oxidation."
Achieving an air-tight lock on your wine once you've opened is nearly impossible by hand. Luckily, there are products on the market that can aid in your wine preservation and enhancement. And with Mother's Day around the corner, our expert-approved wine necessities make great gifts, too.
Best wine preservation products
This plastic, outdoor-friendly carafe is both affordable and durable. Let your wine open up without worrying about breaking a glass bottle.
This spray contains inert gasses that help remove oxygen from your wine. Simply spray it into your wine bottle, seal it the best you can and place it in the fridge. With 120 uses in each can, this is an inexpensive way to keep oxygen away from your wine.
This wine preserver takes the trouble out of trying to re-cork your wine. Instead, the vacuum pump creates a tight seal while removing the air from the bottle, resulting in your wine staying in optimal condition for up to a week. The stoppers even have a number dial, so you can record the last time you opened the bottle.
If you're a serious vino lover, we suggest investing in a wine fridge. This will allow you to create the perfect low-lit temperature- and humidity-controlled space for your favorite varietals.
If you're someone who doesn't drink a lot of wine in one sitting, Percival suggests investing in a Coravin. This device pierces the cork and pumps inert gas into the bottle, forcing the wine to be drawn out without exposing it to oxygen.
This stemless wine glass allows you to aerate wine by the pour, allowing you to quickly cork up and refrigerate the bottle. There's two to a pack, so you and a friend can elevate your wines together.
Best products to preserve chilled wines
Simply stick this cooler rod into your freezer, and once frozen, it's ready to be inserted into any wine and will keep it chilled for up to an hour. Plus, the top of the stick is a pourer and it features a built-in dual aerator to enhance the flavor of your wine as you pour it.
This handmade decanter from Uncommon Goods is as practical as it is pretty. Aerate and chill your favorite vintage pinot or riesling while also making it the star of your tablescape.
Best products to preserve sparkling wines
Don't let your bubbly lose its bubble. Percival said it's very inexpensive to invest in a pressure closer for your sparkling wines or champagne. This device, combined with refrigeration, will help the carbon dioxide dissolve into the alcohol. The warmer a sparkling wine is, the more bubbly it is — and you want to keep the bubbles in the wine!
This champagne stopper features stainless steel locking clips, making it foolproof and easy to use. Plus, it comes in rose gold, a fabulous color for a Mother's Day gift.
Best wine serving gifts
Never break another cork with this device. Percival recommended Pulltex's corkscrew wine opener because you can "feel what's happening with the cork." The closer you are to it, the more control you have when popping the bottle open.
Impress your guests with wine glasses that never have smudges or stains. Percival says microfiber towels make a great gift for any wine connoisseur.
Get ready for summer dinner parties with this Italian Calacatta marble-inspired ice bucket. It's triple-insulated and also comes with tongs.
Give the gift of enhanced wine. This gift set includes an electric corkscrew extractor, a vacuum preserver, wine stoppers, an aerator and a foil cutter. The gadgets come situated on a LED charging base that fits perfectly on any counter.
This bestselling personalized wine topper from Etsy makes the perfect Mother's Day, wedding gift, wine-lover gift — you name it.
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