Wine question for you experts.
Normally, we never have half empty bottles as we are not big wine drinkers and only ever open a bottle if we intend to finish it. However, after a surprise party on Saturday, we have been left with four or five bottles of wine stoppered up in our refrigerator.
I have always succumbed to, what may just be an illusion, believing that wine seems to stale (for lack of a better word) very quickly no matter how well it is resealed. Even overnight seems to ruin it for me. However, maybe that's just in my head.
Do any of you save opened wine and for how long?
So many answers to this question. How to answer it in brief is tough.
Wine, like any other liquid, will go through chemical changes depending on what makes up the substance. In the case of wine, we are talking about thousands of compounds, any one of which will react to temperature changes (e.g., volatility, reaction rates with other chemicals increase with temperature), exposure to sun (again, energy input to the system), oxygen, etc.
I've talked with some certified sommeliers about this and they all believe something a bit different regarding the element of 'time', but they also all do believe oxygen is the biggest contributer to ageing a wine prematurely.
In part this is true. Once a bottle is opened to the air, the introduction of more oxygen will start to change the chemistry, BUT, how fast depends on the factors noted previously.
Both red and white wines can be stored, after opening, in a cool area to reduce the temperature exposure, reduce reaction rates and keep the bottles out of the light.
Secondly, many recommend reducing the exposure to oxygen by using bottles of compressed nitrogen gas. You 'spray' the nitrogen into the bottle then quickly cap it again. This may help to some extent but really only if you are keeping the open bottle for a more extensive time before opening it again.
Third, reduce the available head space in the open bottle by putting it under a vacuum. Many bottle neck vacuum seal widgets exist and will change the air pressure within the bottle headspace, reducing the amount of volatilization you may get from the alcohol, for one example.
Personally i've left some not so tasty harsh reds 'open' for a day on the counter and have found they mellowed (or the alcohol dissipated) to the point where it was actually more drinkable.In short, once you let the genie out of the bottle...there's no stopping the genie. Quicker drinking is better, unless you have a reason to let the wine sit and 'change'.