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Anyone who enjoys the occasional glass of wine has likely come across the problem of what to do with an unfinished bottle. When wine is exposed to oxygen, it begins to break down. Although there are benefits to letting wine breathe, the oxygen affects the wine almost immediately. Eventually, oxygenated wine will turn into vinegar. However, it’s not always practical to finish a whole bottle in one night, and no one wants to throw away perfectly good wine. These tips will take the guesswork out of storing wine–some bottles will stay fresh for up to a week!

Think Surface Area An empty wine glass against a black background in Redwood City, CA

Since it is oxygen that causes wine to turn, it’s important to be mindful of how much of the surface area of the wine is exposed to the air. Wine should never be stored on its side after it has been opened, because this causes more of the wine to come into contact with oxygen.

Seal It Up

A wine bottle should be recorked after every glass is poured–the seal will help protect the wine. The cork should be placed in the same way it was taken out; the new side should not be put into the bottle because it risks contaminating the wine. Leftover wine should be stored in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Refrigeration will slow the aging process, much as it slows food spoiling.

Decant for Best Results

Even if recorked tightly, the wine in a half-empty bottle is being stored with half of a bottle’s worth of air. By pouring the wine into a smaller bottle (with a tight seal), contact with oxygen is diminished. This, combined with keeping the wine in the freezer, can help extend the life of the wine by several days. Red wine can be left on the counter for a few hours to gently bring it back up to room temperature after it has been refrigerated.

For a true wine connoisseur who is looking for the ultimate in wine storage, choose Collection 55 Cellars. We are located at 1711 E. Bayshore Road, Ste A in Redwood City, CA 94063. Call 650-364-9463 for more information on our storing options.