Here’s a seemingly simple question with a complex answer:
Q. How long can you store a wine once it’s open?
A. Up to 6 months?!?!?!?
Read on for the practical and the absurd:
Some Basic Guidelines.
• Take the air out of the bottle with a wine pump (an excellent investment at less than $15)
• If you’ve polished off half a bottle of juice, funnel the other half into the smaller bottle to minimize air contact. Air contact accelerates the aging of a wine. A funnel and an empty half bottle are great wine tools.
• Keep the wine chilled: store left over wine in the fridge…even red wine. Bring refrigerated wine back to “room temperature” (that’s 65° in wine-speak) for optimum enjoyment.
• Weight, Age and Structure Matters: In general, the leaner and older the wine, the less life it has once it’s been open. A crisp white can lose its acidity overnight. Opening that old bottle of Bordeaux? Plan to polish it off over a meal. Conversely, some tannic young reds actually taste better after hanging in the cooler for a couple of days.
And just to keep us all humble, here’s an interesting story: we bought a bottle of ’08 Manincor Moscato Giallo at one of my pal’s shops: if you’re ever in Beacon, you MUST check out Artisan Wine Shop… I was so excited about the juice, I could hardly wait to get it home and chilled. I wanted to taste that floral promise. When we popped it, I was devastated. It had nothing going on. No floral, no pretty fruit. It had structure, but structure isn’t sexy. We put it back in the fridge, opened a more palatable white and forgot about the wine. Fast forward 6 months… we popped the cork and it was magnificent!
• Read more about wine storage here…