No matter how much you might love red wine, sometimes you just can’t finish the whole bottle. And that’s okay because you can put it away to enjoy another day! But a common question is what’s the best way to store red wine to keep it fresh? Should it be stored in the fridge for best results? The short answer is yes. Here’s why, and what else you need to know about storing opened red wine.
The Basics of Storing Opened Red Wine
Before you put away that bottle of red for the night, you should take a few moments to learn the basics of keeping opened wine fresh. This will help you understand why keeping it in the fridge is a good idea.
The goal is to keep your wine from getting too much contact with oxygen. Why? Well, oxygen can eventually transform red wine into vinegar, which is probably not the taste or texture you’re going for when you buy your favorite wine. So when you put the bottle away, you should try to protect the leftover wine from oxygen exposure.
The easiest way to get started on this is to re-cork the bottle after every glass you pour, which will reduce the amount of oxygen that gets in. Once you’re done drinking for the night, you should put the bottle in your refrigerator. This is because cold temperatures can slow down the oxidation process, helping the wine last for a few days once it’s been opened.
You should note that storing opened red wine in the fridge should keep it fresh for anywhere from three to five days on average, with some wines lasting up to about a week after being opened. So as long as you plan to uncork your red wine and finish it up this week, you should have fresh vino to enjoy yet again!
What To Avoid if You Want To Keep Your Wine Fresh
Now you know to re-cork your wine and put the bottle in the fridge for best results. But there are a few other little-known ways to increase your odds of keeping an opened bottle of red wine fresh. Namely, here’s what not to do if you want to slow down the oxidation of your wine once it’s open.
First, resist the urge to put the wine on its side after you’ve opened it. While one of the best ways to store wine is to keep the bottle on its side to prevent the cork from drying out and allowing oxygen in, this tip only applies to unopened bottles, not wine that’s already been opened. Instead, you should keep it upright in the refrigerator. This will reduce the amount of surface area of the wine that’s exposed to oxygen, giving you a little more time to keep it fresh in the fridge.
Another tip for storing opened red wine is to try to avoid quick temperature changes. This might sound hard if you’re storing it in the fridge, as you probably don’t want to drink cold red wine. But it is possible to bring it back to around room temperature without damaging it. One way is to place the bottle in a sink or bowl of warm water until it’s the desired temperature, usually around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Even decanting it will slowly bring the temperature up a bit.
Speaking of decanting, if you don’t plan on finishing your bottle of red tonight, don’t decant the whole bottle. Instead, just decant each glass by slowly pouring one serving into another glass until it’s been aerated to your preferences. After all, decanting introduces oxygen to the wine, which you don’t want if you plan to store the bottle for as long as possible.
Which Red Wines Stay Fresh the Longest?
Before storing opened red wine, you might want to know what to expect from your bottle. Is it likely to last close to a week or just a few days? Well, that depends on a few details, with one being the type of wine it is.
Generally, red wines with lower tannin levels won’t last as long as those with high tannin levels. For instance, Pinot Noir is quite sensitive and tends to last only for two to three days after being opened. Lighter varietals, such as Grenache, are similar insensitivity to oxygen. But higher tannin wines—like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Shiraz—can last four or five days in the fridge.
There are also some gadgets on the market that are meant to help preserve the wine as much as possible, so don’t be afraid to play around with wine tech on your quest to keep your wine fresh! From unique wine stoppers to complete preservation systems, there are some interesting ways to keep oxygen out of your bottle so you can enjoy the rest of your red wine another night this week.
Now that you know some tips on how to keep your wine fresh, you can try them out on one of our bottles of red wine. From Grenache to Pinot Noir, we have some delicious reds for you to taste, so take a look at our wines today!