Suppose you or your guests couldn’t consume a whole bottle of wine. For sure, you would want to drink it some other time. That’s why it’s best to store it properly so you can still enjoy the same flavor and aroma. This article teaches you how to recork wine using various techniques.
Why do you need to recork wine?
The wine starts to oxidize the moment it becomes exposed to oxygen. So, it’s best to reseal the bottle before storing it. The flavor deteriorated when air bacteria called acetobacter opened up the wine’s tannins.
While this reaction is harmless, it affects the flavor of the wine. It transforms into acetic acid, giving the drink a distinctly sour taste like vinegar. After opening a bottle of wine, it still gets air exposure no matter what you do. However, you can utilize some methods to reduce oxygen exposure.
When do you need to recork wine?
Most often, people consume a bottle of wine a few hours after opening it. When this happens, it’s easy to keep the bottle for recycling. However, sometimes you may need to recork your bottle. The following are examples of some situations:
- You opened a bottle and drank only a couple of glasses. Then, you would want to save the rest for some other night.
- You opened a bottle for cooking purposes and want to keep the rest for other recipes.
- You opened many bottles of wine during a party, but some bottles still have leftover wine.
- You opened a bottle you’re not supposed to open.
- You opened a wine bottle but did not like the taste. However, you think someone might like it.
Does recorked wine last long?
Recorked wines won’t last as long as unopened ones. The type of wine will dictate how long it will last after you recork it. White wine can last for up to seven days.
On the other hand, red wines can last up to four days since it has higher acidity. However, you must ensure that you have sealed the bottle properly to enjoy the wine after a few more days.
What are wines that oxidize faster?
No matter how carefully you recork a wine bottle, the following wines will oxidize faster than other types. They tend to lose their taste and aroma quickly.
- Pinot Noir
- Organic white wines
- Light-colored red wines
- Wines older than eight to ten years old
How to Reseal A Wine Bottle Using its Original Cork
The cheapest and most straightforward way to reseal wine is using the cork that comes with the bottle. However, you must ensure to inspect the cork before using it.
Check for cracks, holes, or crumbling parts since these can prevent proper preservation. You might even end up having tiny pieces of cork in the wine. If your cork is in tiptop shape, you may proceed to the following recorking hacks.
Flipping the Cork Hack
The cork portion that used to be inside the bottle expands upon opening. Meanwhile, the outer part retains its shape. You can flip the cork and use the outer portion to insert it into the bottle. If it doesn’t fit, you may use a knife to trim the sides so it can fit the bottle’s mouth snugly.
The Tilt and Twist Method
- Place the wine bottle on a steady and solid surface like a countertop or dining table.
- Clean the cork with a cloth or napkin to remove crumbs or any debris.
- Ensure that the cork portion that you will insert is the same one that was inside the bottle.
- Tilt the cork so that one portion rests on the bottle’s rim while the other is inside the bottle.
- Twist, then press down the cork in one gentle motion.
- Use your palm to push the cork further down the bottle’s mouth.
The Wax Paper Technique
You may use wax paper if the cork can’t fit the bottle. It’s worth trying after an unsuccessful attempt at the “Tilt and Twist” method. In this hack, the was paper will serve as a lubricant. The following are the steps for doing it.
- Cut a wax paper to get a square piece. Make sure the wax paper can hug the cork’s bottom while keeping the upper part slightly open.
- Imitate the angle described in the Tilt and Twist method when positioning the cork.
- Place the bottle on a stable, solid surface and insert the cork into the bottle with a gentle nudge.
- Try not to twist the cork to prevent the wax paper from tearing.
Here’s a video for a more visual presentation.
How to Recork Wine Using a Stopper
In cases where the cork is missing or damaged, you can use other materials to reseal your wine bottle. You can usually find the materials at home or from a store.
Paper Towel Stopper
Almost every home has a paper towel, so it won’t be hard to find this material. This method is only a temporary fix. It would benefit your wine if you replaced it once you got your hands on a more permanent solution.
Here are the steps in making an improvised “cork” to help reseal your wine bottle.
- Get a sheet of paper towel and fold it about two inches wide.
- Roll the paper towel tightly until it resembles a wine bottle cork
- Check the size of your makeshift cork against the bottle’s mouth to see if it will fit. You may trim or adjust accordingly.
- Secure the ends of the roll with some tape.
- Wrap the improvised cork with a plastic or cling wrap.
- Seal it with tape.
- Adopt the “Tilt and Twist” method at this point.
- Press the makeshift cork further down the bottle’s rim.
Store-bought Wine Stopper
If you’re a wine enthusiast, you probably have a wine stopper at home. This recording tool comes in handy when you lose or damage the cork. Here are some of the few examples of wine stoppers:
A rubber stopper is a great option for recorking wine. It can fit perfectly inside the bottle preventing air from escaping or coming in. You only need to press it down carefully into the bottle’s rim.
It requires minimal effort, so cleaning up after a party won’t be too frustrating. These wine stoppers are available in most home supply stores or liquor shops.
Stainless Steel Stoppers
Investing in a stainless steel stopper would be a great idea if you have more expensive wines in your collection. It may be more costly than the usual rubber stopper, but it can preserve the wine better. One excellent option is a stainless steel stopper positioned perfectly on the bottle’s rim. It expands to prevent oxygen from coming in.
What are other tools for recorking a wine bottle?
The wine community is rapidly growing. Several products and methods have come out to help preserve the wine after opening. Here are other tools to recork your wine bottle without using a cork or a regular stopper.
A reusable vacuum pump is an excellent way to recork the wine. It can help slow down oxidation to preserve the wine’s quality. This tool is similar to a rubber stopper. However, it has a manual pump that you can use to vacuum the air out of the bottle. Using it requires minimal effort and can help prolong the wine’s storage life.
Wine Preserver System
A wine preserve tool is another effective solution. It can remove oxygen from the wine to help preserve its quality. The wine can last up to two weeks when you use this system. However, you can only use it once. Since it is less expensive than the gas preserver systems, it’s easier on the pocket to repurchase them.
A wine saver resembles a vacuum pump but comes with argon or other inert gases. Theoretically, it helps prevent oxidation by removing the air from the bottle. It then replaces the lost air with an inert gas. It may be more expensive, but it can preserve the wine for a few more months.
The sommelier in this video shows how to use a vacuum pump and other wine savers.
How to Store Recorked Wine
After successfully recorking your wine bottle, you must store it properly. Placing your wine bottle in proper storage can help slow the wine’s oxidation process.
Here are some rules of thumb when storing recorked wines:
- Store the wine bottle in a cool, dark place. Keep it out of natural or synthetic light.
- Chill the wine inside a refrigerator.
- Avoid sudden temperature changes. If you’re drinking red wine, bring it to the counter to ensure a gradual temperature change.
- Keep the bottle upright to lessen the wine’s exposure to a larger surface area.
- If only a glass full remains in your bottle, transfer it into a smaller container. The goal is to make less room for oxygen molecules to move around.
This video reveals how to store opened wine so it can last for a few more days.
Wine is a familiar mainstay in gatherings and celebrations. Sometimes, after the merriment, some wine bottles remain untouched. It would be great not to let this valuable drink go to waste.
Fortunately, you can use the tips mentioned above. Knowing how to recork wine properly can help preserve the wine’s quality. You enjoy your wine and relax after a few days.