Wine Accessories: What to Do with Leftover Wine
Written by Jennifer Jordan
Filed Under: Wine Accessories
Leftover wine may bring about problems for many of you that leftover food doesn't possess. While it's easy to throw a vat of macaroni in a Tupperware bowl or wrap a piece of bread in a plastic baggie, the same can't be said for wine. When it comes to saving wine, there is no place for foil or Saran wrap.
This makes figuring out what to do with unused wine particularly challenging. And, it further perpetuates the idea that no wine should ever be left over. Just like we, as children, were taught to clean our plates before we could leave the table, as adults we must empty our bottles before we'll be excused.
Nonetheless, there are still instances when leftover wine simply can't be avoided, times when ' as a result of a party, a misjudgment of thirst, or a huge wine sale that could not be passed up ' wine must be kept another day. So, what do you do then? Well, move over whales, it's time to save the wine.
Can I get an Ice Box?
We've all been in the familiar situation of a restaurant meal we couldn't possibly finish. The portions of that fillet mignon were too large, too many drinks have been consumed, and we've just given our last antacid to the bus boy. At this point, there's only one thing that can be done: a box must be requested. This concept, for those who can't finish a bottle, also rings true for wine.
The ice box, for saving both red wine and white wine, is one of the first places to start. This may seem a bit opposite as red wine, by rule, is not typically served cold. However, after a bottle is open, keeping it in a cool, dry place may be the best chance of keeping it as fresh as possible. But, even with refrigeration, the remainder of the wine should still be consumed within three or four days; the longer it remains in the ice box, the more tasteless it will become, soon spitting nasty comments in the direction of the Arm and Hammer.
The freezer, not to be left out, also extends itself to our "Save the Wine" campaign. While wine is not usually frozen, except by those of you who are rare cravers of a port-sicle, left over wine can be placed in the freezer, and then used as cooking wine.
Put a Rubber Cork In It
The freshness the original wine cork keeps inside the bottle can never be replaced. As soon as that wine cork was extracted, wine began to fall victim to the air that entered. However, a rubber wine cork can be placed in the bottle to preserve some freshness, and keep it from spoiling further.
When this rubber wine cork is coupled with a pump, a device that is used to take air out of the bottle, the wine may be even fresher than with the rubber wine cork alone. However, some wine experts assert that this is not a good way to preserve wine, believing the device is simply putting on airs about taking it out.
Invent Wine Tupperware
The day when the containers used to store week old ravioli and leftover fried chicken can also be used to store Merlot is a day that is good for all mankind. However, this day may not ever come. One of the problems with the Tupperware used to store foods and liquids is that it also stores great amounts of oxygen. When it comes to leftover wine, oxygen is the number one nemesis, its least favorite element in the entire table.
Still, the idea of Tupperware doesn't have to be wasted on wine. Instead of using the plastic containers kept in your cupboard, purchase some smaller wine bottles. There are several wine stores that sell small wine bottles just for this purpose. These small bottles allow you to fill wine up to the top ' thus keeping air out ' and re-cork the bottle.
For those of you who drink too much wine in one sitting, you've probably noticed that wine and gas can sometimes go together. However, when it comes to storing wine, a completely different gas is fortunately involved.
Private Preserve is a brand name of gas made with the intent of providing a blanket of freshness over your bottle of wine. The gasses in the Private Preserve are heavy, more so than air. This moves oxygen away from the wine, preventing the wine from spoiling. Because of its effectiveness, many restaurants and bars use it. With no components that alter the taste of wine, Private Preserve is subtle, safe, and environmentally friendly.
Buy Less, Drink More
Wine is easy to buy. It's a drink we often love unconditionally. Even a red wine carpet stain or the world's worst hang over isn't enough to make us cut all ties; the vine, so very often, can not be severed. This is for one reason: wine is one of life's greatest pleasures.
Because of this, it's often easy to purchase large bottles when small ones are warranted. You may think you are doing the right thing, asking the stock boy to help you load a forty pound vat of wine into your cart, but you must keep in mind that wine is made from fruit, a food that spoils easily.
Instead of purchasing huge bottles of wine, try purchasing ones that you can actually finish in a single setting. This takes the entire problem of leftover wine out of the picture. This may seem more expensive, as often wine purchased in bulk is cheaper, but wasting wine or letting it spoil can get expensive too; it can certainly do a number on your bank account, not to mention your soul.
Leftover wine can be one of the hardest to deal with: it's a high maintenance leftover. But, it's not impossible to save extra wine in a manner that will keep it from spoiling. From refrigeration to a rubber cork, from using small bottles of wine to using specialized gas, there is sure to be a process that works for you. After finding which one is most efficient, you'll be able to buy wine, drink wine, and keep some for later.... Just remember to soften the blow for the excess remaining by telling your leftover wine that just because it's unused, doesn't ever mean it's unwanted.