The ZOS wine preservation system is designed to extract oxygen from inside the bottle and chemically bond it in a special cartridge, while also keeping it sealed. A single Halo cartridge is designed to preserve up to 15 bottles, which helps maximize the overall value.
It also comes with a special cartridge tester. Once you finish a bottle, you put the cartridge in the tester and wait 20 seconds. A green light means it’s still good. A red light means you need to discard the cartridge and open a new one for your next bottle.
The Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump is one of the original first wine preservation systems available at the retail level. It prevents oxidation by removing air from the void in an opened bottle, while also sealing it with a special reusable stopper.
A bottle can then be stored horizontally to save space. When you want to pour another glass, you simply release the stopper and pour out the amount you want. Vacu Vin states that this system can keep a bottle of wine fresh for up to seven days. It can also be used to preserve other spirits that are vulnerable to oxidation like whiskey and brandy.
The Coravin Model Two Wine Preservation System allows you to serve wine by the glass having to uncork the bottle. This device carefully inserts a durable medical-grade needle through the cork. You pour a glass of wine and it replaces the empty air space with inert argon gas.
It’s prized for its ability to let you sample potentially costly vintages over a long period of time. Coravin notes that the Model Two can preserve a bottle of wine for up to three months. There are even high-end restaurants marketing their list of “Coravin Wines” for wine enthusiasts who want to sample a glass of wine, without having to invest in an entire bottle.
How We Picked
Many people find themselves opening a bottle of wine, and unable to finish it in a single “Reasonable” session. If you simply force the cork back into the mouth of the bottle you will likely find the wine tastes flat and has lost much of its original aroma when you open it again a few days later.
What causes this is a naturally occurring chemical process called oxidation. You see the oxygen in the air around us is volatile, meaning it likes to interact with other substances, like wine. The air that enters the void inside a recently opened bottle can alter the wine gradually leaving you with something that tastes flat, and often unpleasant.
Some people will open a bottle of wine and then give it away to friends and neighbors. Though there have been a few who were simply forced to pour a “Bad” bottle of wine down the drain.
Wine connoisseur and sommeliers have long been aware of this problem, which has driven a fair amount of innovation in wine preservation technology. Today there are several different methods that can help you maintain a vintage’s flavor, aroma, and more subtle notes.
Vacuum pump wine preservation systems were some of the first to make a splash on the retail market. They essentially pull all the air out of a bottle and seal it again with a tight stopper. This minimizes the wine’s interaction with the air until you open it again.
Argon replacement systems, which are sometimes referred to as “Sprays,” work on a different principle. Most of them have a durable needle that basically punctures the cork allowing you to pour the wine in single glass portions. The system then pumps pressurized argon gas into the bottle which creates a protective layer over top of the wine to prevent oxidation.
Chemical capture systems are new to the wine preservation space. Most of them use an artificial stopper or a device that is inserted into the neck of the bottle. Once sealed, a small cartridge or plug starts to capture the oxygen and chemically bonds it. There is still air in the bottle, yet the oxygen isn’t capable of affecting the wine.
Each of these systems can range widely in price. Your budget will certainly be a factor. With a vacuum system, you are typically looking at a one-time purchase. When it comes to argon replacement systems, you will inevitably need to purchase replacement canisters of gas, which increases the long-term cost. The same is true for oxygen capture systems, where one cartridge might only last for a single bottle.
The method that works best for you might depend on your budget, your preferred level of technical savvy. For some people, the available storage space in the kitchen, refrigerator or wine rack might also be a factor in choosing one system over another.
Coravin Model Two
- Replaces Oxygen With Inert Argon Gas
- Cork Remains Intact
- 4 Gas Capsules Included
- Weight: 2.8 pounds
- Requires 1 AA Battery
- 1 Year Warranty
- Keeps Wine Fresh For Up To 3 Months
The Coravin Model Two Wine Preservation System takes the science of preventing oxidation to the next level. It even allows you to serve wine without ever actually uncorking the bottle. Instead, the device carefully inserts a thin, medical-grade needle through the intact cork. You can then extract a single glass of wine.
The Coravin Model Two then replaces the empty air space with lightly pressurized argon gas. The needle is so slender that when it’s removed the cork reseals itself. This system allows you to sample expensive bottles over a long period of time. Coravin claims that it can preserve a bottle of wine for up to three months.
The system has become so popular and well known that some high-end restaurants will even promote their list of “Coravin Wines.” These are usually rare or high-value vintages that allow wine enthusiasts to sample a glass of wine, rather than make a large investment in an entire bottle.
The Coravin Model Two will need some routine cleaning. This involves placing the spout under a steady stream of warm water and rinsing for 5 to 10 seconds. You then remove it from the water before pressing and releasing the trigger. This will expel a small volume of gas while clearing any excess water.
What We Liked
The Coravin Model Two limits any relationship between oxygen and the wine by leaving the cork intact. The lightly pressurized argon gas further ensures freshness by creating a protective layer over the surface of the wine.
This system is a great option for allowing you to sample high-end vintages by the glass, without the fear of accidental oxidation ruining your investment. However, it might not be the most cost-effective option if you just want to preserve a bottle of simple table wine from one day to the next.
- Captures Oxygen Inside The Wine Bottle
- New Steel Reinforced Body
- Improved Cap & Seal Mechanism
- Redesigned Cartridge Basket with Snap Fit Feature
- Weight 3.7 ounces
- 1 Year Warranty
- Keeps Wine Fresh For Up To 7 Days
The Sello Two is an oxygen capture wine preservation system. It uses what they call “Active Packaging Technology” to keep the remaining wine fresh, by actively working to eliminate oxygen inside the bottle. This involves a special Sello patented device that is inserted into the neck of a bottle, as well as a one-use, disposable cartridge.
They are also proudly made in the USA and offer a 1-year warranty on all parts, from the initial date of purchase.
To use the Sello Two, you tear open the sealed bag holding the cartridge, and place it into the basket. You then install the basket into the device and slid it into the neck of the bottle. At that point, you press down firmly on the red cap to seal the mouth of the bottle.
The bottle of wine needs to be stored vertically and kept in the refrigerator. If the cartridge is soaked in wine by laying the bottle flat, it won’t be able to capture oxygen. Keeping the wine cold also helps slow any potential oxidation that might occur while the cartridge goes to work.
When you want to pour another bottle, you simply take it out, remove the red cap, and pour yourself a glass. The Sello device in the neck was specially designed to also serve as a “No-Drip Spout.”
In the case of red wine, you should still store it in the refrigerator. You then pour a glass of wine 15 to 30 minutes before you intend to serve it. This will give enough time for it to properly warm to room temperature.
Once you finish the bottle, you simply discard the cartridge and remove the spout from the neck. Then gently hand wash the device with warm, soapy water and store it in a safe spot.
There are a few small complaints with the Sello in that you only get one device with the purchase. This means you can only preserve one bottle at a time. The cartridges are meant for only one use, and you will have to keep buying them with each bottle you want to preserve. Also, the red lid doesn’t always seal tightly on wide-mouthed wine bottles.
What We Liked
The Sello Two is easy to use, and relatively inexpensive. There isn’t a lot of complicated technology involved. They also have a reputation for great customer service, as well as being backed by a one-year warranty.
This oxygen capture system will get the job done, one bottle at a time. You do need to keep it in the refrigerator, but the red cap is still lower than a reinserted cork. Just keep in mind that a cartridge is only intended to be used once. So, you can save a little money buying them in bulk.
ZOS Halo Wine Preserver
- Reusable Wine Stopper For Up To 15 Bottles
- Extracts And Traps Oxygen
- Includes A Cartridge Tester
- Battery Powered
- Lifetime Guarantee
- Keeps Wine Fresh For Up To 2 Months
This wine preservation system is designed to extract oxygen from inside the bottle, while also maintaining an effective seal. It employs multiuse cartridges which have been specially designed to eliminate 100% of the oxygen inside the bottle within just a few minutes.
This type of wine preservation system works by absorbing and chemically bonding with available oxygen in the void of an open bottle to prevent oxidation.
To use it, you screw a cartridge into the Halo stopper. Then insert it into the bottle just like you would any other stopper or replacement cork. ZOS designed the Halo’s cartridges to be used to preserve up to 15 bottles.
The Halo wine preservation system also comes with a cartridge tester. After finishing a bottle of preserved wine, you put the cartridge in the tester and wait 20 seconds. If the light turns green, it’s still good. If it turns red, you will need to discard the cartridge and use a new one for your next bottle of wine.
The cap was designed to seal firmly on most standard and wide mouth wine bottles. However, it does not work with screw-top bottles.
What We Liked
The ZOS Halo captures oxygen and bonds it, yet the special cartridge can be used to preserve up to 15 bottles. The tester included in the purchase eliminates any guessing about whether or not the cartridge is still viable.
This unit is the most cost-efficient of all the oxygen capture systems. At the same time, it’s also much more affordable and easier to use than some of the argon replacement systems.
Plum Wine Dispenser – Wine Preserver and Automatic Refrigeration System
- One-Touch Operation
- Works With Any Size Bottle Or Closure
- Camera System Identifies Wine And Sets Perfect Temperature
- Pressurized Argon Preservation
- Keeps Wine Fresh For Up To 90 Days
- 1 Year Limited Warranty
The Plum Wine Dispenser was designed to “Pour the perfect glass of wine on demand.” This all in one system takes automation and sophistication to the next level. It uses a pressurized argon gas system to prevent oxidation. It also serves as an easy to use wine dispenser that can accommodate 750 ml as well as 1-liter bottles. It can hold up to two bottles at their ideal temperature at the same time.
To use it, you simply insert the bottle into the device and close the access door. A motorized, double cored needle then pierces the closure. They can handle natural cork, artificial cork, and even metal screw caps.
An internal camera then reads the wine label and automatically holds it at the ideal temperature for that particular vintage. The Plum Wine Dispenser can keep a bottle of wine fresh for up to 90 days.
The no-drip dispenser works with simple one-touch activation When you pour a glass of wine, the system automatically applies pressurized argon gas to maintain the protective seal over the surface of the wine and prevent oxidation.
The internal gas canister is designed to be able to handle 160 bottles of wine. Most users only need to refill the canister once a year. It is backed by a 1-year limited warranty.
Plum actively monitors the state of the tubing and needles and will notify you when it needs cleaning. It ensures that a wine with a flaw does not alter the flavor of the next bottle. When any part of the Plum system needs cleaning and alter will appear on the touchscreen and it will walk you through the process.
This usually involves the included cleaning bottle being filled with hot tap water. A special cleaning tablet is then inserted into the chamber to be cleaned. At that point, the Plum system will automatically run the cleaning cycle, which lasts around seven minutes. It will then prompt you to place a container under the built-in pour spout.
What We Liked
The Plum Wine Dispenser and Preserver is one of the top-of-the-line options. It was designed to make wine preservation as effortless as possible, and even integrates cutting edge technology. The fact that the gas canister is estimated to last for 160 bottles, also spares you having to frequently source refills.
This system is meant to appeal to individuals who appreciate wine, but don’t want to spend time dealing with technical details. It is one of the more expensive systems in the wine preservation market. So, you should consider it a long-term investment.
- Argon Preservation And Dispenser System
- Maintains Wine At Ideal Temperature
- Preserves Wine For Up To 90 Days
Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump
- Removes Oxygen With A Vacuum Pump
- Reusable Stoppers
- Battery operated
- 8 Total Stoppers
- Weight: 1.15 pounds
- 5 Year Limited Warranty
- Keeps Wine Fresh For Up To A Week
The Vacu Vin was one of the first wine preservation systems to hit the market in the 1990s. Over the years it’s been effective and popular enough to spread to over 80 countries. The idea behind this system is to prevent oxidation by removing all the air.
It’s relatively straight forward and easy to use. After opening the bottle, you simply insert one of the special stoppers into the mouth. Then place the small hand-held vacuum pump on top and draw out the air. It will make a noticeable “Double Click” once all the air has been extracted. This also seals the stopper in place.
At that point, you can lay the bottle flat or leave it standing vertically to store as preferred. Vacu Vin state that their system will keep the wine fresh for up to seven days. Vacu Vin package sets like this include a total of eight stoppers, allowing you to preserve multiple bottles at once. It also comes with an insulated bottle cooler for times when you want to take one with you.
The stoppers can also be used for other spirits where oxidation is an issue such as whiskey, bourbon, scotch, and brandy.
When you want to open a bottle, you simply press down firmly on the little “Button” in the stopper, and lightly lift on one side. You should hear a hissing sound just like opening a can of soda. This is essentially the outside air rushing back into the bottle.
After using, the stoppers need to be gently washed in warm soapy water and then dried with a clean paper towel before being stored away.
What We Liked
The Vacu Vin wine preservation is very reusable and cost-effective in the short and long-term. It’s also very easy to use while giving you clear signs that the vacuum is indeed intact.
This system is very cost-effective while saving space on the counter or in the refrigerator. The only real long-term costs to incur comes in the form of replacement batteries.
Coravin Model Eleven Fully Automatic Wine Preservation System With Bluetooth
- Replaces Oxygen With Inert Argon Gas
- Cork Remains Intact
- 6 Gas Capsules Included
- Carrying Case Included
- Bluetooth Connectivity With A Special App
- Requires 1 AA Battery
- 1 Year Warranty
- Keeps Wine Fresh For Up To 3 Months
The Model Eleven marks the top of the Coravin wine preservation line. It comes with six Coravin argon capsules, a display base, a Coravin aerator, and six Coravin screw caps as well as a carrying case. It uses the same principles as the Coravin Model Two, which replaces the air in the wine bottle with argon gas, to prevent oxidation.
To use it you place the unit on top of the bottle of wine and press down firmly to insert the needle. A green light will then come on indicating that the bottle is ready to pour. You can then dispense the amount of wine you want. There’s an integrated handle that you pull up on to remove the Coravin Eleven.
This system also comes with a bevy of “Smart Features.” There are intuitive icons that let you know when it needs to be recharged with a replace the capsule. There is a special button that allows you to switch between pouring a glass or sip mode.
The Coravin Model Eleven also comes with Bluetooth connectivity, and access to their “Moments” app, which allows you to check the status of the system as well as explore unique wine pairings with food, music, and ambiance.
What We Liked
At the top of the Coravin line, Model Eleven has all the bells and whistles you could expect with an argon-air replacement system. The fact that it comes with accessories and extra gas canisters is also a nice touch.
This is another high-end system that you need to consider as a long-term investment in wine preservation. The smart features and apps are a nice touch. With a little time, you’ll likely find interesting ways to use them.
- Argon Prevents Oxidation
- Cork Remains Intact
- Preserves Wine For Up To Three Months
- Aerates And Preserves Wine
- Six Times The Surface Oxidation
- Push-Button Operation
- Battery Operated
- Airtight Seal Keeps Wine Fresh
- Weight: 8 ounces
- 1 Year Warranty
- Keeps Wine Fresh For Up To 4 Days
The Waerator is essentially a wine preservation device combined with a wine aerator. Many oenophiles and sommeliers insist that wine is at it’s best when allowed to first breathe and decant for an hour or two. Yet, this can also reduce some of the aroma and flavor.
The device is designed to be locked onto the mouth of the bottle after its opened. This helps prevent short-term oxidation, while also allowing the wine to decant. When you want to drink a glass of wine, you press the battery-operated button which draws wine up a siphon tube and delivers it out a small spigot.
The dispensing process creates microbubbles and dispenses approximately one fluid ounce of wine per second, for a reliable pour every time. The microbubbles also help aerate the wine, which helps accent certain flavors, while softening tannins and mellowing notes of oak.
The Waerator is also designed to help preserve wine and can keep it fresh for up to four days. This allows you to enjoy a high-quality bottle of wine at your leisure.
The Waerator’s siphon tube is designed with a 750-ounce wine bottle in mind. It might not be able to extract all the wine from a full one-liter bottle. A 750-ounce bottle with a deep “Punt” or dimple at the bottom might cause the end of the siphon tube to bend a little to the side.
To clean the Waerator you fill a clean, empty wine bottle with warm water. Then insert the Waerator into the mouth and press the button until it fully drains the bottle. Repeat this process at least 3 times to make sure all the components are flushed and clean.
What We Like
The fact that it’s an aerator and a bottle sealing preservation system is a nice touch. The microbubbles produced by the easy to use dispenser help accent a vintage’s flavor, aroma, and subtle notes. The one-year warranty makes a statement that Waerator stands by their product.
There isn’t any specific preservation technology or chemistry involved with the Waerator. This means it’s more of a short-term option for times when you want to have half a bottle with dinner one night and finish it a day or two later.
- Captures Oxygen Inside The Bottle To Prevent Oxidation
- Single-Use Bottle Stopper
- 90 Day Warranty
- Keeps Wine Fresh For Up To 5 Days
RePour is another type of oxygen capture system that is built into a special stopper. Inside there is a single-use cartridge with an FDA approved, non-toxic, oxygen-absorbing material which has been carefully formulated and tested to remove 100% of the oxygen from the air inside the bottle.
On a per bottle basis, RePour can be cheaper than some of the alternatives. You also don’t have to learn how to use any gadgets or delve into complex chemistry. You simply open the bottle, pour out the amount you want and then apply the RePour stopper. When the bottle is done, you discard the stopper.
Technically, RePour states that each stopper is good for a single 750 ml bottle that is consumed one glass at a time. If you were to drink half a bottle one night, and finish it again with supper the next night, the RePour stopper might be able to still handle yet a second bottle.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to test it beyond basic trial and error.
What We Like
It’s easy to use and there isn’t any complicated technology or chemistry. The oxygen capture stoppers are relatively inexpensive, especially if you buy them in bulk. The fact that the FDA approved the non-toxic oxygen-absorbing material is also a nice touch.
If you occasionally need to preserve half a bottle of wine, the Re Pour is a nice way to make sure the remainder doesn’t go to waste. However, they are designed to be single-use stoppers. If you frequently need to preserve bottles of wine or multiple bottles at a time, you may need to buy them in ten packs.
- Preserves One Bottle Per Stopper
- Captures Oxygen In The Bottle
- Keeps Wine Fresh For Up To Five Days
Wine Saver Vacuum Pump Preserver From AKSESROYAL
- Creates A Vacuum To Extract Oxygen
- Manual Pump No Batteries Requires
- Two Stoppers Included
- Keeps Wine Fresh For Up To 24 Days
- 24 Month Warranty
This is another vacuum pump wine preservation device. It works very similar to its Vacu Vin competitor, except that it uses a manual pump instead of battery power. This saves you on batteries but adds a little extra elbow grease to the effort of preserving a bottle of wine.
To use it, you open the bottle of wine, pour out the volume you want. Then insert the stopper into the mouth of the bottle and place the pump firmly over the mouth of the bottle. You then pump it up and down. The one-way valve in the hand pump will gradually extract the air. After 12 to 15 pumps you should feel significant resistance you stop and remove the pump.
When you want to pour from the bottle again, you press down firmly on the stopper button and lightly pull up. You will hear a little hiss as the air streams back into the void inside the bottle. You can then pour from the bottle to finish it or reinstall the stopper and vacuum seal the bottle again.
It might take a little while to get a feel for when the pump has truly pulled 100% of the air out of the bottle. AKSESROYAL claims that it will keep the leftover wine fresh for 14 to 15 days.
What We Like
The manual vacuum pump spares you having to go through batteries over time. It’s very easy to use and comes at a very affordable price point.
If you need to preserve one or two bottles at a time, this vacuum pump will get the job done for a very small price. The stoppers are low enough that you can keep a bottle of white wine in the refrigerator without having to wedge it at an awkward angle.
Wine Vacuum Stopper By Cheer
- Stopper And Vacuum Pump In One
- Window With Vacuum Status And Date
- Keeps Wine Fresh For Up To 7 Days
The Cheer Wine Vacuum Stopper takes a little bit from several other systems in that it’s a stopper as well as a vacuum pump in one. Of course, this also means that you can only use one per bottle, but it is reusable.
After opening the bottle and pouring your desired amount out, you place the Cheer Vacuum Stopper on top and press down firmly with the palm of your hand. It pops back up and you press it again. It usually takes six to seven pumps to pull a full vacuum.
A small window on the side of the stainless-steel stopper tells you the state of the vacuum inside the bottle. You can also use it to set the date. Cheer rate their Wine Vacuum Stopper to preserve a bottle of wine for up to seven days. Though this might vary depending on the vintage.
The stopper itself seals tight enough to allow you to store the bottle horizontally without leaking. Just bear in mind that it’s not designed to handle thick, wide mouth bottles or champagne bottles. You can also use it to preserve spirits like whiskey, bourbon, and Scotch.
What We Like
The Cheer Vacuum Stopper is easy to use, and it stays on the bottle. It also helps you keep track of the date as well as the status of the vacuum inside the bottle.
This is an inexpensive wine preservation system that will work for one bottle at a time. It stays with the bottle, which means you need to buy multiple units if you plan to preserve more than one vintage at a time.
- Inexpensive And Very Reusable
- Preserves One Bottle At A Time
- Keep Wine Fresh For Up To A Week
EuroCave Wine Art Preservation System – Dual Zone Wine Preserver and Chiller
- Preserves Wine With A Vacuum
- Two Temperature-Controlled Chamber
- Small Countertop Footprint
- Digital Control Panel
- Two Year Warranty
- Keeps Wine Fresh For Up To 10 Days
The EuroCave Wine Art Preservation System has earned high praise from many of the media outlets covering the world of wine. It employs the concept of vacuum wine preservation while also factoring in temperature control. The EuroCave was also designed to have a small footprint on your counter, as well as a thoughtful height of just 19-inches.
There are two temperature control compartments that can be set for either red or white. It can one of each at the same time, without the temperature of one bottle affecting the other. The EuroCave compartments can range from as warm as 60-degrees Fahrenheit, which is optimal for most reds, down to 46-degrees for white and rose wines. Yet it’s worth noting that it can’t handle one-liter bottles, only 750 ml will fit inside the compartment.
To use it, you place the opened bottle you want to preserve into one of the compartments and insert the mouth into the vacuum port. The digital control panel is easy to read to use, as it draws out any air from the void inside the bottle. The vacuum system is surprisingly quiet and may periodically cycle on and off to maintain a perfect vacuum in the bottle.
The appeal with this type of system is that you don’t have to keep spending money on replacement gas cartridges or chemical cartridges. EuroCave claims that it will preserve a bottle of red or white for up to ten days.
You will need to periodically clean the air filter and remove any dust that might build up on the condenser. If you happen to accidentally spill a drop inside a compartment you should wipe it up with a clean paper towel. Otherwise, the EuroCave system requires very little maintenance.
What We Like
The EuroCave Wine Art Preservation System makes it easy to save up to two bottles at a time. The dual temperature control is a nice touch and not something that you see with some of its competitors.
This wine preservation system lets you keep your favorite white and red wine vintages on hand and at the ideal temperature. It’s also a one-time purchase, without having to sink more money into gas canisters or cartridges. Just keep in mind that it’s only designed to work with standard 750 ml bottles.
- Preserves Two Bottles With A Vacuum
- Temperature Controlled Compartments
- Keep Wine Fresh For Up To 10 Days
Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Best Wine Preservation System
There are some immediate forks in the road when it comes to finding the best wine preservation system for you. It essentially breaks down to vacuum systems, argon air replacement systems, or chemical cartridges that capture the available oxygen inside an opened bottle to prevent it from interacting with the wine.
Each of these systems has its own benefits and drawbacks to consider. So, let’s take a closer look at each.
Vacuum Wine Preservation Systems
Vacu Vin was the first vacuum system to emerge in the wine preservation market niche. Their early success and long-term staying power have inspired competitors to offer similar models that pretty much do the same thing.
Air is extracted from the void in an open bottle of wine, through a stopper that has a tiny one-way valve in it. Some require batteries, while others use manual hand pumps.
The price on these is usually low, and they make a great entry-level way to keep your wine fresh. The stoppers are also low enough that you can store a bottle upright in your refrigerator, which isn’t something you can always do with a reinserted cork.
Argon-Air Replacement Systems
These systems use special straws that inject through the cork material. You then pour out the volume of wine you want, and inert argon gas is then sprayed in to replace the volume.
This wine preservation system is innovative and embraced by many oenophiles as a great way to pour wine by the glass, especially from high-value bottles. It’s also increasingly popular with restaurants that offer “Wine by the glass” services. The downside to it is that the replacement argon canisters add to the overall cost to preserve the wine.
If you are a passionate wine enthusiast who loves savoring high-value bottles, it might be the ideal system for you. If you are more the type of person who goes for a $20 bottle of wine to enjoy at dinner, there might be more affordable options to consider.
Oxygen Capture Systems
Oxygen capture systems are sort of the newcomer in the wine preservation niche. They play off special chemical compounds in small canisters or temporary stoppers that essentially interact with oxygen to chemically bond it. This prevents air from contacting the wine to cause oxidation.
With some of these systems, the canister or stopper with preservation material can only be used once, and then it’s discarded. This brings up the same repeating cost concerns that you have with argon replacement wine preservation systems. Though the price per unit or price to preserve an entire bottle is usually significantly less.
There are some oxygen capture systems that can be used multiple times before it’s exhausted. This can help improve the system’s overall cost-effectiveness. Some also work better when the bottle is refrigerated.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are some frequently asked questions to consider, which might help you choose the wine preservation system that is right for you.
Q: What Is Oxidation?
A: The chemical process of oxidation is technically a part of the fermentation process used in winemaking. Yet prolonged exposure to oxygen, beyond letting a freshly opened bottle “Breathe,” can also be a bad thing. Left unchecked, the wine’s pigmentation starts to dull while the wine also loses its complex aromas. This also impacts flavor and mutes the wine’s more subtle notes.
A similar oxidation effect happens when an apple has been sliced and left out on the counter. The reactive nature of oxygen starts to turn the exposed flesh brown, which further dampens the flavor, aroma and overall texture.
Oxidized wine is often described as “Flat” or “Bad” and is often too unappealing to drink. With some wines, it may take less than a single day to go from vibrant and aromatic to flat and stale.
Q: Can Oxidized Wine Make You Sick?
A: Oxidized wine on its own won’t make you sick. Though it might taste so unpleasant that it could make your stomach feel uneasy. The larger risk with oxidized wine is the invasion of harmful microbes. A wine that has been exposed to air for too long can become host to things like mold, which could potentially make you ill. If you are ever in doubt, it’s probably best to pour it out!
Q: How Long Does It Take For Wine To Go Bad?
A: It can vary by vintage, but the prevailing wisdom is that you will likely notice a change in a quality wine after a single day. You should expect oxidation to be a major problem within three to five days. This is one of the reasons why you see wine preservation systems growing in popularity.
Q: Are There Other Things That Can Cause Wine To Go Bad?
A: Wine also doesn’t sunlight or even bright indoor lights. Indeed, many bottles are made from dark green glass. Light can also impart heat, which further accelerates oxidation.
Q: Is Argon Dangerous?
A: Most air replacement systems like Coravin, use argon gas to essentially fill up the void left by the extracted or poured wine. Argon is heavier than oxygen and is also inert making it extremely stable.
This means that the argon will essentially sink down to the surface of the wine to form a protective layer. Any lingering oxygen that might still be in the bottle will be prevented from interacting with the chemistry of the wine. There are even some winemakers who use argon as a preservative for wines in storage.
The fact that argon is a “Noble Gas” means it is inert and will not interact with the wine. Trace amounts of argon already exist in the surrounding air we breathe. It doesn’t affect the flavor and isn’t considered dangerous, so long as you aren’t directly breathing in pure argon.
Q: Can Pressurized Gas Or Vacuum Systems Damage Bottles?
A: Vacuum sealed bottles only experience failures if the bottle itself is defective in some way. Otherwise, the vacuum being drawn simply doesn’t apply more force than the bottle can handle.
When pressurized argon systems first came on the market there were a few reports of bottles breaking or cracking. Manufacturers like Coravin have since redesigned their units for safe operation.
Q: Should Wine Be Stored Vertically Or Horizontally?
A: Before a bottle of wine is opened, the prevailing wisdom is to store it horizontally, or at a slight angle, so that the wine is touching the cork. This will keep it moist and prevent the delicate cork material from degrading. Once the bottle is opened, the type off wine preservation system you are using will come into play.
Some methods, like the oxygen capture method, require you to store the wine standing up. If you lay the bottle down, the stopper might not contact the air allowing oxidation to occur. With other methods like the argon replacement, you can and should lay the bottle horizontally to help keep the cork moist. Vacuum sealed bottles can be kept in any orientation, as there is technically no air inside to speak of inside the bottle.
Q: Should I Let My Bottle “Breathe” or “Open Up” After Sealing It With A Wine Preservation Stopper?
A: With systems that chemically capture oxygen, you might want to let the bottle “Breathe” for a few minutes before pouring. Some of these systems are so efficient, that the interior void is completely robbed of any available oxygen.
Q: Should A Preserved Wine Be Refrigerated?
A: With some methods, like the oxygen capture stoppers, refrigeration can help slow any potential oxidation which might occur during the process. Oxidation requires a modest amount of heat energy, so even chilling a red wine might help.
Being able to keep wine fresh not only ensures that you can enjoy your favorite vintages by the glass, but it also helps you save money. Just how much you want to invest upfront and how much you are willing to spend on things like replacement canisters or cartridges might also be a factor in the system you choose.
Wine preservation systems that are backed by a manufacturer’s warranty, make a statement about their quality and dedication to customer service. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily apply with single-use cartridges which aren’t really meant to stand the test of time.
There are many options worthy of consideration. Whether you are looking to make a major investment, or simply want a wine preservation system that minds your budget, chances are you will find what you need on this list.
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