Open bottle tips 6-22-2022

A standard 750 ml wine bottle contains five 5-ounce pours. What do you do when you drink one or two pours and have left-over wine?

There are solutions. First, let’s see what causes problems. Oxygen is a wine’s best friend until it turns into its worst enemy. We all are familiar with decanting and letting wine “breathe” to open up flavors, blow off certain odors, and soften tannins. But once a bottle is opened it is like starting a timer. When the buzzer sounds, your wine has turned to vinegar or is at least flat and lifeless.

The amount of time wine can be exposed to air varies with the wine and with how it is handled.

Tannins, acidity, sugar, oak, and sulfites all can work to prolong after-opening life. Sweet wines with high acidity—sweet riesling, for instance—fare better than high-alcohol, dry, low acidity wines. Thicker grape skins contribute to more body and structure and often have more tannins and oak exposure. Oaked chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon fare better after opening than pinot noir or grenache.

Regardless of the grape, how you store left-over wine matters. Strategies:

• Pour left-over wine into a smaller bottle. Save that small bottle your dessert wine came in and use it. Smaller bottle, less oxygen exposure.

• Re-cork as tight as possible after the last pour.

• Store the bottle in the refrigerator. Don’t leave it on the kitchen counter.

• Invest in a Coravin preserver if you are someone who only drinks a glass or two every couple of days.

There also are packaging solutions.

• Boxed wine can store in a refrigerator for a month after opening. There are quality boxed wines today.

• Canned wines are the new rage. They come in single-serve and two-serving sizes. There also are wines in glass or plastic bottles with similar amounts.

Finally, all may not be lost if you left an open bottle on the counter. Give it a taste. If you enjoy it still, enjoy away. Good wine is whatever you think is good wine.

Tasting notes:

• McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic Bubbly Rosé: Simple, slightly fizzy, fun wine. Two 375 ml cans, $14 Link to my review

• Bonterra Rosé, California 2021: Treats you in so many ways with so many red grapes you are bound to enjoy at least some of them. $16 Link to my review

Last round: I had a dream I was a car muffler last night. Man, I woke up exhausted. Wine time.