How long does an open bottle of wine stay fresh? And is there any way to make it stay fresh longer? F&W's Ray Isle tests every method—including the trendy Coravin—and finds the winners.
Anyone who drinks wine has been confronted with the problem of an unfinished bottle. The dinner party's over, you've washed all the dishes and there's that half-empty bottle—or maybe a few half-empty bottles—sitting on the counter. Really nice Pinot Noir from Sonoma. What do you do with it? Drink it next week? Possibly... but how long does a bottle of wine stay good, once it's open? And is there any way to make it stay good longer?
Fortunately for humans, but unfortunately for wine, the atmosphere of the Earth is roughly 21 percent oxygen. Once a bottle is opened, it starts to oxidize, the oxygen in the air reacting with the wine's polyphenols (which give color and tannins) and other compounds (those providing flavor, for instance).