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Too much red wine (opened)

We've been tasting reds (zins, cabs) for a wedding reception. Now the question is how long will the opened bottles keep -- room temp or refrig? Or is it coq au vin up the wazoo?

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  1. The only way to keep opened red wine is to use a vacuum pump system
    with special caps which maintain vacuum. Even with this system, I
    would not recommend keeping wine (refrigerated) more than 2 or 3 days
    at best.

    If the bottles are open or even closed with the original cork, maybe
    the next day the wine will be tolerable. After that it can probably be
    used as vinegar. I would not use it even for coq an vin.

    1. I wouldn't go quite as far as bclevy... I'd say "it depends". But, *generally* I would use a vacuum sealer, refrigerate, and drink within 2 or 3 days. Use the initial cork, refrigerate, and drink the next day (morning). If you shove the cork back in and leave it in the fridge for a couple of days it should be fine to cook with.

      That said, acidic tannic beasts (which is probably not what you are tasting) can pleasantly evolve opened for days on end.

      1 Reply
      1. re: whiner

        My experience has been much the same as yours. When I leave behind that last glass or two in the bottle, I will typically just re-cork, and even if I just leave it on the counter rather than the fridge and come back the next day usually the wine is still entirely drinkable - some bigger wines (esp. younger zin and cab) will often improve after a day and sometimes still be drinkable after 2.

        I've experimented with various lower end options - vacuum pump, inert gas, etc. - and found only minimal difference (perhaps an extra day's life, but still not "pristinely" preserved) so I don't bother any more.

        1. I'd say you can keep 'em corked in the frig and drink within a week. Will it be as good as today? No. Will it be totally off, most likely not.
          If it is wilted beyond your likes, but still not vinegar, you can make a sangria party over the weekend.
          Besides coq au vin, you can use the wine in a great short-rib braise.

          1. Just buy a can of Private Preserve and spray some of that into the bottles, if you don't already have or don't want to invest in a vacuum pump. Costs about $7.

            1. Put back the cork, keep in the fridge, drink.
              When you stop liking what you're drinking, throw away.

              1 Reply
              1. Vacuum sealing and Private Preserve are fine suggestions. However, here's the best way to store leftover red wine. First, you need some empty half bottles (375 ml). Pour the wine up to the neck of a half bottle, and place a cork in as far as you can. You can always remove it later with a corkscrew. You want to minimize the amount of air between the bottom of the cork and the fill level of the wine. If you have leftover wine after that, it shouldn't be that much and you might as well drink it on the spot.

                1. Drink up your favorite bottles today. Next favorite bottle tomorrow. All the suggestions are good, Private Reserve is great if you have it, but recorking and throwing it in the fridge is fine too. I've been able to drink some bottles up to a week after opening, with just leaving it in the fridge, but there is no doubt quality goes down significantly after 1-2 days. SO enjoy your favorite wines first.

                  Sangria is a good way to extend the life of some of the bottles, especially the so-so bottles.

                  I've also tried freezing some of the half empty bottles, and it can last longer this way. But I definitely wouldn't do this with your favorite bottles.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: moh

                    Yes, it's usually sangria time for me after a party. Lots of steaks in red wine reduction sauces, too.

                  2. I use the Vac-u-Vin pump stoppers for leftover reds (and whites) and stick in the main 'fridge. While there may be some changes, I've had good luck with 4-5 days, though they usually do not last that long. Just take them out of the 'fridge to allow time for them to warm up a bit. I like most reds from 50F to 60F, with some exceptions.