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Jul 3, 2010 01:40 PM

Vin Santo - shelf life after opening?

I have a 0.75 liter bottle I'd like to serve with some cantucci. Assuming we don't finish it off in one sitting, how long will it keep, once the bottle has been opened? Should I pump out the air with a vacu-vin, before storing in the refrigerator?

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  1. Yes, pump if you have a my experience, it stays very drinkable for two days or so...and declines slowly...but you can't expect it to be as fresh and complex five days later...

    1 Reply
    1. re: penthouse pup

      Thanks. I swear, I think the guy at the store (admittedly, a duty-free shop) said something like a month. While I was hopeful that might be the case, it didn't really sound so plausible to me.

    2. Vin Santo is already oxidized; that's why it has the flavor it does. It sits usually 10 years in small chestnut barrels, completely undisturbed, before the barrel is opened and the vin santo is bottled. There's a lot of evaporation in the chestnut barrel, so there's plenty of air (oxygen) to slowly degrade the wine and create Vin Santo's distinctive flavor.

      The open bottle of Vin Santo will last a long time; after all, oxygen has already done its thing so there's no need to use a vacuum pump or any preservation method. It'll last about a month, I'd say also, unless you decide to drink and enjoy it over several evenings. Cantucci/biscotti is what's traditionally served with it. I love the stuff.

      4 Replies
      1. re: maria lorraine

        I love the stuff too, but I also like the idea of not feeling pressured to finish off the bottle in several days, or risk rapid deterioration in taste or quality. One month would give a lot more leeway, especially given I got a full (not half) bottle.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          True vin santo sits in the barriques in ambient temperatures and humidities for at LEAST 10 years, the barriques are not completely filled, and then are never topped up. By the time bottling time rolls around, they can be as little as 1/3 full, so a little more oxygen from an opened bottle's ullage is not going to hurt. I bet you could finish the bottle in 2011 and not notice any difference.

          1. re: kaleokahu

            Thanks, kaleokahu. I doubt I will be able to make an opened bottle last anywhere near that long, but if I do I will report back on how well it keeps!

          2. re: maria lorraine

            Me too-love it with biscotti. And thanks for the cogent answer. I thought it would be relatively long lasting once opened given that oxygen had already done it's thing to the wine.