How to Prevent Wine Oxidation at Home?

Wine oxidation turns your wine into Sherry-like flavors. Here are a few tips on how to prevent oxidation in your opened bottles.

You've just hosted a wine tasting at home and have many leftovers. Should you be concerned about wine going bad, in other words, wine oxidation?

Here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions, plus additional resources.



What is wine oxidation, and how does it affect the taste and aroma of wine?

Oxidation in wine occurs when the wine is exposed to air, causing a chemical reaction that can affect its aroma, color, and taste. The fruit notes evolve and the wine may develop nutty, bruised apple, or sherry-like notes.

Can wine oxidation ever be desirable?

Yes, when the wine aromas seem muted. Aerating the wine by decanting it in another container or swirling the wine in your glass triggers limited exposure to oxygen. Sometimes, it's enough to open up the wine flavors.

Certain wine styles, like Sherry or Madeira, rely on oxidation to achieve their characteristic flavors.

How long is a wine good after opening before it oxidizes too much?

It depends on the type of wine and how it's stored. Light white wines and ros├ęs can last 1-3 days, red wines for up to a week, and fortified wines even longer if resealed and refrigerated. It also depends on the ratio wine/air in the bottle. The more air, the faster the oxidation.

Can you slow down the oxidation of an open bottle of wine?

To slow down oxidation, reseal the bottle with a vacuum pump or a specialized wine preserver, which removes air or replaces it with an inert gas such as Argon. Refrigerating the wine will also slow down the oxidation process.

Are there any tools or accessories that help prevent wine oxidation?

Wine preservers using argon gas or vacuum pumps are tools designed to limit oxygen exposure and preserve the wine flavors after opening. Coravin(R) offers several devices allowing you to sample a small aliquot of wine through the cork without the need to remove the cork.

How to use a wine preserver?

I made a short demonstration on how I use a wine preserver at home.



Additional resources

Wine preserver recommendation [Amazon affiliate link]

Take the Wine faults and Taints Masterclass.

Image showing the Masterclass thumbnail




Categories: Best practices



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