First, I have to point out that one of my friends, Lisa, asked, “What do you mean ‘store’? People have left over wine?!” Ah yes, quite a wine lover my friend is. Anyway, in my classes, these questions come up week after week: How do you store open wine? Do you refrigerate open wine? Should you ever refrigerate red wine?
The good thing is, it doesn’t matter whether you are trying to store open red wine or white wine, the answer is the same. Cork it, and refrigerate it. Basically consider it a piece of cut fruit… hence you do what you can to minimize contact with air and you stick it in the refrigerator to slow down the spoilage.
Ok, great. So you’ve got a half full bottle of red wine in the refrigerator. What do you do about serving it when you’re ready? DON”T nuke it! It will heat up parts of the wine and ruin the flavor. The best way to warm up a red wine is to fill a bowl of hot water and put the bottle into the bowl for a period of time, maybe 10 minutes to start. This may take a couple experiments to find the right amount of time to leave it in the bowl based on your refrigerator’s temperature, your hot tap water’s temperature and your normal room temperature. But err on the side of too cool until you get the timing right.
Just keep in mind that you want to just bring the red wine up to about 60 degrees or so. The bottle should still be cool to the touch.
With white wine, which should be served slightly warmer than straight out of the refrigerator or about 50 degrees, take it out five to ten minutes before serving, depending on how much leftover wine you have.
How long will open wine last? I’ve personally pushed it to about 10 days when storing it in the refrigerator, but for full flavor, I’d suggest 5 days to a week.
If you follow these simple directions and store your open wine in the refrigerator, it will be a rare sight to see wine being poured down the drain, and no one ever wants to see that!