Picture the scene: you’ve just bought a wonderful bottle of wine, and you’re enjoying its taste enormously. However, you don’t want to drink it all one go – you want to save it for later!
The problem is, though, that you don’t want it to lose any of its great flavor. Once a bottle of wine has been uncorked, it will deteriorate if it isn’t recorked.
This is because oxygen will get to it, causing the flavor to lessen over time, which will ruin your enjoyment when you get back to it. So, how can you recork the wine and keep the flavor for longer?
Well, we’ve got the answers for you. In our helpful guide below, you’ll find detailed descriptions of the handful of ways that you can recork your wine, suiting almost any scenario.
There’s bound to be one that you can do, and you’ll be saving your opened bottle in no time.
Why Should You Recork Your Wine?
We’ve already touched upon the reason that you should recork your wine, but let’s go a bit more into the scientific reason behind it. When you open your bottle of wine, the liquid is going to be put into contact with oxygen.
When oxygen gas gets to the wine, it oxidizes it. This oxygen air gets to the tannins that are in the wine, which are a type of bitter chemical compound that’s in its production.
The oxygen opens tannins up and the wine flavor begins to deteriorate, because the air carries bacteria named acetobacter.
Don’t worry, though! These bacteria are relatively harmless to ingest. However, the bacteria is what turns the wine into acetic acid, which is how you get that sour vinegar taste with old and stale wines.
No matter what you do, wine will begin to deteriorate once you open it. There’s nothing you can do to properly stop the process.
However, you can slow it down a lot, which is what people do – and why they recork their bottles of wine, letting the flavor keep for longer.
How To Recork Wine
There are a good few methods you can use in order to recork your bottle of wine.
Starting with the most obvious one, you can only put the original cork back into the bottle if it’s in a good enough condition. If you opened it with a normal corkscrew, then you might be in luck.
When you open a bottle of wine, the corkscrew spindle shouldn’t go all the way through the cork, otherwise oxygen can get in. If the cork is still sturdy and without holes, you can put it back in.
To do this, have a look at the cork and determine which end was originally in the bottle. It’s important that you put that end back in, not the other side, as it could be contaminated.
Take the bottle and hold it on a stable surface. Then tilt your cork so that one end is going in before the others, and hold the cork on the lip of the bottle.
Now simultaneously twist and press the cork down, letting part of the cork enter the bottle a bit. Continue to hold the bottle firmly, and use the heel of your hand to press down on the cork until it’s pushed in properly.
Wrapping Your Cork In Wax Paper
This method is for when you can’t get the good-condition cork to properly get into the bottle by hand. This is likely because there’s too much friction between the cork and the glass of the bottle, and it’s preventing the cork from sliding in easily.
The way to get around this is to ease the friction by wrapping the cork in some wax paper.
First, you want to take your wax paper and cut a piece of it off that’s long and wide enough to wrap snugly around the cork. You don’t want the wax paper to overlap, so cut it precisely.
Then wrap it around the cork and angle the cork over the bottle. Firmly hold the bottle and gently rock/push the cork inside until it’s pressed in. Once in, your wine will be preserved for 3-5 days.
Most stores will sell these great inventions, which act like reusable rubber corks. They’re easy (all you have to do is push them in) and very affordable, at a few dollars each. Once in, your wine will be preserved for 3-5 days.
If your cork is damaged, or you’ve lost it, then the paper towel method is a good choice – but will only preserve the wine for a day, so use it while organizing one of the other methods.
First, tear off some paper towel and fold it to 2 inches wide. From a short end, roll it inwards until it’s scrunched into a cork shape. If it isn’t wide enough for the rim, tear off more.
Then get some tape and tape up the end of the towel, keeping it wrapped and secured.
After that, get some plastic wrap and wrap up the entire cork-shaped towel. Use more tape to secure that. Then take the “cork” and push it into the bottle, twisting at the same time.
These are vacuum sealers, meaning that you’ll get a more secure sealing. They do this by removing the air from the bottle, or replacing the air with an interest gas like argon.
The vacuum sealers cost around $10 usually, but are more than worth it, while the more scientific gas injection tools can cost $100+. Vacuum sealers preserve your wine for two weeks at most, while the gas injectors will keep it for months.
Recorking your wine is essential if you want to keep its flavor for longer, so follow our methods!