Finishing a bottle of wine in one sitting is no easy task, especially if you’re the only one drinking it. You don’t necessarily want to down the whole bottle of wine, but you also don’t want to waste any of it. So what’s the answer? Simply recorking your bottle is the perfect solution for a scenario like this.
Now, if you’re not sure what recorking wine is, how to do it, or what to use for it, we’ve got you covered. The guide below walks you through each step of the recorking process for a few different methods. Trust us, it’s easier than you think.
Why Reseal Wine?
As soon as you pop off the cork of a new bottle, the wine begins to oxidize. Oxidation occurs when exposure to air causes a series of chemical reactions. Recorking wine helps slow the oxidation process, which helps the wine last longer. This simple step can keep your wine fresh for a few extra days and take the mess out of transporting it.
4 Ways to Reseal a Wine Bottle
You can use the original cork to reseal a bottle of wine. If you used a corkscrew to open the bottle, make sure the corkscrew didn’t poke a hole all the way through the cork and the cork didn’t crumble. If not, you can use it to recork wine. Here’s how it works:
- Hold the bottle on a table, counter, or other flat surface.
- Insert the cork at a tilted angle, with one side entering before the other.
- Twist the cork and press down until the first portion of it is roughly half an inch inside the bottle.
- Press firmly with the heel of your hand to push the cork farther down.
If inserting the cork using this method doesn’t work, try wrapping a thin piece of wax paper around it. Without overlapping the wax paper or twisting the cork, gently push the cork into the opening. Once you reseal the bottle, you can store it in the refrigerator for three to five days. When you’re done with the bottle, you can save the cork to make these easy DIY Wine Cork Coasters!
2. Paper Towel
Whether the cork crumbled or you forgot to hold onto it, don’t fret. There are other ways to recork a bottle of wine. For example, a paper towel is one unexpected alternative—but only until you find a cork or wine stopper to replace it. Any longer than a day, and the wine will change flavors. Follow these steps:
- Fold a torn section of a paper towel into a two-inch piece.
- Fold the paper towel until it’s in the shape of a cork. It should be slightly larger than the bottle’s opening.
- Secure the end of the paper towel cork with tape, and wrap it in plastic wrap, securing both ends with tape.
- Push and twist the makeshift cork into the bottle until it’s sealed.
3. Wine Stopper
A wine stopper is a cork-like device—often made of either rubber or stainless steel—that keeps an opened bottle of wine fresh for three to five days. It’s affordable, user-friendly, and available in a range of prices and colors. It’s even reusable, making it a good option for your wallet and the environment.
If you’re wondering how to use a wine stopper, you’ll be glad to hear it’s a piece of cake. Simply insert the stopper into the wine bottle, and you’re good to go. Here are some of our best-selling wine stoppers.
4. Wine Saver
A wine saver is a type of vacuum sealer with a stopper and a vacuum pump. Wine savers come in both manual and electric options for your convenience. They keep wine fresh longer than corks and wine stoppers by replacing air in the bottle with inert gas to prevent oxidation so it doesn’t spoil prematurely. Here’s how to use one:
- Insert the rubber stopper into the mouth of the bottle.
- Place the other piece over the stopper, and press down consecutively to pump air from the bottle.
How to Recork Champagne or Sparkling Wine
Now, sparkling wines like champagne are a bit trickier than a bottle of red or white. Most sparkling wine bottles have a tapered cork that’s impossible to re-insert into the opening. Thankfully, you can easily borrow a cork from another bottle instead. Simply push and twist the cork into the bottle’s opening until it’s sealed, and store in the refrigerator for a day or two at most.
Storing Resealed Wine Bottles
Now that you know how to reseal a bottle of opened wine, let’s cover best practices for wine storage. Follow these four tips to ensure your favorite bottles last as long as possible after opening them.
- Store the bottle upright in the refrigerator
- Keep the bottle away from light
- Maintain a steady temperature
- Pour a small amount of wine into a smaller bottle for optimal results
Depending on what type of wine you have, it may oxidize faster than the average bottle. Wines like Pinot Noir, light-colored reds, organic whites, and wines more than eight to ten years old oxidize more quickly than other wines, meaning they won’t last in the fridge as long once resealed. You can reference this guide to when wine goes bad and always check for signs that an opened bottle of wine may be spoiled before drinking it.
Get All Your Wine Essentials at The Wine Cellar Group
Whatever method you prefer to recork your wine bottles, we have the tools you need to keep them fresher for longer. But first things first: you can’t recork a wine bottle until you have one to open and enjoy. That’s where we come in.
Our Cellar Collection features a generous selection of wines, including boutique-style reds, whites, rosé, and more. You can buy a bottle at a time or mix and match a few of your favorites for the ultimate at-home wine collection. What are you waiting for? Start sipping today.