How to Save Wine Without a Cork: 10 Effective methods

For as long as man has been drinking wine, we’ve struggled to find the best way to keep it. That is why we need to learn how to save wine without a cork. In this article, we will describe the 10 proven effective methods of saving wine without a cork, as follows:

  1. Re-use a Cork
  2. Use a Wine Stopper
  3. Switch to Screw Caps
  4. Vacuum Seal Your Wine
  5. Invest in Inert Gas Wine Preserver
  6. Reduce the Surface Area of wine exposed to air
  7. Keep wine in the fridge
  8. Use an Alternative Sealed Container
  9. Try an Air-Proof Container
  10. Make your Stopper with available materials
    • Make Your Own Cover including using Zip Lock Bags and Paper Towel cover

Let’s dive in for more details.

10 proved effective ways to Save Wine Without a Cork- With a Bonus

1. Re-use a cork

If you’re lucky enough to find a cork that is undamaged and still firmly in the bottle, you can reuse that cork over again to save the last few drops of wine left in your bottle. Re-using the original cork is one of the most effective ways to save wine without getting a new cork.

On how to recork wine, first, freeze the cork for at least an hour. If you’re out of corks, however, and don’t want to wait for another one to freeze, place a fresh sheet of wax paper on the bottom of the bottle and then wrap the top of the cork with another sheet of wax paper before pushing the cork back into the bottle with your hands.

Freezing the cork helps to contract or shrink it so that it can be pushed back into the bottle to seal it. The cork should be placed in the freezer immediately after popping the bottle of wine. Moreover, a cork in the freezer is less likely to be lost.

The paper wax described above helps to lubricate the cork making it easier to slide back onto the bottle. Moreover, it reduces the breakage of the cork to smaller pieces as you force it back into the bottle.

Finally, we recommend using constant even pressure on the cork when pushing it back to the bottle. Please be gentle as you push it to ensure you do not require a repositioning of the cork once inserted.

We know for most people, reusing the cork to save the wine may be a major challenge. That is why we have the 9 methods described below:

2. Buy a wine stopper

If you have a bit of extra cash sitting around in your wallet, you can buy a wine stopper. The wine stopper will come in different shapes, sizes, and prices depending on the material used to re-cork the bottle.

However, we recommend buying wine stoppers with rubber or soft plastic on the top to ensure you can open them easily and the material is flexible. Some of the wine stoppers also feature a needle that pierces the cork and allows air to flow into the bottle.

You should check the two wine stoppers that we use at Hopsters Brewing Company with much success: the Coravin Wine Preservation system or the Vacu Vin wine saver which is a cheaper option.

The Coravin wine preservation system uses inert gas to preserve the wine – ultra-pure argon gas (99.99%). It is a patented wine preservation technique that ensures you can close the bottle and still use inert gas to preserve the wine. I recommend it to regular wine buyers.

The Vacu Vin wine saver creates a seal between the wine and air with a stopper that can be removed for serving. These are some of the cheapest options for wine stoppers that are available.

3. Start Using Screw Caps

Yes, we know that screw cap wines tend to be less expensive wines, but it is an effective way to keep the wine fresh once opened for a long time. Getting a screw cap helps you to save wine without a cork since re-corking the wine is a tussle in itself.

Some wineries are making bottles of wine with screw cap stoppers instead of corks. If you’re looking to save some money, consider buying a bottle with a screw cap instead of a cork.

The main advantage of the screw cap is that they are sealed air-tight. This means that the wine will never oxidize, and you can store it for much longer. In fact, you can store screw cap wine for decades.

Moreover, the screw cap is also easier to use. This makes it better than corks if you don’t finish your wine bottle at once in most instances. If however, you don’t like the use of a screw cap as a wine lover as it lowers your wine dignity, consider the other methods below:

4. Make a stopper with readily available materials

In your kitchen or house, there are a number of things you can use to make a wine stopper. However, these readily available materials may not fully seal the wine bottle. However, wrapping a rubber band on top of the bottle can help seal the bottle more effectively.

If you’re out of corks and don’t want to go buy a new pack, you can fashion a cork-like stopper out of rubber bands, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or any other type of rubber.

Just make sure you have a tight seal between the wine and air before you finish off that last glass! Let’s say you have an old pair of pantyhose and a wine cork handy.

You can seal the cork in the toe of the hose and then put the wine bottle into the leg of the hose. Make sure the cork is sealed tightly so that air can’t get into the bottle.

This is a stop-gap measure and should be used infrequently or if you want to consume the wine soon. This is because oxidation is likely to occur if temporary stoppers are used to seal the wine. If you can’t even make a wine stopper, you can reduce the surface areas exposed to air as below.

Turn a coffee filter into a cork or use a paper towel

You can use a paper towel to seal your bottle of wine temporarily if you have lost the cork. The paper towel is used together with plastic wrap and tape to ensure that air circulation in and out of the bottle is kept to the bare minimum.

A paper towel, used instead of a cork, will keep your wine fresh for a very short period of time, at most 24 hours. Thus, choose another method for long-term storage as described above. You can use the paper towel as described below:

  • Take a two-inch strip of paper towels, fold it down in halves, and roll it into a cork. Check to see whether your cork is the right size. If not, take off some bits and make it smaller.
  • Alternatively, if you need it bigger, add more bits of paper towel. Then, tape the end of the paper towel and wrap plastic wrap around it. You’ve now created a cork.
  • Push and twist the cork into the bottle until it’s sealed.

If you don’t have any paper towels or cheesecloth on hand to reduce the surface area of your wine, you can use an old coffee filter. Cut a coffee filter in half and then wrap it around the top of the wine bottle. Make sure you wrap it tightly so that the wine can’t leak out.

Using Zip Lock Bags

We know that you need to keep your wine fresh at any cost. This is one of the craziest ideas of keeping the wine fresh but it works when done well and the wine is in a zip lock bag kept in the fridge.

You should try using the Zip Lock bags to keep the wine fresh in a fridge if you don’t believe me.

The trick is to ensure the zip of your bag is properly sealed. This reduces the exposure of your wine to air thus reducing oxidation. To ensure that your wine is also protected from light, you can put the zip lock bag containing your wine in a dark container before refrigerating it.

5. Reduce the Surface Area of Wine Exposed to Air

This might sound a bit like science fiction, but the molecules in the air are looking to oxidize your wine and break it down.

If you can reduce the surface area of the wine that is touching the air, the process will be slowed down. The more the surface area of wine that is exposed to air, the faster it will deteriorate.

The method works for the short term and can be used to keep the wine fresh for drinking the following day.

To reduce the surface area exposed to air, you can move your wine from a bigger bottle to a smaller bottle. For example, you can use the 375ml wine bottle (Half-bottle) to store leftovers from the 750ml (full bottle) of wine.

The half bottle of wine in most cases is more expensive than the full bottle for the same amount of wine. However, it is very suitable for storing leftover wine thus reducing the surface area exposed to air. The wine in this bottle should be stored in the fridge and should be reused again and again with proper cleaning and storing.

However, kindly note that you still require to seal the bottle of wine even if it is a 375ml half bottle. For sealing the bottle, you can use a saran wrap tightly sealed on the bottle using a rubber band.

6. Buy an Inert Gas Wine Preserver

Inert Gas Wine Preserver to save wine without a cork

If you are a regular wine consumer or you own a wine business, this is the best solution to preserve your wine. It does not come on cheap but it is one of the most effective ways to save wine without a cork.

Inert gas wine preservers work by putting a small canister inside your wine bottle. The canister then slowly releases argon gas into the bottle. The argon gas helps to displace the oxygen that is trying to break down the wine.

These are a bit more expensive than other wine preservers, but they last for 10 years before you need to replace the canister. They’re also a larger solution, so they might not be the best option if you’re short on storage space.

At Hopsters, we have been using Coravin Model Two Wine Preservation System which is astonishing in the way it preserves your wine for a long time. Imagine enjoying your wine even without opening the bottle!

The argon gas is effective in preserving wine. The gas displaces all the air in the bottle thus slowing down the oxidation of your wine completely. It is as if you never opened the bottle in the first place.

If inert gas is not to your liking, let’s turn over to vacuum sealing your bottle of wine to reduce oxidation.

7. Vacuum Seal Your Wine

If you buy wine often, we recommend either using the inert gas above or purchasing Vacuum Seal. The vacuum seal is quite affordable as compared to the inert sealer above and it enables you to store your wine for a longer time as compared to the other methods described above.

If you buy wine often, consider investing in a vacuum seal solution. These sealers can run anywhere from $40 to $200 depending on the type of sealer you want. You can seal both bottles and individual glasses of wine, and some sealers even come with a filler to keep your wine fresh for up to two weeks.

The vacuum sealer helps eliminate oxygen from the bottle with ease thus reducing wine degradation through oxidation. This process ensures your wine is fresh since exposure to air is one of the common ways to degrade your wine.

8. Keep wine in the fridge

This might sound like a no-brainer, but keeping your wine in the fridge will help to slow the deterioration of your wine. If you leave your wine out at room temperature, it will start to break down and lose its flavor (and alcohol content) much quicker than if it were kept in a cool environment.

We recommend getting a wine cooler but you can still use your kitchen fridge if you don’t buy your wine regularly. A fridge with a temperature of 55F is how to store red wine after opening or even any other type of wine.

However, don’t just toss your wine in the fridge without popping the cork. Wine kept in the fridge will stay fresh for about a week. After that, it’s best to remove the cork and drink it as soon as possible.

The cool temperatures in the fridge help to reduce the rate of oxidation but the bottle has to be sealed using a cork, a wine stopper, or a rubber band and aluminum foil as described above in the homemade corks.

Storing wine in the fridge can keep your wine fresh for a number of days. However, we recommend taking the wine the next day or as soon as possible since it does not eliminate the oxidation of an open bottle completely.

9. Use an Alternative Sealed Container

If you lack a wine stopper, the most economical and quickest method to store leftover wine is in an air-tight container to preserve it. For those of you with Hydro-flasks or similar sealed water bottles and thermoses, you may store your wine in them to keep it fresh.

The method helps to keep your wine fresh for a few days by using sealed water bottles or thermoses such as Hydro-flasks.

However, make sure your children do not drink from it thinking that it is fresh juice or water stored in the thermoses. These sealed containers help to keep the wine fresh for a day since they minimize the temperature fluctuations and some are even airtight such as thermoses.

10. Try an Air-Proof Container

If you have an air-proof container such as a jar, you may opt for it for keeping your wine fresh. This method also prevents oxidation but is such a temporary measure that we can not recommend it.

The good thing about this method is that you don’t have to worry about the storage position since it is not a must that you keep the bottle upright.

You can use mason jars (or something similar) which are a perfect solution to reduce the surface area exposed to air. Thus, you should have an empty, clean jar readily available to use to save wine without a cork.

A small, air-tight container helps to reduce the surface area and thus makes wine fresh for longer. However, this is a temporary solution and the wine should be taken as soon as possible.

How to Keep Wine Fresh After Opening It

If you’re a wine lover, it’s likely that you’ll want to drink more than one glass of wine at a time. So how can you keep the rest of the bottle if it can’t be stored for later? The best way to keep wine after opening it is by storing it in the correct way and using techniques that will help preserve its flavor.

Whether you have an entire case or just a single bottle, here are some tips on how to keep wine after opening it. An opened bottle of wine doesn’t last long — especially if you only have one left. This is how to preserve wine after opening:

1. Seal Off the Bottle: Keep the Cork

When the air hits the wine, the two react and cause a chemical change in the wine, which is usually a bad thing. When the air hits the wine, it causes oxidation, which results in a loss of flavor and aroma.

To prevent oxidation, make sure to keep the wine away from oxygen and wrap the cork tightly in a clean cloth or paper towel. Keeping the cork reduces exposure to oxygen which degrades the wine by oxidation. When you’re ready to reopen the bottle, make sure to reseal it tightly.

Corked bottles can be stored on their side, but be sure to keep them upright once you’ve opened them. An opened bottle should never be stored on its side, as the liquid will start to pool toward the cork.

2. Keep the Wine Away from Light and Heat

We will discuss the heat in detail below but it is important to keep wine away from direct sunlight which exposes it to light and heat. Thus, you need to keep wine away from the sun and UV Rays.

You don’t have to be a wine expert to know that light, heat, and vibration can harm your wine. Luckily, you don’t need to be a wine expert to keep it away from these things.

A cool, dark place is the best place to store wine. If you don’t have a wine cellar, a closet or a kitchen cabinet may work just as well.

Avoid cabinets that are right next to the stove or a window that gets lots of sunlight. You should also avoid storing wine in places with a lot of vibration, such as a garage or workshop.

3. Keep it Cool: Place the Bottle in the Fridge

If you’re planning on drinking more than one bottle of wine in a short amount of time, you may want to consider storing some bottles in the fridge.

Most wines are best when served at between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, so you may want to keep them in your refrigerator if you don’t have room in your kitchen for a bunch of wine bottles.

Although most wines will fare just fine when refrigerated, some may benefit from it more than others. Sparkling wine, sweet dessert wines, and those made from more robust grapes are more likely to last longer in the fridge.

If you’re planning on keeping a bottle of wine in the fridge, it’s best to consume it within a few weeks.

4. Avoid Humidity

If you’re keeping an unopened bottle of wine, there isn’t much you need to worry about. Since corked bottles are already sealed, you don’t have to worry about humidity. The cork ensures that the humidity is at the right level.

However, humidity can also destroy the labels in unopened bottles of wine and thus should be a concern even for unopened wine.

If you’re keeping a bottle that’s been opened, you will want to keep an eye on the humidity. Although a little bit of humidity isn’t a big deal, excess humidity can cause your wine to become contaminated with bacteria, mold, or yeast. You can avoid this by storing your opened bottles in a dry place.

Contamination can lead to stomachaches for your revelers as well as making the wine unpalatable. Thus, we recommend avoiding humidity when storing wine.

5. Don’t Shake It Up

Shaking wine before you pour a glass is a common practice, but it’s not a very good one. Shaking up wine exposes it to oxygen, which can damage the flavor.

You should only be swirling wine when you want to dissolve the sediment at the bottom of the bottle. If you don’t want to wait for the wine to settle, you can always decant it.

Using food to save wine

You can also use food to save wine that is almost finished. Try wrapping an apple in a paper towel and then putting it inside the bottle of wine. A banana works just as well. This will help to reduce the surface area of the wine and speed up the decomposition process.

If you have a bag of grapes, you can put them in a wine bottle and use them to preserve wine. Grapes have a naturally high level of potassium sorbate so they can be used as a preservative. Crushed black pepper will also help to reduce surface area and speed up the decomposition process.

You can also wrap up a piece of bread in a paper towel and put it in a wine bottle. The bread will not only help to reduce the surface area, but it will also give the wine a nutty flavor.

If you want to use food as a preservation method, keep in mind that you will have to serve your wine with the food in it. You can drink the wine and eat the food at the same time because it will be mixed together in the bottle.

Conclusion

There are plenty of ways to keep wine after opening it, but the best way is to start with a great bottle in the first place. By choosing the perfect wine to start with, you don’t have to worry about storing it for later.

We have comprehensively discussed the following methods to save your wine without a cork:

  1. Re-use a Cork
  2. Use a Wine Stopper
  3. Switch to Screw Caps
  4. Vacuum Seal Your Wine
  5. Invest in Inert Gas Wine Preserver
  6. Reduce the Surface Area of wine exposed to air
  7. Keep wine in the fridge
  8. Use an Alternative Sealed Container
  9. Try an Air-Proof Container
  10. Make your Stopper with available materials
    • Make Your Own Cover including using Zip Lock Bags and Paper Towel cover

Keep in mind that an opened bottle of wine doesn’t last as long as a full one, so it’s best to drink up as soon as possible. If you’re worried about finishing the bottle before it goes bad, you can use these tips to make the wine last a bit longer.

2 More Sources:

https://www.wikihow.com/Keep-Wine-After-Being-Opened

https://www.thespruceeats.com/wine-hacks-save-money-4142286

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