We tested six tools on half-empty bottles of red and white wine, comparing and evaluating the wines’ flavors and drinkability at various time intervals.
How We Tested
For years we’ve preserved open bottles of wine either by using the Vacu Vin Wine Saver, an inexpensive ($9.29) pair of rubber stoppers with a pump that sucks the air out of the bottle, or by pouring leftover wine into a smaller bottle or Mason jar to stave off oxidation. But innovative new gadgets promise to keep wine drinkable longer. We tested six tools, including the Vacu Vin, on half-empty bottles of red and white wine, comparing and evaluating the wines’ flavors and drinkability at various time intervals.
Three models were either ineffective or fussy or both. Our old favorite worked reliably and kept wine drinkable for a week, but two new models bested it. As of press time, these two models had kept wine drinkable for one month. (We’ll continue to taste and report, so check our website for updates.) By inserting one model's sharp, hollow needle through the cork—we never had to uncork the bottle—we could pour just the amount of wine that we wanted while activating a pressurized capsule that simultaneously fed argon (an inert gas) into the bottle to displace the tapped wine. Not even our trained wine expert could say which was fresher: a month-old bottle sealed by this product or a freshly opened bottle of the same vintage. Another, cheaper product is a worthy Best Buy: It forms a barricade against air when its balloon is lowered into the bottle and inflated just above the surface of the leftover wine. On the downside, it’s slightly finicky and can be used on only one bottle at a time.