Once opened, your white wine has a shelf life, so it can’t be stored indefinitely.
It will lose its aromatic intensity within days, and then it will oxidize and develop vinegar-like aromas; however, there are optimal ways to store white wine to extend its life.
The simplest way to extend the life of your white wine is to replace the closure and store it in the refrigerator. This will only extend the life of your wine by a few days.
You can extend the life of your wine longer, so let’s talk about the different systems that help you store your white wine for longer.
A vacuum system removes the oxygen from the bottle and then seals the bottle. This slows down oxidation of compounds in the wine.
Vacuum systems come in a variety of styles and price points (starting at around $15). Makers claim that their systems preserve wine from anywhere between 10 days up to 4 weeks.
Please note that a vacuum system is not suitable for sparkling wine as it will cause it to lose its bubbles. Use a special Champagne cork seal instead.
A blanket system blankets the wine with a gas that is heavier than oxygen. This forms a protective layer between the wine and air.
There are all kinds of blanket systems from simple spray cans that allow you to spray gas into the bottle which you then seal with a cork to fancy more expensive systems.
Drink wine without opening the bottle at all
If you are super serious about keeping your wine indefinitely (and have a healthy budget), you can now buy gadgets that allow you to taste your wine without opening the bottle at all.
Systems, like Coravin, use a medical-grade needle that inserts through the cork. Argon gas is pumped into the bottle that preserves the wine in the bottle.
After the needle is removed, natural corks reseal to maintain a perfectly unopened bottle allowing you to taste your wine without opening the bottle.
How to store unopened wine
While expensive wine fridges and trendy gadgets can look great and make life easier, they are not a necessity.
Following some common-sense guidelines and using some standard equipment is usually sufficient to ensure that your white wines can be enjoyed at their best.
Improperly stored wine can affect the flavor of the wine. Wine can even become faulty, in more severe scenarios. So, it is important to follow some simple dos & don’ts.
Dos & Don’ts for storing wine
- Do store wine at a cool and constant temperature (50-60 °F or 10-15 °C), as extreme temperatures can cause wine to become faulty.
- Do store wine away from strong light. Natural sunshine and artificial light can heat wine causing it to become stale and develop unpleasant flavors.
- Do store wine that is sealed with a cork on its side to ensure the cork remains in contact with the wine to prevent the cork from drying out and letting air in.
- Don’t store wine in the kitchen – the temperature in kitchens fluctuates too much.
- Don’t store your wine on top of the refrigerator. As well as the fluctuation in temperature, the vibrations from a refrigerator can disturb wine.
- Don’t store wine in the refrigerator for extended periods. It can cause the cork to harden and the cork to lose elasticity. This in turn can cause the seal to fail, resulting in stale wine and flat fizz.