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Oh, oxygen—you fickle beast! First, you caress my wine, allowing the aromas to intensify and fill out in the glass. How sweet it is to perform that first swirl of the decanter and experience the bouquet as it blossoms into its true, nuanced form. But you aren’t all roses and rainbows, dear oxygen. Over just a day’s time, you start to destroy my wine’s delicate flavor, turning vibrant whites and robust reds into a flat, vinegar-y mess. Thank goodness there are ways around this tragic circumstance. See below for the ultimate etiquette in keeping your sumptuous leftover wine fresh and delicious.

1. Date your Wine!

When it comes to keeping leftover wine fresh, take a tip from local tasting rooms. In order to ensure that bottles are always fresh, tasting room attendants mark bottles with the date opened. Easy, but effective, we promise! Invest in a metallic sharpie that will show up on the back of the a dark bottle or colored label and keep it on a string attached to your wine rack (you’ll never misplace it and no one will borrow it for school projects this way). A good rule of thumb: After day three, sip, swirl, and test for dullness. After that time period, wine can begin breaking down. Oh, and sparkling wines should always be consumed the day of, unless you have a bubbly saver. Is anything worse than sad, flat bubbles?

2. Store to Win

Don’t ever allow a good bottle to go through a roller coaster of hot and cold temperatures—nothing can destroy flavor quicker! Opened whites should pretty much always be stored in the fridge while reds should be stored in a cool, but not cold, dry place. Never leave a bottle in a hot car or out on a sunny table in your backyard. Reseal with only the cork the wine came with and resist the urge to put the “clean” side in—that could contaminate the wine and lead to off-putting flavors.

3. Get a Good Gadget!

Invest in a handy dandy wine saver and you’ll get way more than three days out of your next bottle—in fact, you can keep some wines fresh for up to a week! Wine savers can run from about $10 for a simple handheld plastic pump with rubber insert to a fancy newfangled gizmo ($100 – $300) that allows you to pour the wine without even removing the cork (crazy, right?). Although the price and impressiveness of these toys differ, they are all trying to do the same thing: Mitigating the amount of oxygen at the party. Don’t let that party guest linger too long!

4. Learn to Taste for Wine Gone Bad

Trust your instincts. If you start tasting less fruit and more mustiness, chances are the wine’s taken a turn for the worse. Flat, lifeless wine might be overly jammy, sour with a vinegar edge or just plain blah. You might be tempted to throw that wine into a sauce for dinner, but hold off. If you wouldn’t drink it, you shouldn’t cook with it. Ever.

5. Be Pragmatic

This one can be hard for folks who regularly give in to cravings and whims. Next time you are hankering for that special syrah you’ve been saving for ten years, be sure to consider these factors first. 1) Are you leaving town, even for just a few days? Might want to wait till you get back or even take the bottle with you. 2) Is there a recipe that would work well with this wine, therefore allowing you to use more of it while the vintage is at its peak freshness? Go for it and create a dynamic pairing that you know is always guaranteed to match. 3) Are you sure to like it, or are you testing the waters? If the latter, invite a few adventurous friends over to partake in any leftover (I’m sure they’ll thank you). One man’s not-so-great wine is another’s varietal treasure.

Summer Wines You’ll Want to Save (and Savor) All Through the Week

Rendarrio Buy the Wine button
2013 Baja Ha Chardonnay
Riverstar Buy the wine button
2013 Grenache Rose
LXV Buy the wine button
2015 Summer Satine Viognier
Oso Libre buy the wine button
2012 Vino D’Oro Chardonnay








This blog was written by Hayley Thomas, food and wine writer for New Times and You can reach her at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @flavorslo.



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Adelaide InnThe Adelaide Inn is an iconic, locally owned hotel known for its friendly staff and lush landscaping. With spacious rooms and a convenient location close to highway 101 and the event center – home of the California Mid-State Fair – this hotel is a great choice for most travelers.

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LLa Bellasera Hotel & Suitesa Bellasera Hotel & Suites is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Central Coast Wine Country. Influenced by Mediterranean and Italian architecture, the luxurious accommodations reflect the aged sophistication of the Central Coast region and the relaxed nature of the California countryside.

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