storing opened bottles of wine for later enjoyment
On a quiet evening, opening a special bottle of wine can be a real treat. But finishing that treasured 750mL can be a trial for one or even two people. Storing an opened wine overnight or even for several evenings is worthwhile provided it can be done without sacrificing too much of the wine quality.
Now, a gas company has sponsored trials to find the best way of achieving this. The results of tasting a white and a gutsy red stored over several days under varying conditions were reported in an Air Liquide publication. They found an excellent solution for storing the red for 1-4 days was to put it in the refrigerator and to bring the bottle out just in time to allow it to warm up prior to reuse. By the fourth day, this wine was fading but still quite drinkable. Other systems such as the commercial VacuVin and one which flushed the headspace with an inert gas were not as successful; only one other - a system called ‘Private Preserve' (which uses a blend of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and argon) - performed very well. For the white, the storage limit was about 2 days. Again the proprietary system called ‘Private Preserve' was the best, VacuVin and the other system using a single inert gas the worst, and storage in the refrigerator was a practical and excellent solution. From this evidence the conclusion seems clear: except for those of you who have a commercial stake in holding wines over, the best compromise is to store the wine in the refrigerator - up to 2 days for a white, 4 days for a red.
A cooling system designed specifically for cellars is being marketed by Baywicks Wine Cellars (03 545 65 14 or 025 545 823). It is called the BWC Koolspace 600 and apparently fits neatly into a wall. It is said to have sufficient capacity to cool 2000 bottles, and the last price I saw was $1295. It looks quite interesting - its the only purpose-built cellar cooling system I have seen. Other size units are also available.