As a wine professional and enthusiast, I go through a lot of bottles of wine. When I was on the road selling wine, the same sample bottle should last up to 2 days so I can taste it with as many customers as possible. Of course, wine was a little different the next day, or some wines completely fell apart (yeah, still remember the names, but I am not telling).
When I took already opened bottle out of my wine bag, some of my customers asked me how long it has been opened. Not, that they complained – but to get an idea how to judge the wine. Once the bottle is opened, it keeps changing. Most of the time it changes for good and sometimes for the worse.
The exposure to oxygen first benefits the wine, it encourages the release of the aroma and flavor – but when exposed for too long, it will harm the wine. Some, especially vintage bottles, should be handled with care – the wine is fragile and can fail rapidly if left opened.
In our household it doesn’t happen very often that we need to store unfinished wine. (My husband, reading it just commented: “That’s right!”). Could I sense a little sarcasm there? But, occasionally, we don’t finish the bottle. So what to do, what to do, to protect the precious taste you just enjoyed?
When you don’t want to waste your great bottle of wine, it is not enough just simply stack the cork back in. The oxygen left in the bottle will do its harm. If you are serious about your wine, it’s worth to try some preservation system.
Pumping the air out and vacuum seal the bottle seemed to be the easiest solution. I have done it few times, but couldn’t say if it really protected the wine for more than 24-48 hours. It can do a decent job in preserving your wine for a short period of time.
Many people swear by the wine preservers. Yes, I mean those cans of gas (unscented, non-toxic gas) that is sprayed into the bottle to remove all the oxygen. Its thin straw allows you to spray on the side of the cork right before you push it back into the bottle.
It’s well known system that works for the restaurants and wine professionals. I don’t know many private people, that use it at home. I have to admit, I didn’t try it myself. The idea that I am spraying something into my wine didn’t play well with me.
The professional wine dispensers, when you have wines under the pressure of nitrogen, seems to be the best way to go (and I can testify that the wine stays fresh for several days).But that’s perfect solution for the restaurants and wine bars. We don’t usually need to keep open 3 bottles at the same time, not to mention the cost of the unit and a struggle to get nitrogen tanks.
When I read about it up front, I learned that the Wine Shield was in fact a foil, that was inserted into your opened bottle of wine, when you planned to keep it. By floating on the surface of the wine, it significantly reduced the oxidation process that compromises the aroma and taste of the wine if kept just re-corked. Really?! Just a simple idea that makes a lot of sense!
By now I was really eager to try it. With an uneasy feeling in my heart, I have left almost half bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon unfinished. I know, what do we have to sacrifice for the science?!
I have to note here, that the company suggests to insert the Wine Shield disc right after the first glass of wine is poured. But then again, I like my red wine to breath a little. (And I also read the whole instruction afterword, sorry…) My Cabernet was 2004 vintage, a wine already aged – which is usually even harder to keep open and fresh.
I struggled a little with the instructions. It seemed complicated and I didn’t want to mess it up right from beginning. Don’t forget, I am a blonde! The box came with a little plastic twister that was supposed to be placed through the openings of the pocket, on each side of the “Shield”. Not worries, although I don’t think I got it right – when placed above the bottle and pushed through, it found its place all right.
The foil effortlessly spread on the surface and stayed in place, even when we poured a little more wine later that evening. I even liked the little grape design on it. Sometimes the simplest solution might ended up to be the best! I think the inventor of this idea must have been a serious wine lover, perhaps having the same issues with different preservers, as I had.
I tasted the wine after 48 hours. It had the same brightness, didn’t fail, I found it in great shape. I re-tasted the wine again the next day, and it seemed to be perfectly all right. Without protection, that wine would be good for cooking, maybe. This is what’s left in the bottle, when the wine is finished. It can stay in the bottle and be thrown away with it:
Yes, sometimes the simplest smart solution might ended up to be the best! So would I recommend this to my friends? Absolutely! It’s easy to use (yeah, even I figured it out), doesn’t require any additional equipment (you can go to the picnic and have one in your pocket). What I also like about Wine Shield is the single use. You don’t keep pushing the same cork to different wines or keep washing the stuff that you use.
Most importantly, it doesn’t cost a fortune! You can get a pack of 10 for just $ 11.99! Honestly, how often do you need to keep a leftover wine? Exactly! So that pack of 10 Wine Shields is going to last you for awhile! Good job, Wine Shield! Thank you for the opportunity to be one of the first users to get to try it. I am sold!