Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Half-Bottle

A whole bottle of wine is a lot for two people to go through in one evening (especially during the week!) To keep what we don't drink, Kelly and I have saved a few 375 ml half-bottle bottles. When we open a new bottle of wine we usually split one half of the bottle between us, pour the rest into a half-bottle and pop it into the fridge. This method isn't perfect. About a third of the time the wine suffers a bit in the half-bottle, usually by losing something on the nose. Occasionally it suffers a lot. But half the time or more the wine comes out tasting as good as it went in, and sometimes (wines that needed to breathe) it's actually better for the experience. And in any event, so far it's the best method we've some up with for saving wine. Has anyone else tried this? Does anyone have other methods that have worked for them?


  1. I don't personally have one, but you can buy a "corker" device that actually vacuum seals the bottle again. No air gets to the unused portion so the wine doesn't suffer as much.
    I think the reason I don't HAVE that there is rarely leftovers :) Try the "box o wine". for those "I just want a glass" evenings during the week. You think I am kidding....

  2. I think the wine box is a brilliant idea for wines that you intend to drink soon after purchase. They have an environmental plus too - less packaging so not as much energy for transport.

  3. The method we use to preserve open depends on how much we have left. I like the vacuum pump for bottles more than half full and the "half bottle" for less than half bottle remaining. I prefer my "half bottle" to be screw cap. The Wolf Blass Premium Selection Shiraz comes in a 375ml screw cap bottle if you are looking for one.

  4. Chris,

    Great idea to use a screw cap half-bottle. I didn't know they existed - but I don't buy many half bottles.

    What brand of vacuum pump do you use? I tried one before and I wasn't very happy with it - I don't the vacuum was great to start with, and the seal seemed to leak as well, so often there would be hardly any 'pop' when I opened it later.

    Also, does anyone have any experience with the inert gas /argon preservation systems?

  5. Hi Norman,

    I use the Epicurean Preservation System (a mechanical pump that sits on a charger). It was a gift from friends.

    I use to use a hand pump with variable results.

    With the Epicurean I tried a few different sizes of stopper before finding a few that held their seal for a few days (if needed).

  6. We use an "Epivac". I've had this about 5 years and it works well. I've never had a problem keeping the seal. The plugs are a soft rubber which makes it very easy to pump and seal. The pump is plastic but very rugged. We have a hard time leaving any in the bottle but this little device has made it easier for us to make the decision to leave some for tomorrow (or several days). Can't remember the price but it was probably about $20.

  7. I use a Swissmar vacuum seal (hand pump). I think you can get these at Stokes. I think I bought extra stoppers there, but purchased originally in Halifax. I have had mine for a few years and have only had a bottle lose it's seal once (but I actually blame that on my fiance. I still say she never sealed it) :-)
    Don't try to use it to vacuum seal food is too hard trying to get lasagna squeezed into the wine bottle, and then nearly impossible to get out