One question comes up time after time from wine-pages visitors: what’s the best way to preserve an opened bottle of wine overnight?” Giving an answer isn’t easy.Though some wines can benefit from ‘breathing’ for a few hours, oxygen is the enemy of wine. Once any bottle has been opened for a while, the wine will start to deteriorate through absorbtion of oxygen in much the same way that even the freshest apple will brown once you slice it in half.
There are several inexpensive systems around that are supposed to preserve leftover wine for a few days. Some are vacuum pumps to remove the air, and some involve filling the bottle with a gas that is heavier than air, thus theoretically blanketing the wine beneath a protective layer. Unfortunately I have tried several of these devices with no conclusive benefits to report.
A new preservation system has recently been causing a stir in wine shops, restaurants and bars. PresorVac is the brainchild of a former wine merchant. It is a vacuum-based system developed in the USA, but has such innovative new technology that it is covered by no less than five patent applications. The system has also had its performance independently evaluated by analytical chemists specialising in the drinks industry, under the supervision of a Master of Wine.PresorVac’s pump combines with an ingenious stopper system that claims to vacuum out enough oxygen to keep any wine fresh for up to 14 days. It is a rotary pump, powered by rechargeable batteries, with a sensor positioned in the air flow path that measures pressure and will extract the optimum oxygen for wine preservation.PresorVac’s inventor has 20 years experience with vacuum resealing, and says the system has been tested on hundreds of thousands of wines, “from St. Emilion Grand Cru to Frascati,” with consistently good results.
One clever bit of design is used for sparkling wines: clip a special fizz stopper over the bottle, flick a switch on Presorvac, and instead of vacuuming, air is pumped into the bottle creating pressurised air over a thin layer of naturally escaping CO2, which is exactly what’s needed to keep the bubbles in suspension.
PresorVac is distributed in the UK by trade supplier The Waiter’s Friend Company. Now their retail arm, Tthe Wine Gift Centre, is offering a new version of the system developed for the domestic market, but including exactly the same pump. The domestic system sells for £130 in a kit including the PresorVac itself, a battery charger, three stoppers and one special champagne stopper. Extra stoppers can be bought on line.