How Do Vacuum Wine Stoppers Really Work?

If you love wine, you have probably heard about the vacuum wine stopper. In an ideal world, you could open a bottle of wine to use in cooking or to enjoy with friends and you would finish it every time. In reality, there are many reasons you may not finish a bottle the same day you start it. Wine only lasts between two and five days under standard storage conditions, and this often means that the leftovers of a nice bottle will go to waste. Vacuum wine stoppers sell themselves as a solution to this problem, but how does this tool work, and is it really effective for extending your wine's shelf life? We investigated.

At first, it makes sense. The main reason that wine goes bad is due to exposure to air, which causes the flavor compounds to oxidize and makes the wine's flavor and aroma decline in quality. Vacuum wine stoppers promise to better preserve leftover wine by sucking excess air out of bottles using a pump, lessening the extent to which this oxidation occurs. Online reviews say positive things about the efficacy of this technology, but professional reviewers have inconsistent thoughts, with some seeing great results, while others have mixed opinions or entirely negative views of the stoppers. Meanwhile, our own experiences with even the top-reviewed stoppers have left us wanting. In the end, they may help to some small degree, but there are certainly more reliable ways to make your wine last longer.

Better ways to preserve leftover wine

There are several alternatives to vacuum wine stoppers that carry more credibility to back them up. Storing your open bottle of wine correctly can do a lot to keep it fresh without spending money on any extra tech. To do so, make sure to place the bottle in the fridge as soon as you are done drinking it. Additionally, unlike unopened wine, it's best to store half-consumed wine upright rather than on its side. This will minimize the amount of wine that comes into contact with the air in the bottle.

If you want the ultimate reassurance that you are doing everything you can to keep your wine as fresh as possible, there are a few gadgets that can help decidedly more than a vacuum stopper. The Coravin wine system, Wine Squirrel, and Savino Wine Preserver all come highly recommended by experts, as their technology is designed specifically to not remove oxygen but ensure it never touches the wine in the first place. This is because each tool offers a way to extract wine from the bottle without ever letting any air back in. The Coravin even injects non-reactive argon gas into the bottle to act as an extra buffer. While many of these options require added investment, they are worth considering if you are seeking a surefire way to keep leftover bottles from going to waste.