Due to family vacationing, I’m getting a slight jump start on the monthly wine product review roundup (I’ve got plenty of wine coverage coming, so don’t worry your pretty little inebriated heads over that, ok?). And, thankfully, I’ve got two fairly-priced wine preservation gadgets from the sample pool that are absolutely worthy of your (sober) consideration.
First up is the ingenious little Repour Wine Saver (a 4 Pack runs about $9). The Repour is the brain child of chemist Tom Lutz, and employs similar oxygen-absorbing tech used in the produce industry. The idea is that the slightly top-heavy but also non-toxic repour is used in place of the bottle’s original closure after opening, and chemicals in the Repour attract most of the oxygen in the bottle, thus prolonging the life of any wine you have left over in the bottle. Effectiveness is, naturally, reduced the longer you leave the bottle unstopped, and the more open space that’s left in the bottle, etc.
The Repour was run through some independent lab tests, has the nod from some sommeliers and wine pros, and in my limited experience works, almost too well, causing some of the wines I “Repoured” to close up temporarily. The only real drawback is that the Repour is a one-and-done product (you basically use one per bottle) and needs to be discarded after each bottle is finished. It will definitely get you several extra days of drinking from an open bottle of vino; the company claims that you can get up to a month, but anyone who is doing that either doesn’t known how to sell wine (in on premise settings) or doesn’t know how to drink it (in consumer settings)…
The other product highlight comes via the Modern Wine Preserver by St. Vine (a vacuum Pump with 2 Reusable Bottle Stoppers, about $25). Now, I know what you’re thinking and I can feel your eyes rolling… those vacuum pump thingies do NOT work!!! I get it… and in most cases, I think that you’re right; the rubber stoppers that come with many vacuum pump wine preserver sets end up losing suction and afterward are no better than sticking the original closure back on the bottle and putting it into the fridge.
The St. Vine solution to this issue is to employ reusable, BPA-free, dishwasher safe aluminum stoppers with push-button tops for releasing the closures. This product was, by far, the easiest and most effective vacuum-pump-style wine preservation solution that I’ve yet encountered. After several days of stopping up a delicate white wine in my fridge, the closure was just as tight and secure as the day that I pumped the hell out of it and first popped it on; and the wine inside was still fresh as daisies. YMMV, as they say, and bear in mind that when you’re pumping air out of the bottle (thus helping to preserve the leftover wine), you’re also likely pumping out volatile compounds (i.e., aroma and flavor, which is what you are paying for in the first place when it comes to wine). But… if you feel compelled to go the vacuum pump route, this is as good a solution as you’re likely to find at the moment.