Preserving an open bottle of wine is one of those things wine lovers don’t talk a lot about. For many of us a bottle is not open long enough for the exposure to air to spoil the wine. But there are those times when you open a special bottle or, in my case, 4 or 5 bottles for a tasting when preservation becomes a necessity. Over the years I have tried a lot of different approaches to preserving open bottles for longer than a day or two with mixed results. After swearing by Vac-u-vin and refrigerator storage for years I most recently have used Private Preserve to displace the air and preserve open wine bottles for 2 or 3 days before oxidation is apparent. A new product called Wine Shield claims to preserve open wines up to 5 days which I put to the test with 2 red wines.
The idea of Wine Shield is so simple I’m surprised it wasn’t invented a long time ago. Essentially it’s a round disk made from food grade plastic with a decorative grape design stamped into the middle that doubles as its mechanism to assure the disk floats on the top of the wine. An obvious and brilliant idea to protect the wine from oxidation. And my testing confirms the claim of protecting wine for a full 5 days before the effects of oxidation can be detected. In fact, I got 6 days from a robust Napa Valley Cabernet that tasted as fresh as the day I opened the bottle on day 6.
The only flaw I can see with Wine Shield is how you put the disk into the bottle is an acquired skill. You can see how this works about 17 seconds into the Wine Shield promotional video embedded below and it is a lot more difficult in practice than it looks.
I will definitely be ordering more Wine Shield disks to have on hand for special bottles
but will continue to use Private Preserve for most of my wine preservation needs since I rarely keep an open bottle more than a couple days and using gas is still quite a bit less expensive per bottle than Wine Shield. But for many wine lovers who only occasionally drink wine or restaurants who don’t have an expensive gas system already something like Wine Shield is a no brainer. If it was closer in price to gas, I would use Wine Shield everyday. But I will be using it the next time I open 5 or 6 bottles for a Twitter tasting.
You can order Wine Shield here to try them for yourself.
Update December 18, 2011: In preparing my gift round up post I noticed Wine Shield had significantly lowered their prices to be much more competitive with gas preservation solutions so I have changed the end of my review and have updated the Amazon affiliate links.
Disclosure: The Wine Shield folks sent me a 3-pack for review.