Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Half Bottle Trick

[From the Ladies Who Launch weekly lifestyle tip]

er wondered what to do with that perfectly good wine that is leftover in the bottle? Besides drinking it yourself (perhaps you did a little too much of that over the holidays?) we recommend utilizing the ‘half bottle trick.’ You don’t need to purchase fancy vacuum sealers or cans of inert gas to keep your wine fresh; all you really need is a few clean, empty half bottles of wine and a few old corks — or a few of those fancy cork stoppers if have always wondered what to do with them.

If you buy a full bottle of wine with the intention of only drinking half of it yourself with dinner, immediately pour about half of the bottle’s contents into your clean half bottle container. Leave some room at the top of the bottle and have an old cork ready to top it off. Give the cork a quick sniff to rule out mustiness or any off odors and insert the clean side of the cork (the one with no wine stains on it) into the bottle. Viola! You now have a good half bottle for your next evening’s meal.

If you are not sure how much of the full bottle you will be drinking, just have the clean half bottle and cork ready so you can store it as soon as you are done. You can use a simple kitchen funnel to transfer the wine from the large bottle to the half bottle. Storing leftover wine in a half bottle works better than simply recorking the full bottle because it minimizes the amount of air that can get to the wine and spoil it. Store the half bottle on the counter (for red wine) away from any heat sources and in the refrigerator (for white wine.) Now you never have to waste a drop of the “good stuff” ever again!

Cheers and happy leftovers.


  1. My hero Jancis gave this tip somewhere, maybe on her Wine Course on dvd, and it really works!

  2. Yes, it really does work, especially in conjunction with refrigeration. There are some people who say the act of pouring out the remainder of wine into a half bottle unnecessarily introduces exposure to more air, which would then make the wine you're trying to preserve less fresh. Well...

    I proved to myself and my friends that this fear is misplaced.

    Check out my experiment with half bottles.