Saturday, October 6, 2007

Rating Wine Preserver Products

As soon as a bottle of wine is opened, it begins to oxidize. 24 to 36 hrs after being opened, most table wines have lost much of their flavor. After 48 hrs they can be almost undrinkable.

You don't need to be a wine snob to notice and be concerned about the effects of oxidation. As a complete wine novice buying my first bottles of wine, I could tell without any training that the flavor of the wine was different the day after it was opened. Several wine preservation products are available that help to minimize the effects of oxidation.

The best household wine preservation system is The Keeper (above left). I use this product with every bottle of wine I open at home. The stopper-faucet that dispenses the wine is connected to a nitrogen cylinder. Nitrogen (an inert, non-oxidizing gas) fills the space inside the bottle as the wine goes out. This device prevents oxygen from coming into the bottle and thus keeps oxidation from occurring.

A widely used but significantly less effective product is Private Preserve inert gas spray (pictured to the right). Each time a bottle of wine is opened or reopened, you are supposed to spray Private Preserve (a combination of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and argon gas) into the bottle. These gases are allegedly heavier than other gases and are said to lay down a protective blanket over the surface of the wine, keeping oxygen at bay.

I used Private Preserve for years, and it certainly slows down the oxidation process. It is better than nothing and something you might want to consider buying, if you're not ready to spend money on The Keeper. However, it is only marginally effective at preventing oxidation. The money spent on several bottles of Private Preserve would be better spent on The Keeper.

A completely worthless product that is commonly seen in wine shops is the Vacu Vin Vacuum Wine Saver (pictured at left). This was the first wine preservation product I ever tried. A dinky little pump is supposed to extract most of the air inside your bottle of wine, again slowing down the oxidation process. The pump, however, is exceptionally weak and the stopper that goes on top of the bottle does not form a very tight seal. Vacu Vin may remove some oxygen from the inside of a bottle, but it is an almost completely ineffective product. Don't throw away your money on this one.

Ken Shockley laughs at my Keeper wine system every time he comes over to my house. I must admit that it looks rather odd, but it has been a wonderful investment. It can keep opened bottles of wine fresh for weeks, allowing me to enjoy wine at my leisure. I highly recommend it.


Anonymous said...


do you know how much air the vacuum method removes form the bottle? And doesn't it depend on how much wine is in the bottle? It can't remove it all because the bottle would implode.

James Beebe said...

The Vacu Vin "vacuum" product is really dinky. Its pump mechanism cannot generate much sucking pressure. So, there is no way that it can remove much air from the bottle. It's just about worthless.

Anonymous said...

Private Preserve actually does work extremely well. Your comment that you used it for years speak well for it.
I notice my bottles stay PERFECT for days or a week, no problem. I've tested bottles for a few months or a year also. They stay perfect.
It's reviewed by top experts as the best wine preserver, and is used in over 1000 wineries in their tasting rooms. Wineries also sell Private Preserve to the public. I'm talking top-name wineries, and not just in the U.S. - France and other parts of Europe too. Thousands of restaurants worldwide use Private Preserve for their by-the-glass programs. They wouldn't do that if it didn't work perfectly.
Does it sound like I am connected to business of Private Preserve? It should, because I am. But all that I write here is 100% fact.
Private Preserve is by far the best and most economical and convenient way to save your wines. It also works on port, sherry, old cognac, sake, tequila, and fine oils and vinegars.
Try it. You can keep 3 bottles open at home and drink by-the-glass.
Your habits will change. You will always have a fresh glass of wine.

Anonymous said...

Hey all. Just read your good posts on the gas systems but just recently ran across a preserver that I like much better. Just had the Wine Balloon for a couple of weeks but it's logical and you can SEE it's working.
I love my glass of wine during the week.