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Dear Dr. Vinny,
After using a vacuum pump, if we keep the bottle upside-down, can we keep the wine for a longer time?
—Jitendra, Ahmedabad, India
I’ve written before that storing bottles of wine upside-down might be a good idea if storing them horizontally is not an option. The thinking is that keeping the wine in contact with the cork will keep the cork moist. A dry cork can shrink and let air inside the bottle, prematurely aging the wine.
There are a couple of problems in your scenario. First, those vacuum pumps come with unique rubber stoppers, which don’t always have a good seal, so turning the bottle upside-down will be tempting leaks. Also, there’s no need to keep a rubber stopper moist the way you would a traditional cork—those rubber stoppers aren’t going to dry out.
How long an open bottle of wine will last depends on the wine, how it’s stored, and your tolerance for oxidation. Older wines will fade faster than young, robust wines. Transferring the wine to a smaller container and storing it in the refrigerator will also give it some more life. Your own personal mileage may vary.
I used those rubber stoppers and vacuum pumps when I first started drinking wine—I liked the ritual and satisfying “pop” they made when I removed them—but all of the research I’ve read (and conducted) suggests they don’t really remove much air, and what they do remove might include a wine’s aromatics.
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