How to Recork a Wine Bottle (4 BRILLIANT & Easy Methods)

Do you know how to recork a wine bottle? It’s a lot easier than you might think! In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps of how to do it.

Recorking a wine bottle is a great way to keep your wine fresh and tasting its best. So, let’s get started.

How to Recork a Wine Bottle

In general, you can push the cork back in as long as you drink the wine within 3 days. Wrap the cork in waxed paper to help it slide into the neck of the bottle.

To keep the wine fresh for a week or more, use a wine stopper or a vacuum wine stopper to get oxygen out of the bottle.

To keep the wine fresh for months or years, use a wine preservation system.

Read on to get all the details about each method and choose the one that’s best for you.

How to Recork a Wine Bottle – 4 Brilliant Ways

corks and corkscrew
Once corks are out of the bottle they expand making them really hard to get back in.

Keeping wine as fresh as the day you pop the cork can be challenging.

Many people feel pressured to use the wine faster than they would like to, simply because they don’t want to pour it down the drain.

Here are 4 brilliant ways to keep your wine fresh!

1. Push the Cork Back Into the Bottle

corking tool
A simple corking tool is a cheap way to preserve bottles of wine with a new cork.

In general, if you can push the cork back in the bottle, simply force it back in and then refrigerate it to help preserve the flavor. Use the wine within 3 days.

If you have a corker tool you can use it to push a new cork into the bottle and rewrap the cork.

However, the addition of oxygen into the wine bottle will cause oxidation that will still degrade the flavor.

A good alternative to simply recorking the same bottle is to pour the wine into a smaller bottle, like a sanitized split (or 3), then use the corking tool to seal it like new.

Read More: How Big is a Split of Champagne? Here’s what a split is and how big they are!

Wrap the Cork Then Replace It

If you can’t push the cork back in, wrap it in waxed paper to help it slide, then force it back into the bottle. This will also keep bits of cork from breaking off into the wine.

If you end up with bits of cork in the wine you can filter them out by pouring the wine through an ultra-fine mesh or using a wine aerator with a mesh end to filter cork and sediment.

Use a Wine Stopper

These are after-market, reusable bottle stoppers that keep your wine fresh for longer – up to a week or more.

Some stoppers allow you to pour through so you don’t have to remove it to enjoy a glass.

Some wine stoppers are designed to simply plug the bottle so you can pour again easily the next day. There are decorative designs in every type of material imaginable.

Upgrade your wine stopper by using a vacuum wine stopper that removes some oxygen from the bottle to slow oxidation and preserve the flavor of the wine for a week or so.

Use a Wine Preserver System

This is the most expensive way to preserve your wine, but a good wine preservation system can enable you to enjoy a glass from a favorite vintage and then store the bottle for years to come.

This is the ideal solution for wine collectors who want to enjoy the wine, and not simply watch it gather dust.

You can take a sip (or two) then preserve the bottle and let it age in the cellar.

We put the top wine preservation systems to the test. Check out our in-depth reviews to see which ones worked the best for us!

Why Should I Recork My Wine Bottles?

Wine Bottle and corkscrew
A cork is usually difficult to impossible to reinsert without breaking pieces off, especially if the corkscrew has torn up the top.

There are a few common reasons to recork your wine bottles, and all of them are worth the time and effort it takes to re-cork the bottle.

  • Keep the Wine Fresh – When you recork a wine bottle, it slows oxygen exchange inside the bottle. Oxygen exposure causes oxidation which changes the flavor, aroma, and sweetness of the wine.
  • To Prevent Leaks – If the cork is broken you can’t keep oxygen out of the wine. Recorking seals that precious vintage in a protective barrier that keeps oxygen away and retains valuable nutrients and other essential components. 
  • To Save Money – Recorking the bottle keeps the wine you’ve purchased fresh until you can use it up. Using a preservation system allows you to get several memorable events from one expensive bottle of wine.

If you simply want to stretch a single bottle of wine over 2 or 3 days, get some wine stoppers.

They come in every style, give a great seal, and make it quick and easy to pour and reseal.

Read More: How Many Grapes to Make a Bottle of Red Wine? Here’s what it takes to fill your glass!

Tips for Keeping Your Wine Fresh After Recorking

recorked wine bottle laying on its side
A vacuum pump will help remove air from the bottle so you can reseal the bottle and keep the wine fresher for longer.

Recorking doesn’t keep your wine fresh forever. Here are 5 tips for keeping your wine fresh after recorking.

  1. Store recorked bottles in a wine cooler or climate-controlled cellar.
  2. Check the seal periodically. Make that the cork is still seated firmly in the bottle and that the cap is screwed on tightly. 
  3. Use a wine preservation system if you’re not going to use the bottle within a week. These prevent oxidation, keeping your wine fresh for much longer.
  4. White wine tends to spoil faster than red. Use and preserve it more quickly than you use red wine.
  5. Use a vacuum pump to remove air from the bottle. Vacuum pumps are designed specifically for wine bottles and can help to remove oxygen from the bottle, keeping your wine fresh for longer. 

The only system that will allow you to seal your bottle of wine and enjoy it years later is the Coravin Wine Preservation System.

It lets you pour a glass without removing the cork, then uses argon gas to fill the space in the bottle so no oxidation occurs, preserving the flavor, aroma, and sweetness of the wine inside the bottle for years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How Long Does a Recorked Bottle of Wine Last? 

If stored properly, a recorked bottle of wine can last for about a week without losing flavor if it’s stored in a cool, dark place.

Fortified wines can be recorked and stored in a cool dark place for several months before noticeable degradation occurs.

Q: What Happens if You Don’t Recork a Wine Bottle? 

A: If you don’t recork a wine bottle, air will cause the wine to oxidize. This process causes the flavors and aromas of the wine to change, usually for the worst.

Some aged red wines are made better with exposure to oxygen, but not by leaving the bottle uncorked for days.

Instead, they are poured into a decanter which mixes in air and then served in about 30 minutes.

Q: Can You Reuse a Cork? 

Yes, you can reuse a cork to seal the bottle, but it may be difficult to impossible to get back in.

Wrap the cork in waxed paper to help it slide in and avoid getting bits of broken cork in your wine.

Q: How Do You Know if a Wine Cork Is Bad? 

If you’ve just popped the cork on a new bottle of wine the cork shouldn’t smell like anything and should be fine to reinsert into the bottle.

Older bottles may have wine that has seeped into the cork, which is fine, but if it smells vinegary don’t reuse it.

If you’ve just popped a cork and are greeted with a vinegar smell you wine has gone bad.

If you’re trying to reuse an old cork that had wine seep into it, the additional oxidation may have made the cork get vinegary.

You don’t want to seal a nice new bottle of wine with a vinegary cork.

If you want to reuse an old, dry cork, smell it to make sure it doesn’t have a chemical or soapy smell, a rotten aroma, or smell musty like old cardboard.

Reusing old corks is risky because they tend to break apart when you try to reinsert them.

This can leave bits of cork in the wine and chunks of cork stuck in the neck of the bottle.

A wine stopper is a cheap and logical alternative that gives a tight seal and can’t fall apart into the neck of the bottle.

Final Thoughts

Whichever way you choose to recork your bottle, the only decision you should never make is to let the bottle sit open. The flavor and aroma will dissipate and sour quickly.

The method you choose really depends on how fast you think you’ll finish the bottle.

If you plan to finish it tomorrow, a wine stopper is all you need. If you want to finish it next month, choose a wine preserver.

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