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DIY Guide: 5 Hacks on How to Get Wine Cork Back in Bottle

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Millions of gallons of wine go to waste every year due to bottles being opened and the wine oxidizing before being finished. If you love wine but want to enjoy it over a few days, you’ll need to know a few simple DIY hacks to get that cork back in the bottle.

The five best hacks to get a wine cork back in the bottle is

  • Use the original cork, turn around and insert
  • Wrap the cork in waxed paper and reinsert
  • Use saran wrap around the cork and reinsert
  • Make a cork with a paper towel and saran wrap and insert
  • Use the spindle of the corkscrew 

It’s hard enough getting the cork out of the bottle the first time, and now you need to put it back? You’ll know the stress and impossible physics accompanying this action if you’ve ever tried that. Nonetheless, if you want to enjoy your wine for the next few days, here is our DIY guide and five hacks on how to get the wine cork back in the bottle.

How to Get Wine Cork Back in Bottle
How to Get Wine Cork Back in Bottle

TIP: If you are interested in checking out the best refrigerator for wine storage I recommend trying out Nutrichef (18 bottles) compressor wine refrigerator. You can find this refrigerator by clicking here (Amazon link).

Can You Put A Cork Back In A Wine Bottle?

You can put any cork back in a wine bottle, provided the cork is not brittle or broken. It is a great idea to recork the wine if you plan to drink from it over a few days. Most wines destined for immediate consumption contain dense or synthetic corks, making it easier to put them back after opening. 

If you can remove the cork so that there is little to no damage, you can use the least affected side and place it back into the neck with a twist and a gentle squeeze. 

Because wine starts to oxidize immediately after being opened, you must find a method to put the cork back in the bottle, or if it breaks or is accidentally discarded, you can use a few DIY hacks to recork it. 

The old vinegar-like smell and taste of open wine develop because it turns your wine into acetic acid, and you cannot stop it. You can, however, slow it down for a few days. 

What To Do After Recorking Your Wine

Even after recorking your wine bottle, you need to store it correctly to preserve it for as long as possible. Here are the best ways to do that:

  • For white wine, the refrigerator is the best storage option. 
  • For red wine, store it away from direct light and sunlight.
  • Store the bottle upright – this minimizes oxygen exposure. 
  • Store in the coolest area of the house.
  • You can store red wine in the fridge, take it out and leave it on the counter to return to room temperature.
  • Consume within 5 to 7 days. 

TIP: Once you pop the cork, most wines go bad within a day or so. But a Coravin Wine Preservation system (available for a great price on Amazon) can extend the life of your opened wine for weeks or even months. It is awesome. You should check it out and see if it will fit into your lifestyle.

Which Wines Will Oxidizise Faster After Putting The Cork Back?

Several types of wine will deteriorate and oxidize faster even if you put the cork back after opening. Wines to look out for in this category are:

  • Any organic wine red, white, or rosé.
  • Wines bottled for over 10 years.
  • Pinot Noir varieties 

TIP: If you want to know more about touching corks during wine storage visit this article. Another important piece of knowledge about corks is knowing if wine corks can be recycled, find out the complete explanation in this article. And if some of your corks are moldy, read this article and find out if the wine inside the bottle is okay.

Getting A Cork Back In A Wine Bottle With And Without A Corkscrew

Getting A Cork Back In A Wine Bottle With And Without A Corkscrew
Getting A Cork Back In A Wine Bottle With And Without A Corkscrew

Getting a cork back into the bottle after opening can be challenging. The cork starts to swell once it leaves the bottle, and putting it back can be not easy.

When opening the bottle of wine, take care that the spindle does not go through the entire cork. It can create an airway and render the process useless as it will allow oxygen to enter. Here are some DIY hacks you can try when you need to recork a bottle of wine. 

Hack 1: Using Waxed Paper 

Wax paper is not only purposeful when baking, and we’ll show you why. After you open the bottle of wine – follow these steps using waxed paper – 

  • Take the cork and look for the narrowest end.
  • Cut off a square piece of wax paper, just large enough to cover the cork and stick out around the sides.
  • Place the bottle on a firm surface
  • Place the wrapped side of the cork into the neck
  • Twist the cork and press down
  • Store the bottle in the fridge if it is white wine or in a cupboard, if it is red wine.
  • Consume within five days. 

The wax paper also prevents small pieces of the cork from falling into the wine, making this a great hack to remember. 

Hack 2: Using The Corkscrew

If you’ve had the misfortune of breaking a cork when opening wine, this next hack is for you. Even if the cork does not break, this is a great way of getting the cork back into the bottle with minimal hassle.

  • Once uncorked, keep the whole cork on the corkscrew spindle.
  • If the cork broke, take the larger piece of the cork and carefully screw it onto the spindle.
  • Gently place the cork into the neck of the bottle.
  • With minimal force, screw the cork back into the bottle using the spindle’s rigidity to stabilize it. 
  • You can either leave the corkscrew in or gently unscrew it, leaving the cork behind. 
  • Store white wine in the fridge: store red wine in a cupboard or away from the light on the counter.
  • Consume within five days.

 Hack 3: Using Saran Wrap or Plastic Freezer Bag

Much like the wax paper hack, saran wrap or a clear plastic freezer bag will be perfect for this task. Try not to use commercial plastic shopping bags as they have been handled by people and possibly had other items placed inside, which could contaminate your wine. 

  • Take the cork and cover it with one or two layers of saran wrap.
  • If you do not have saran wrap, use a clear freezer bag and place the cork inside. 
  • Place the wine bottle on a firm surface and steady the bottle with one hand.
  • Gently place the cork on the lip and push down with your thumb on top of the cork.
  • Squeeze the cork into the neck.
  • Store white wine in the fridge—store red wine away from light or in a cupboard.
  • Consume within five days.

Hack 4: Using The Original Cork 

This hack is convenient if the cork is synthetic or natural – completely undamaged. Synthetic cork may be used more than once for this hack, and if you have a natural cork, the density or quality will make a difference. Here is what you should do – 

  • Inspect the cork and look for the end that was in contact with the wine. This will be easier to notice with red wine.
  • Place the wine bottle on a firm surface and stabilize it with one hand.
  • Take the cork and place it at an angle on the lip of the bottle.
  • Start twisting the cork and press down simultaneously.
  • Push down until the cork is halfway in; this will allow you to grip it to reopen without using the corkscrew. 
  • Store white wine n the fridge and red wine in a cupboard or away from the light on the counter. 

Hack 5: Using Paper Towel To Make A Cork

This hack is useful when the cork is destroyed or accidentally discarded. If you have a paper towel, saran wrap, or a clear freezer bag available, then this hack is for you. 

  • Take one or two sheets of paper towel and place one on top of the other. Fold it to 2 inches.
  • Roll up the paper towels until it resembles the shape of a cork
  • Fold the ends and place them on the saran wrap.
  • Tightly roll it in the saran wrap and fold in the sides to seal it. 
  • Push the completed plug into the bottleneck and push halfway in. 
  • Store white wine in the fridge – red wine away from light.
  • Consume within five days

TIP: To learn how to store white wine after opening, check out this article I wrote. To discover if wine fridges are only for storing white wine, check out this complete guide I wrote. And for a complete breakdown of how to store wine long-term in 8 simple steps, you need to read this guide I wrote.

How to Put a Plastic Cork Back in a Wine Bottle

  • Inspect the cork and look for the end that was in contact with the wine. This will be easier to notice with red wine.
  • Place the bottle on a firm surface and stabilize it with one hand.
  • Take the cork and place it at an angle on the lip of the bottle.
  • Start twisting the cork and press down simultaneously.
  • Push down until the cork is halfway in 
  • Store white wine n the fridge and red wine in a cupboard or away from the light on the counter. 

Conclusion

Using these five hacks to put the cork back in the bottle will impress friends at your next social gathering and simultaneously preserve your wine for a few more days. 

TIP: For a complete list of wine products and accessories I really love, check out this page. You’ll find my recommendations for wine refrigerators, wine decanters, and wine aerators, along with the best place to buy wine online. Click here to see the complete listing.