Whether you are storing leftover wine or your brew, there are many methods out there for storing wine. Some of them work better than others, but mason jars will be the focus of this article. Determining how long you can store leftover wine in a mason jar varies. Mason jars are not a fool-proof method and I would not recommend them for every wine drinker.
Can you store wine in mason jars? Opened wine be successfully kept in mason jars for up to 2-3 extra days if you properly seat the lid and seal it off right. Many people rely on mason jars for this task as they are cheap and the glass won’t put out chemicals into the wine than many plastics are known for. That said, the effectiveness of mason jars for wine storage is up for debate and standard quality wine stoppers seem to be a more sensible and effective option.
There are other methods for storing wine that may be more beneficial in the end, but they can be costly and take more time than storing with mason jars. It is also important to note whether it is better to store the wine in the refrigerator or someplace else. Your best bet is to finish the bottle of wine in its entirety, obviously, but sometimes storage is necessary for a few days, and finding the best and more affordable method can be tricky.
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Storing Wine in Mason Jars
The oxidation process is what you want to avoid wine. Oxidation is the process that turns wine sour, and it occurs when the wine has been in constant contact with air. A 2009 study by Karbowiak and colleagues displayed how critical the cork is for preventing oxidation and once removed, how oxidation can slowly ruin the opened wine.
Now, when you open a bottle of wine, it is almost impossible to get the air out of the bottle, unless you use a recorking method. That is why finding the most effective way to store way is a hot topic among not only wine aficionados, but anyone that enjoys the beverage.
Truth be told though; the general rule of thumb is to open a bottle with the intent of finishing it. There are different tricks and trades to storing wine, old wives’ tales, and devices alike. A few of the most beneficial methods are:
- Mason jars
- Recorking machines
- Spoon in the top of the bottle
- Wine Stoppers
Using mason jars for wine storage is one of the cheapest methods and can be relatively effective.
Mason jars, otherwise known as canning jars, have been around for generations upon generations. They have recently become popular means of storage once again because people are trying to be more environmentally conscious and want to reduce their use of plastic.
Traditionally, they are also used for making jams or pickling vegetables. These jars are reliable because they feature an airtight resealable lid. That said, though, the airtight feature tends to work better if you put something in the jar that is warm because when it cools down, it will provide an added suction to ensure a reliable seal.
That doesn’t mean it won’t work for cold or room temperature items, though. People have been freezing fruit in mason jars for many years, and when they open the jar, the metal lid is suctioned onto the jar so tight it’s hard to get off.
If you are thinking of trying this method as a means of storing wine, there are a few steps you may want to follow. It is also important to note that no matter what, it is nearly impossible to preserve the taste of wine perfectly after it has been opened.
People have given mixed reviews on nearly every method of storage, but mason jars have had a solid success rate without spending extra money on a recorking machine or premium wine stopper. The steps to following for proper mason jar storage are as follows:
- Fill the mason jar to the brim. This step is very important because you want as little oxygen in the jar as possible.
- Make sure the lid is on extremely tight.
- Place in the refrigerator.
If you want to ensure a tighter seal, follow these extra steps:
- Simply cut out enough wax paper to cover the opening of the jar with some excess to hang over the top.
- Put a rubber band around the bottom of the part where the lid seals.
- Place the lid on over top of the wax paper and tighten as much as possible.
- Place in refrigerator.
People have mentioned their wine tasting fine up to five days after storage. Everyone has different preferences for taste, but drinking the wine more than five days later would be pushing it.
Recorking is another efficient method for storage. There are a few recorking machines on the market today, and they are relatively inexpensive. The way they work is, they vacuum out most of the air from the bottle while simultaneously placing the cork back into the top of the bottle. The idea is sound, but many people have complained that these don’t work as well as you would hope.
If you haven’t heard of this method, it might be because it is extremely old. It is more of a wives’ tale than anything. All you do is still the handle of a metal spoon into the top of your wine bottle. There is something that the metal does with the wine that helps it keeps for another day. You have to remember to place it in the refrigerator, though.
These are the most effective and practical devices for storing opened wine a couple of extra days. I like the vacuum-sealing wine stoppers as I find they are the easiest to use and effectively vacuum out the oxygen.
You should be able to get an extra 3-5 days from the wine using a good wine shop. To learn more about wine stoppers and which one I recommend, check out this article.
As you can see, storing your extra wine in mason jars one of the most efficient and practical methods to experiment with. Some people exclusively use mason jars and no other techniques to store opened wine.
But they certainly are not perfect. If you bought a fairly expensive bottle of wine, it is probably best to just finish it all in one sitting.
Signs That Your Wine Has Gone Bad
Some people are pickier about the taste of their wine than other people. Most of the picky people aren’t saving their bottles of wine for later after they have been opened. That said, not everyone follows this strict regimen. If you are storing your wine for later, there are a few things to look out for to tell if your wine has gone bad.
Some of the signs include:
- The smell will be a little off
- It could smell like vinegar, or have a musty smell or even smell like mold
- Red wine with a sweeter taste
- If the cork gets pushed out slightly
- This is a sign that the wine has expanded
- The wine turned brownish
- If it tastes a little like chemicals
- If it fizzes in your mouth
Before you go tasting the wine, it is always important to look at it and smell it first. Usually, you will notice multiple signs that your wine has gone bad. It won’t normally be just one. I’d rather see and smell an issue before I taste it but that is just me.
Storing your wine in mason jars is possible, and people do it all the time. There are many other methods people have tried in the past for storing their wine for another day or two, but mason jars have proved to be one of the most efficient for keeping the wine tasting right.
Just remember that it isn’t a foolproof method. Your wine will start to go bad right after being introduced to the air after opening. That is the nature of wine. You should try to finish a bottle in one sitting after popping the cork but if you cannot, mason jars can be a decent option.
Scientific Literature Referenced:
Karbowiak, T., Debeaufort, F., Voilley, A., Gougeon, R., Alinc, J., Branchais, L., & Chassagne, D. (2009). Wine Oxidation and the Role of Cork. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 50(1), 20-52. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/10408390802248585 (vi: Taylor & Francis)