WINE PRESERVATION BUYING GUIDE
There are basically two different ways that wine can be preserved, or protected from oxygen.
Vacuum/Pump – The use of a vacuum or pump on a bottle of wine will simply remove the air out of the bottle. This is the most basic form of preservation and probably the most common. This can be done manually with a pump, such as the Vacu Vin, and a stopper that is equipped to work with that particular pump. Once the air is removed some people prefer to put their bottle either back in a wine cellar or even a standard refrigerator to help avoid it getting “cooked”. There are also preservation units that will automatically vacuum the air out of the bottle, such as the EuroCave Wine Art, and will also offer temperature control for multiple bottles. You can expect your wine to last about 7-10 days after it has been opened using this form of preservation.
Inert Gas/Cartridge Systems – The inert gas that is used for wine preservation products is always heavier than air. Therefore, by pumping a specified amount of it into an opened bottle of wine it basically creates a blanket over the wine protecting it from the surrounding oxygen. There are a few different gases and combination of gases that are used, but Argon and Nitrogen are certainly the most popular and effective. The jury is out on which works better but by using this method a bottle can last from a week to a month. With many of these systems that displace the gas in the bottle some form of a stopper is required as well. Of course these gases will dissipate after a given amount of time so they will not protect wine forever.