The Different Types of Wine Preservation: Vacuum, Nitrogen & Argon

The Different Types of Wine Preservation: Vacuum, Nitrogen & Argon


The innate difference between using a vacuum pump and an inert gas is that with one the excess air is being pulled out and the other is blanketing the wine to protect it from oxygen coming into contact with it. The difference is also in the way the products are manipulated. With the vacuums you typically have to manually pump to remove the air while most gas/cartridge systems will be more of a push button spray. Of course both come in automated options so you don’t have to do anything except place the bottle in the proper receptacle.

In terms of which works better, that is a debate that continues on. Seemingly the higher end inert gas systems can preserve the wines for 2 weeks plus, so they seem to be the most effective and hence the most expensive. When it comes to a vacuum pump system or a smaller Argon gas based vehicle, both can preserve the wine’s freshness for anywhere from 7-10 days. The pumps seem to have a lower degree of error as with the gas you can either under or overexpose the wine which can lower its effectiveness. But with that being said, the basic inert gas products seem to maintain the wine’s integrity a bit longer than the handheld vacuum pump systems.

Shop this Article

From his first sips of wicker basket Chianti at his grandfather’s dinner table to a 1986 Premier Cru Gevrey-Chambertin, Tilden knew that there was something magical about wine. He earned his Diploma in Wine and Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and is a Certified Specialist of Wine with the Society of Wine Educators. Having been with Wine Enthusiast catalog since 2005, when he is not writing about wine he also runs the wine storage division and is head of W.E.’s in-house education program.