Posts tagged open wine
Grape-Experiences Wine Preserver Review

We were lucky enough have another - in depth review from Cindy over at Grape-Experiences! You can read Cindy's exploration of the world of wine by signing up for the blog at Grape-Experiences.com

"Just say no to oxidation - Use ArT Wine Preservation"

Full details on the Grape-Experiences website: 

http://www.grape-experiences.com/2017/06/oxidation-art-wine-preservation/

Ottawa 2 Rivers Wine Fest - See you there!

We will be hosting a booth in Ottawa, IL this weekend (Saturday June 10th and Sunday June 11th) at the Ottawa 2 Rivers Wine Fest!

Stop by, say hello and take advantage of a free re-usable cork with every order.

http://ottawa2riverswinefest.com/

Another Review - Virginia Wine Time - "AMAZING results"

We always love to share our product's potential with others! We reached out to Virginia Wine Time and asked them to give us feedback on ArT, our argon wine preserver spray, to which they tested and published their own review (link below)
 

Except from Virginia Wine Time:

"Five days later, an amount of time that would ruin any uncorked red wine, we pulled out the safely stored bottle and popped the cork. AMAZING results! The wine exhibited the same characteristics it had previously! We noted the same blackberry, currents, dark cherry, and tobacco we noticed *5* days earlier!"

Thanks to Paul and Warren for giving ArT a try!

ttp://www.virginiawinetime.com/2017/04/27/the-art-of-preserving-wine/

Sustainability in Wine: How much goes down the drain?

We have all seen it.

Someone lets a bottle of wine sit on the counter for a few days, they don’t use effective wine preservation techniques, and before they know it, they’re left with a half-bottle of undrinkable wine.

Due to large bottle sizes and the rapid rate of spoiling, there is an enormous amount of wine waste every year. This waste occurs both in the bottle, and in your wallet. In the United States alone, we estimate home consumers pour over $1.27 Billion of wine down the drain, and restaurants pour out another 18+ million bottle equivalents.

Between consumers and off-premise (restaurants), over $1.5 Billion USD is wasted annually.


In this article, we will examine why wine waste exists, how we estimate it, and what you can do to prevent wine waste in the bottle and in your wallet.
 

Container Sizing

Wine generally comes in a 750 mL bottle. This is the perfect size for small get-togethers and reduces packaging materials. Wine is a very delicate liquid that easily succumbs to oxidation: the reaction that occurs when alcohol reacts with air to form vinegar (gross!). Oxidation can spoil opened bottles of wine as quickly as 24 hours after opening.

Some bulk producers dabble in single-serve packaging. However, the wine from these sources tends to be of the low- to mid-range quality at best, and are far less eco-friendly than traditional bottling. The single-serve option utilizes a large amount of packaging (more plastic per volume of wine) that eventually goes to die in our already overflowing landfills. Today, wine that is high quality and sustainable only comes in traditionally sized glass bottles.

Reducing Wine Waste at Restaurants and Bars

At a fine wine-oriented fine dining restaurant, you can enjoy a tasting flight of unique grape varietals, a nice glass with dinner, or have a small pour of (often pricey) dessert wine. Tasting pours are an exciting and enjoyable opportunity to explore a variety of eclectic wines. It also allows the guest the opportunity to taste wines that may be out of their price range by the bottle.

However, at the end of the night there is leftover wine, often in many bottles. On a busy night, there may even be multiple bottles of the same wine opened. This leaves restaurant owners with a ticking clock; after 1 to 3 days, they kiss those lovely wine by the glass revenues goodbye. In the worst cases, a server accidentally serves oxidized wine to a customer. 

To prevent this, some restaurants sacrifice higher margin bottles and variety. They keep their wine lists small to ensure bottle turnover and reduce their waste. This protects an owner from losing $50 on a bottle of wine opened on a Monday that isn’t ordered again until Friday night. 

That being said, even with control on wine inventorythe Beverage Information Services (2012) found 11-15% of profit lost due to wine oxidation. Based on 475 million bottles estimated on premise in 2015 (Statista), we conservatively estimate between 18 and 24 million bottle equivalents poured down the drain every year (accounting for 30% markup). This is a sobering statistic on wine waste for restaurant owners trying to run a lean but profitable business and sustainable practices. 

Reducing Wine Waste at Home

While the data could not be found for the United States, our friends at Wrap across the pond did a formal study in 2009. Wrap found £450M of wine goes down the drain every year in the UK.

If the same waste ratio occurs in the United States as its consumption (approximately 2:1 plus an consumption increase from 2009 to 2015 of 1.13), that would equate to a mind blowing $1.27 Billion USD goes down the drain every year.

What can I do to prevent wine waste?

Since most consumer wine spoiling occurs when wine encounters oxygen, displacement of oxygen and slowing this reaction is critical. We wrote a blog, Saving Open Bottles of Wine, specifically discussing readily available techniques that prevent wine from spoiling.

To summarize, you should use:
1) ArT Wine Preservation to displace oxygen (argon wine preserver spray).
2) Refrigerator to decrease temperature when storing wine.
3) Dark place to remove light energy sources
4) Avoid vibrations

About the Author:
Ryan is a Purdue engineer with a background in production and application of inert gases such as argon. Currently, he is bringing eco-friendly inert technology to consumers to reduce waste with self-recycling atmospheric gases. 


UPDATE 2/14/2017: We improved the accuracy of our at home waste number by accounting for a 13% consumption increase from 2009 to 2015 (2016 data currently unavailable). The waste at home was updated from $1.12B to $1.27B using a factor of 1.13, because consumption increased from 2.49 gal per person in 2009 to 2.83 gal per person in 2015

How to Make Wine Open Bottles of Wine Last Longer with Argon Wine Preserver

In our first article, we will dive into some of the basics of inert blanketing and how this technology can be used to make wine last longer using argon gas, through an argon wine preserver.
 
Although we will focus on how inert blanketing technology can make bottles of wine last long, inert blanketing is also used to preserve wine at wineries, for at home winemakers, and preserving food as well as a variety of other applications. Let’s start with the basics.

What does the term Inert Blanket mean? 

Inert is a term that generally refers to a substance that is chemically inactive. In practice, the term is used to describe substances that do not combust or react readily with oxygen. 

Common inert gases are Argon, Helium, Neon, Xenon, and Nitrogen/Carbon Dioxide*. If you remember your old periodic table, (as you should), you will remember there is a group of elements on the far right known as noble gases. The noble gases are Helium, Neon, Argon, and Xenon**.
 
What makes noble gases special? They have a full set of outer shell electrons that make them extremely stable. So stable, in fact, that even in the presence of elevated temperatures or light they will not react. 

What does this mean? It means noble gases are so stable they do not react with other elements or molecules.
 
The term inert blanket refers to technology that provides a protective layer of inert gas, like a blanket, over another substance to prevent oxidation (or to prevent reactions with other substances found in the atmosphere such as nitrogen, water, and carbon dioxide). For the purposes of this article, we will mainly focus on inert blankets used to prevent oxidation.
 
*Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide are not true inerts but can act as inerts in certain systems, more on this below

Why use Inert Gases? What is bad about oxidation? 

Inert gases are used mainly to prevent oxidation through an inert blanket. Oxidation is a chemical reaction in which oxygen found in the air (~20% of the air is oxygen) reacts with a substance (such as the organic compounds in wine) and changes its chemical makeup. This means the product may have an undesirable acidity, flavor (if a food or beverage product), viscosity, and/or other physical properties. 

It should be noted that many wines are designed to “age” through a slow (years) oxidation process by only allowing a very small amount of oxygen through the corks. This is a designed reaction that affects compounds such as the tannins in the wine, rather than undesired or side reaction such as the reaction that turns ethanol into vinegar. The specifics mechanisms are interesting and something we may cover in a future blog.  

What are the best Inert Gases?

This depends on the application. The best inert gases for blanketing applications over confined products, such as wine in a bottle or vat, are denser than air. Denser than air inert gases include Argon, Carbon Dioxide*, and Xenon.
 
Density plays an important role to ensure adequate coverage, blanketing, of a system. Denser than air inert molecules will “sink” below the oxygen present in the air and create a true layer of protective gas. However most denser than air inert gases come at a higher cost.
 
A special note that although Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen are often used as inert gases, they are not noble gases (such as Helium, Argon, and Xenon) and do not have a full set of valence electrons (which means they will not participate in a reaction because they are “happy”).
 
You can find detailed breakdowns below on the positives and negatives of each gas.

Table of Inert Gases.JPG

How are inert gases made?

Mostly by carefully harvesting the air we breathe at an Air Separation Unit.
 
ASUs uses cryogenic distillation to separate the air into its elements. These are some big words, but basically cryogenic means very very cold and distillation means separation of components by boiling point. It has been used to make purified nitrogen, oxygen, and argon since the early 1900s in what are called Air Separation Units (ASUs).
 
Because of the quantities of nitrogen found in the air, it is significantly cheaper than argon. This is why it is often used as an inert gas to save money. In another blog, we may discuss membrane and pressure swing adsorption technologies that can be used to make a low purity nitrogen mix (with carbon dioxide, argon, and other substances in higher quantities than in ASU produced nitrogen).

Are there any other methods to prevent oxidation of my wine?

Yes! Although preventing oxygen from touching wine by using an inert argon blanket is the best option, you can reduce the amount of oxidation that takes place by limiting the processes that cause the oxidation to take place. For oxidation to occur, needs oxygen to have contact with the wine and energy to push the reaction forward. If you can reduce the energy introduced to the wine bottle and reduce exposed surface area, you reduce the amount of oxidation that takes place.
 
Ways to save open bottles of wine other than inert blanketing (ArT Wine Preservation) includes:

1) Refrigeration
Refrigeration lowers the energy in the bottle, thereby reducing the energy pushing oxidation reactions forward. That is because the higher the temperature, the faster the oxygen molecules will move and more often they will collide with the wine. More collisions lead to more reactions.
 
This does include red wines - although it should be noted that this was once considered faux pas. Red wine should be allowed to return to at least 55F (or producer recommended temperature) before consumption. Do NOT use heat as it may cause undesired reactions if localized heating occurs.

 

 

 

2) Remove sunlight.
Just like refrigeration reduces energy by removing heat, storing in a dark place removes the photo particles which add energy to the bottle and push the oxidation reaction forward.

 

 

 

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3) Vibration Dampening
Shaking an opened bottle of wine is a debatably an effective manner in aerating a wine, because it makes for more collisions between the oxygen and the wine (though any wines with sediment will be well mixed…).
 
However - when storage and transporting wines that have been open you should avoid vibration and movement. This means don’t store it in places like your fridge door (or keep close to hinge of the door), above your garage, inside a car, etc.

 

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4) Store upright
Some people may fight this one because corks need to be wet in order to ensure a solid seal. Although this is true for naturally corked closed bottles, we are currently talking about already opened bottles of wine. In which case a reusable cork with argon is the absolute best method of “sealing”, as it reduces the surface area exposed to oxygen even after pouring.
 
Leaving the bottle upright decreases the surface area exposed to oxygen compared to laying down. Lower surface area decreases the amount of molecular collisions between the wine and oxygen and therefore the rate of the oxidation reaction.

 

Summary

Providing an inert blanket will keep your open bottles of wine fresh. The best inert blankets will use denser than air truly inert argon. At ArT Wine Preservation we only use Natural Argon produced at ASUs to provide the highest level of preservation. We recommend following other tactics (Refrigeration, Remove Sunlight, Vibration Dampening, Store Upright) to ensure the best possible preservation.
 
What did you like about this article? What do you want to learn more about? Feel free to check us out at www.ArTWinePreservation.com or hit us up on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ArTWinePreservation/

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About the Author:
Ryan is the General Manager of ArT Wine Preservation. He is an engineer with a background in production and application of inert gases such as argon. Currently, he is bringing ecofriendly inert technology to consumers to reduce waste with self-recycling atmospheric gases. ArT Wine Preserver allows customers to enjoy wine and prevent