“…because for most of us wine doesn’t come in single-serve packages…”
At a glass-a-night, 2/3rds of your wine
will have begun oxidizing before you drink it.
For moderate wine lovers, this unavoidable truth has lead to a large, specialized industry offering a diversity of methods promising to forestall oxidation. Some are messy. Some are complicated. Some nail you with a self-imposed surcharge between $1 and $3.50 per wine bottle just to buy the gas to run the system. Still, out of the US population of 320-million, some 80-million are self-proclaimed (at least monthly) wine drinkers1 consuming roughly 4-billion bottles annually2 for an annual average of 46 bottles per person – pretty close to a bottle a week. 80-million wine-drinkers – a quarter of the total US population! Consumption habits across this population are going to vary widely from fraternity party binges to moderate3, routine relax-time glasses each weeknight. And, with that, the need for and the type of preservation system will also vary.
Distinctions between the general methods available: Normal air is a mix containing 20% oxygen – O2. Oxygen is a very active element that interacts with finished wines to strip them of subtle tastes. Ultimately, it will change the wine’s character – degrading it completely. The process begins when the bottle is first opened as air contacts the liquid surface allowing oxygen molecules to adhere, then, be absorbed into the wine. When the glass is poured, normally, as is the case with vacuum pump or spray can or floating disk or balloon strategies, oxygen repeatedly rushes into the tilted bottle then becomes thoroughly mixed into solution with the agitation of pouring. Rapid oxidation is assured. Here’s the picture:
- Spray, vacuum, and all other conventionally-poured systems, as can be seen above, expose wine to as much as 42 times the amount of oxygen at the surface as the bottle is tilted. Repeated ‘slosh’ of pouring agitation guarantees blending oxygen into the wine. With these treatments high O2 exposure is unavoidable; oxidation accelerates. Vacuum systems – manual, electric, and the large commercial ones, have a double dose. When their ‘stoppers’ are pulled, oxygenated air violently rushes in to fill the partial void they created. They may reduce the ‘air’ in the bottle, but its always going to have a 20% oxygen content.
- littlewine™ – as any other traditional gas preservation systemA – dispenses wine from bottles standing still on the counter. There is no tilt-and-pour – not once, not repeatedly. As illustrated above, when the bottle is first opened a negligible 1/2 square inch surface area – only as large as the end of the cork – is briefly exposed to the air. Each system’s dispensing fitting is promptly inserted – re-sealing the bottle almost immediately. That remains in place until the bottle is fully consumed – clearly a preferred strategy!
A Traditional inert gas preservation systems referenced above include WineKeeper, NitroTap, Enomatic, By The Glass, Cruvinet, WineSaver, Vinotemp, and ProWine – our own brands – OZ Winebars, and n2Vin – with all due respect to their manufacturers’ and distributors’ trademarks.
littlewine and its gas management methods are patented and patent pending.