One of the greatest treats at the end of a long day is a glass of wine. For most people it isn’t simply a luxury, it’s essential for surviving the roller coaster of life. Whether that glass holds white, red or pink, wine helps us unplug and transition from a hectic day to a relaxing evening. But there’s a good chance you’re not taking full advantage of what that essential glass has to offer. Here are the most common mistakes, and how to avoid them.

Your Open Wine Is Being Stored On The Counter

It might seem wise to open your bottle on Monday and drink a glass a night until Friday, leaving what’s left sitting on the counter, but this is one of the fastest ways to ensure that by the end of the week, your wine will have turned to vinegar. You can thank oxygen exposure for this gift, and storing that open bottle out on the counter will ensure that degradation happens quickly.

You’re Only Storing Open White Wine In The Fridge

We normally think of the fridge as the place for white wine, but red should be in there as well. That’s because the fridge is one of the best vessels you already own to help preserve your open bottle. Plus, as an added bonus, the fridge helps ensure that you serve the wine at its proper temperature.

You’re Buying Cheaper Wine Than Normal Because You Don’t Want To Waste It

We’ve all been there before; you’re only going to drink a glass or two, so you buy a less expensive bottle than you normally would, since you figure you’re just going to dump the rest down the drain or cook with it. But if you store your bottle correctly and use the right tools, you don’t have to downgrade.

You’re Avoiding Boxed Wine

If you’re a baller on a budget, boxed wine is a great way to ensure that you get a quality glass of vino at the end of the day, without fear of oxygen exposure. That’s because thanks to a box’s technology, when you pour yourself a glass, no air is able to get in. That means each glass from the box is like pouring from a freshly opened bottle. And because oxygen can’t get in, the wine will last for months.

You Aren’t Letting The Wine Aerate Or Come To Temperature

We get it–you really need that glass of wine, but if you just pulled that wine out of the fridge, you should let your freshly poured glass sit for a few minutes. About five minutes for whites and ten minutes for reds. This will let all of the flavors and aromas in the wine come to life, and you’ll enjoy it much more, we promise.

You’re Overthinking Glassware

It’s been proven many times that specific glassware is not necessary when it comes to enjoying wine. If you want to pour your Bordeaux into a glass “meant” for Burgundy, go for it. The same goes for enjoying that red out of a juice tumbler, like many do in the laid back trattorias of Italy. Don’t overthink it.

You Aren’t Thinking About Oxygen Exposure

Oxygen is the biggest frenemy of wine that there is. In the beginning it helps open a wine up and release its flavors and aromas, but too much exposure quickly starts a wine’s journey to vinegar. If you plan to drink a glass of wine from your bottle over the span of several nights, you want to ensure you expose it to as little oxygen as possible. Quick and dirty hacks include trying to pump out the oxygen – though it’s debatable whether this works – or simply transferring your leftover wine to a smaller vessel and placing it in the fridge, since less surface area means less oxygen. Or you can spring for a Coravin, a device that lets you pour a glass without ever opening the bottle. From the first time you pour a glass from a bottle using a Coravin, up until the last drop — which may come many months later — it’s as if each time was the first time you opened the bottle.


This article was originally published in VinePair. Read the full article here.