Updated February 2022
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Buying guide for best wine preservers

When it comes to some drinks, breaking the seal or popping the top means the clock starts counting down toward expiration. That window is especially small with wine, which can improve mightily when it’s allowed to breathe, only to turn acidic and undrinkable if it’s not consumed within a few days.

Once the wine bottle is unsealed, oxygen gets in and slowly starts to change the flavor of the wine. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on wine to only enjoy some of it. Wine preservers are a great way to preserve your bottles. With a wine preserver, you can open a bottle, enjoy as much or as little as you desire, and then keep what’s left fresh. Simple wine preservers can increase the longevity of wine from a few days to a week, while more advanced technologies are geared toward preserving finer wines for even longer.

Our buying guide has everything you need to consider when shopping for wine preservers. For our five favorite products on the market, see the matrix above.

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Sour wine doesn’t have to be a complete waste. Oxidized red wine is great for cooking or using in salad dressings.

Key considerations

Types of wine preservers

There are three common wine preservation techniques, which all aim to keep oxygen out of the wine bottle.

  • Vacuum pumps: The most common and most affordable type of wine preserver, vacuum pumps work well for most wine drinkers. They are made up of two parts: the stopper and the pump. When you’re done drinking, place the stopper in the bottle and use the pump to remove the oxygen and seal the stopper. You may have to pump a few times to remove all the oxygen. This should preserve your wine for at least a week.
  • Wine sprays: These are less common, in part because they seem counterintuitive and antithetical to drinking wine. Sprays replace the oxygen in an open bottle with inert gases. After you pour your wine, you spray the gas inside the bottle and recork it as quickly as possible. Some customers may be put off by the idea of spraying an aerosol gas into their wine, however. Wine sprays also require more attention and work.
  • Advanced wine preservation systems: At a much higher price point, you can buy a wine preservation system that uses advanced technology that allows you to enjoy the wine without ever uncorking it. These devices penetrate the cork with a small needle and pour out your wine without ever letting air in. They’re ideal for wine connoisseurs and especially great if you just want a sip or taste of a quality wine. These are expensive products, however, and the market is dominated by one company that has mastered this system.

Wine type

Before buying a wine preserver, it’s important to note that not all wine oxidizes and expires at the same rate. Light-bodied and sweet whites, such as Riesling or Pinot Grigio, have a shelf life of about five or six days once opened. Full-bodied whites and most reds will last three to five days. So, if you have a penchant for Moscato, then you’ll have more time without the need of a wine preserver than someone who exclusively drinks Cabernet, for example.

Number of stoppers

Most basic wine preservers come with one or two stoppers, which is ideal if you have friends over and open one white and one red. However, two stoppers may not be enough, especially if you like pairing specific wines to specific meals. There is no point in getting a vacuum pump if you don’t have enough stoppers to go around. Look for wine preservers that include four to eight stoppers.

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Did you know?
The average wine bottle is 750 ml, which equates to four or five glasses of wine depending on the size of your pour.


Wine opener

You’ll need something to open the wine bottle before you close it. Some companies package wine openers with their wine preservers, including electric openers that easily uncork any bottle in seconds.

Wine aerator

Similarly, wine preservers may come with an aerator. These devices fit into the top of the bottle and allow more air to enter the bottle in order for the wine to reach its optimal flavor.

Stopper colors

Most stoppers are black or gray. However, some wine preservers come with a variety pack of colored stoppers to liven up your wine collection and help you keep track of when you opened each bottle.

"Both the wine bottle and the cork can be recycled after use."

Wine preserver prices

If you’re looking for a basic manual vacuum pump wine preserver, you won’t need to spend much money.

For under $20, you can find a wide range of vacuum pumps with any number of stoppers. The pumps may vary in size and weight, but most are similarly effective. Your resealed bottle of wine should last at least a week with these pumps. You’ll also find aerosol cans for inserting inert preservation gases in this price range.

Between $20 and $100, you’ll find electric pumps that come as part of a larger collection of wine tools, including electric openers and aerators.

For $100 to $300, you’ll find advanced wine preservation systems. These devices, which let you enjoy wine without ever uncorking it, are for serious wine connoisseurs who own high-end bottles.

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Expert Tip
Corks have long been associated with great wine, but screw caps have been on the rise for decades. They’re more affordable and eliminate the risk of cork taint.


  • Although a wine preserver will preserve your wine for several days, there are a few simple ways to extend your wine’s life even longer. Keep wine in a cool, dark place like the fridge. And make sure the bottle is stored upright to minimize the surface area that is exposed to any light or traces of oxygen.
  • Red wines with more tannins and acidity, like Cabernets and Malbecs, will last a bit longer than lighter reds, such as Pinot Noir. Lighter whites and rosés, however, will last a couple days longer than full-bodied whites.
  • A vacuum pump will preserve wine in screw-top bottles as well. However, advanced wine preservation systems require a cork.
  • Boxed wines won’t work with any wine preserver but may not necessarily need to be preserved. Large boxes of wine tend to hold four or five bottles but will last up to a month because of how they are sealed and dispensed.
  • It’s important to remember when your wine bottle was opened. Use a glass pen to write the date on your wine bottle, so you’ll know exactly how much time you have left to enjoy it.
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Fortified wines will last for one month after they are opened. However, some fortified wines, like Madeira, are already oxidized and thus will last for years once unsealed.


Q. How long will wine last when I use a wine preserver?
. There is no set answer as a wine’s lifespan relies on a number of factors. Wine preservers often claim they will preserve any wine for a certain number of days, but in reality it differs with every wine. Wine type, how it’s stored, how much is left, and the quality of the seal all play a part. That said, vacuum pumps and sprays ideally keep wine fresh for one week.

Q. Will I need additional wine stoppers?
Each vacuum pump comes with at least one stopper, but you may need more. Before buying a wine preserver, check whether or not the company sells stoppers separately because not all do. One company’s pump may not match another’s stopper.

Q. Can a vacuum seal leak?
The sealed stopper should not leak. However, storing a wine bottle on its side increases the maximum surface area of wine that comes into contact with air in the bottle, meaning it will oxidize more quickly. Try to store wine upright.

Q. Do wine preservers work for sparkling wine or Champagne?
No. Sparkling wines like Champagne lose their carbonation after opening, and removing the air from the bottle and sealing it will not bring the carbonation back. However, some companies do offer sparkling-specific preservation systems that pump carbon dioxide back into an opened bottle.

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