Did you have a little too much to drink and can’t figure out how to recork your wine bottle for later? You’re not alone. Slipping the cork back in place is a little harder than it looks but today, I’ll show you how to recork your wine bottle as if it were new.
The right way to put a cork back in a wine bottle is to take the original cork and slide it back in the bottle slowly at an angle. Hold the bottle tight on a flat surface and push the cork in a little at a time. If that doesn’t work, you can use a thin piece of waxed paper to help glide it back in.
I hate to break it to you, but recorking a wine bottle won’t make the wine last for many years. Instead, it will only keep it fresh for a few days – long enough for you to finish it up. In this article, I’ll share a few hacks to put the natural cork or synthetic cork back in a wine bottle and what to do if you’ve lost the original cork.
How To Recork a Wine Bottle the Right Way
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There are two common wine bottle types – corked and capped (screw cap). Traditional, corked wine bottles have better wine but sometimes, preserving every single drop after the bottle has been opened can present a challenge.
Here is how to put a cork back in a wine bottle the right way:
- Place the bottle on a hard, firm surface.
- Tilt the bottle at an angle.
- Slip in the cork and slowly push it back in.
- Use a thin waxed paper strip to smoothen the mouth of the bottle.
- Cool the cork in a freezer and push it back in while cold.
1. Place the Bottle on a Hard, Firm Surface
When recorking an open bottle of wine, a lot of pushing will be done. You want to use the flattest, hardest surface you can find. A strong table will do the trick, but you can also try the kitchen countertop.
Getting back to the cork, look for the end that was originally inside the mouth of the bottle. This end will be easier to push back in. Besides, it is much cleaner, and nobody wants to taste the dirt accumulated on the other end of the bottle.
2. Tilt the Bottle at an Angle
Now, you could push the cork back straight in and spend hours pushing. Or, you could tilt the bottle at an angle and push one side of the cork back in. Once it fits, the rest of the cork will follow.
3. Slip in the Cork and Slowly Push It Back In
The main idea here is to make sure that the cork does not get damaged in the process. After all, you don’t want any fragile cork pieces all over your wine. Or worse, have to find another cork and start the struggle all over again.
Push the cork back in while applying a little pressure with the palm of your hands. Don’t put too much weight on the bottle. The bottle or the cork may break under pressure. Also, don’t twist the cork too much.
4. Use a Thin Waxed Paper Strip To Smoothen the Mouth of the Bottle
A thin, waxed paper strip works like lube. It smoothes the edges of the bottle’s mouth so that the cork can slide back in. Of course, a little push will be required to push the cork in place but not too much.
5. Cool the Cork in a Freezer and Push It Back in While Cold
Traditional wine corks are made to be airtight. They keep a firm grip on the mouth of the bottle. Pushing them back in can be a big challenge.
Try cooling the cork in a freezer or fridge for a couple of minutes and let it contract. Contraction makes the cork a little bit smaller. You might just be able to slip it back into the leftover wine bottle before it warms up and expands again.
How To Seal Wine Without a Cork
Working with a cork is all fun and games. But sometimes, the original cork gets lost in the heat of the moment, leaving you nothing to cover your wine with. Well, you can always make your own corks or buy a bunch of them at the store.
Here are a few simple hacks to seal a wine bottle without a cork:
- Make your own cork.
- Buy a wine saver.
- Use a rubber wine stopper.
- Cover with aluminium foil and store in the fridge.
1. Make Your Own Wine Cork
Ever wondered what corks are made out of? They are cut from the bark of the cork oak tree. Making standard corks the conventional way is a tedious task. Luckily, you can manufacture your own cork from a paper towel and a little tape (or plastic wrap).
Tear off a small piece of the paper towel and fold it into a circular shape with its width a little larger than the mouth of the wine bottle.
Next, you want to wrap all sides of your makeshift cork with some tape to keep it nice and tight when inside the bottle. Push your new cork into place. It shouldn’t be as difficult as working with the original cork.
2. Buy a Wine Saver
Wine savers are vacuum pumps that suck out any air inside your wine bottle to keep it fresh. Wine savers will work effortlessly with just about any wine bottle. Some designs also allow you to pump an inert gas to replace the oxygen.
I recommend the at Amazon. It comes with four stoppers and will remove the excess air from your bottle to keep the wine fresh.
3. Use a Rubber Wine Stopper
Rubber wine stoppers are small rubber corks that are easy to slip in and remove whenever you have some unfinished wine. You can find them at the local store or on Amazon. Wine rubber stoppers come in many designs and are reusable.
4. Cover With Aluminium Foil and Store in the Fridge
This step is your last option if nothing else in this list works. Cover the mouth of the wine bottle with aluminum foil. Use a rubber band to secure it in place around the bottle’s mouth. Next, you want to put your wine in the fridge till you’re ready to drink it.
This won’t make an airtight seal, but it stops dirt and debris from getting inside the bottle. Drink the rest of the remaining wine stored this way the same day because refrigerated wine could lose its taste and quality.
Recorking wine bottles need not be a pain in the neck. Remember to keep the original cork in good shape or find rubber stoppers and other alternatives. Lastly, be sure to store recorked wine bottles upright to prevent them from spilling the contents.