Wine preservation tools are essential for many winos. They allow you to drink the same bottle of wine over many sittings whilst keeping them fresh and fruity.
The following is a review for 4 types of wine preservers: the Vacu Vin vacuum pump, the Private Preserve disposable gas container, the fancy Coravin, and Repour closures.
Do you need a wine preserver?
These tools are great for wine merchants who need to sample bottles to many potential buyers over weeks. In addition, wine preservation systems are an indispensable tool for wine students allowing them to taste classic examples of wine over and over again before blind tasting examinations.
But they aren’t just great for industry folks. Wine preservers are a fantastic way to moderate your drinking by spreading a bottle of wine over many different sittings.
How wine preservation tools work?
Good wine preservation systems either remove some of the oxygen or they insert a gas such as argon or nitrogen to ‘blanket’ the wine and prevent the wine from being in contact with the oxygen.
But there are many factors that affect how long your preservation system keeps wine fresh. If you’d like to know how to keep your wine fresh the longest, read 6 Factors that Affects How Long Your Wine Lasts.
4 Wine Preservation Tools: Review and Buying Guide
1. Vacu Vin vacuum pump with stoppers
Best budget savvy option!
The product claims that if combined with refrigeration, wine could lasts up to 1.5 weeks. I’d say most wines will last 3-5 days after opening.
Vacu Vin is for you if…
- it’s for personal use
- you’re on a budget
- you only need the wine to last a little longer
- works best if you also put the wine in the fridge – bottle standing up
Vacu Vin is not for you if…
- your a restaurant, wine merchant or winery – then use a preserver method that utilizes a gas blanket such as Coravin, Private Preserve or Repour
- you can reuse it over and over again – there’s no waste and no need to buy refills of anything. The initial cost is the only cost
- stoppers are dishwasher safe
- after pumping, stoppers suction tight and stay in the bottle. Some reviewers said that these can leak. But I’ve found they stay sealed even if the bottle gets knocked over
- versatile; works on bottles with all closure types: cork or stelvin
- this system doesn’t use gas so shelf life of wine is not as long as other systems
- there’s still oxygen in the bottle, so some evolution of the wine will still occur
Vacu Vin in a nutshell
There are many brands of vacuum pumps out on the market, the Vacu Vin is simply the most well known brand. There are other brands that work as well as Vacu Vin. But don’t get sucked in by the no-name brands on Alibaba. They just won’t work as well.
How to use Vacu Vin
It’s simple to use.
First, place the rubber stopper in the bottle. Then, place the pump on top of the stopper. Finally, pump.
The Vacu Vin starts to click when all the air is sucked out. If you have another brand, you can stop pumping when it gets harder to do – indicating that there is little oxygen left.
One great thing about this system, is that the stoppers are quite stable once you’ve sucked all the air out. I’ve found bottles that are knocked over will remain sealed.
For best results, wines should be kept upright after sealing them and placed in the fridge.
Where to find wine preservation tools like Vacu Vin
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2. Private Preserve Wine Preserver
Best overall – effective on a shoestring budget.
The product doesn’t state how long Private Preserve lasts. One reviewer says 3-4 days for reds and 1-3 for white wines. Another says 1-2 weeks.
- inexpensive (for how many times you can use it)
- super lightweight
- best bang for your buck
- manufacturer says for 120 uses in each can – I don’t see that. One reviewer says it lasts 50-80 uses – which is still fantastic
- Not really any cons with this because this is a really good option
Private Preserve in a nutshell
There are many types of gas cannisters on the market. This one has a mix of argon, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. In general, argon is more expensive than nitrogen and you will see this variance in the prices of different products.
I chose Private Preserve to test out because it’s rated highly.
Yet, I have to be honest.
I can’t allow wine to spoil! I just can’t do it intentionally. So I defaulted to other people’s experience for how long it works.
If you know how long Private Preserve will keep both red wines and white wines fresh – please do me a favour and share your expertise with my readers in the comments section below!
How does Private Preserve work
This is a spray cannister. Attach the skinny plastic tube to the sprayer-spout. Place the tube in the bottle against the glass. Make sure the tube isn’t aimed directly at the wine because these have a lot of pressure.
Before pressing the sprayer, make sure you have the cork or stelvin closure held close to the top of the bottle.
Spray and quickly seal the bottle with the closure.
Leave bottles standing upright. The more empty the bottle is, the more spray it will need.
- for all wine preservation systems, if you want your wines to last, it’s important to keep the bottles standing upright. This way the wine is exposed to the smallest surface area of gas/ oxygen and will last longer.
Coravin wine preservation tool in a nutshell
Best for wine merchants who need to sample the same bottle over weeks.
The manufacturer claims wines will last 2+ years after use. Maybe, but I doubt it.
Coravin is for you if…
- great for avid wine collectors who have extensive personal cellars
- best for wine merchants who need to pour small samples of wine for different buyers over weeks
- this is also good for serious wine students who need to sample over a long period of time. But know that using any gas wine preserver tool will change the taste of the wine slightly (although it won’t change the structure of the wine)
Coravin is not for you if…
- you don’t have the money to spend (then buy Private Preserve instead)
- you are a restaurant where many staff will need to be able to pour with it – it’s just too finicky and you’ll waste too much money on wasted argon gas capsules
- pours super slow so it’s not great for a busy restaurant’s wine-by-the-glass program even if you only need to train a few sommeliers (although I have not tried their new ‘fast pour’ needles)
- your wanting to preserve wines under screwcap – it’s only useful for wines sealed under cork
- this is the best wine preservation tool on the market as the wines stay fresh the longest
- gives you bragging rights for owning the most expensive wine preservation system out there
- finicky – there is a learning curve for using Coravin properly
- this means you will waste a lot of argon gas in the beginning
- if the needle breaks (and it will) you will need to order a new one
- most expensive wine preserver out there
- the gas cannisters are pricey too
- it DOES NOT preserve wine indefinitely (see more on this below) and for wines that have been cellared, they won’t last the 2 years the manufacturer states
- can only be used for wines sealed under cork
- pours super slow so it’s not great for a restaurant’s wine by the glass program (although I have not tried their new ‘fast pour’ needles
Coravin; the bigger picture...
When Coravin first came on the scene, my boss thought we’d be able to taste all the aged wines in the cellar before selling them to guests. WRONG! Wines won’t last the 2+ years they say.
Still, the Coravin is the best wine preserver out there.
How the wine preservation tool Coravin works...
Coravins have a thin needle that pokes a tiny hole through the cork to pour the wine.
After pouring, you release the ‘trigger’ or ‘lever’ and a small amount of argon gas gets sprayed inside the bottle. The gas forms a blanket on top of the wine, protecting the wine from the oxygen.
Unfortunately though, wine does not live forever after using the Coravin. However, it does extend wine’s life the longest out of any wine preservation system I’ve tried so far.
Coravin’s website states that wines can last up to 2+ years. But I would suggest that only wines meant to be cellared long can live up to that standard. BUT… I can’t say that I’ve tested that theory as I don’t want to risk spoiling expensive, classic wine.
There are other factors that will affect how long your wine will last after using Coravin or other wine preservers. You can read more here.
Do you have a Coravin? What's the longest time your wine has lasted after using Coravin? I'd love to hear your comments below!
- when purchasing a Coravin, just buy the extra argon capsules and extra needle right away, you’ll need it.
[But here are some excellent tasting notes! Here are 10 Champagnes and Bubbles on a Budget.]
Repour wine preservation tool in a nutshell
Most portable system – a handful will fit into your pocket
The product says the wine will last up to 2 months and you can reuse the same Repour multiple times on the same bottle. But… see my cons below.
Repour is for you if…
- you want a wine preserver that uses gas to blanket the wine
- convenient and portable – small and lightweight – a handful of these babies fit into your pocket
Repour is not for you if…
- you don’t use them up right away. The glue on the aluminum seals dry out, causing failures when using the product
- they don’t stick in the bottles well so I don’t recommend using Repour if you have to transport the bottles anywhere
- mid-priced between Coravin and Private Preserve
- good for both stelvin and cork closures
- the easiest system to use
- lightweight and portable – carry a bunch in your pocket
- although they travel well before use, after use, wine bottles must be kept in an open wine box for transporting (to make sure the bottles don’t tip – but you won’t be able to stack the boxes because Repour will take up a lot of height)
- I bought the largest box of Repour and I’m finding the seals dry out so they won’t tear off properly. By paying attention to make sure glue comes off completely and by carefully tearing them slowly, you can still use them. But this can easily result in spoiled wine.
How the wine preservation tool Repour works...
Repour is the easiest-to-use wine preserver method out there!
Simply, pull at the aluminum tag at the tip and tear it off. Then, stick Repour in the bottle.
How does it work? Repour doesn’t use gas. It relies on science and depends on chemical reactions to prevent oxidation. You can read more about it here.
Because Repour seemed like such a great solution, I jumped at buying the largest box available.
The first thing I did, was spill a bunch of wine in my car as the tops pop off quite easily.
Later on, I noticed that they weren’t working. What happened? The glue on the foil dried out so when I pull the tab, a thin layer of glue remains and prevents Repour from releasing what ever is inside it.
Still, you can get around this by using your fingernail to pull back the glue. Accordingly, you should perhaps buy them in a 10-pack and not the 80-pack box that I committed to immediately.
So there are some glitches with the system, but when it works, it really works!
Do you use Repour?
How well does it work when you reuse it for the same bottle?
Post your comments below!
Overall, I’d argue the Private Preserve is the wine preservation tool that balances cost efficiency with functionality best. But for earth concsious readers, the Vacu Vin is the way to go as there’s no waste. You simply use the same stoppers and pump over and over again until time immemorial.
On the other hand, extreme wine afficionados should put in the time and money to master the Coravin. Coravin’s technology provides the ability to maximize making wines last.
I find Repour rates highly for wine longevity and initial ease-of-use. I also like how each closure is meant to last the entire 750 ml bottle. Just make sure the bottles are in a very secure place and won’t move. Unfortunately, Repour doesn’t hold in place the way Vacu Vin’s stoppers do.