There’s nothing worse than corking your favorite bottle of red only to find it funkier than Kool & The Gang 2 days later.
For centuries preserving the freshness of wine has been one of the major challenges facing human society. From Ancient Greeks to Romans, this has been an ever-present problem (as well as empire building and other less important issues).
In this article, I’ve covered the best wine preservation sprays to keep your wine fresher for longer. In addition, we’ll cover:
- How Wine Preservation Sprays Work
- How to Get The Most From Your Spray
- How Long Will Wines Last Once ‘Preserved’?
- How Do Restaurants Keep Their Wines Fresh?
Ready? Then let’s dive in.
How Do Wine Preservation Sprays Work?
I know you just want to find out the best system quickly. But understanding how a product works means you can make a more informed decision about which will model will be best for you, personally.
When it comes to wine deterioration, Oxygen is public enemy #1.
The best antidote is Argon – a denser, inert gas which will displace any Oxygen and prevent aging of the wine. The challenge is getting this to work effectively.
The problem? Getting that Argon to protect the wine without any new Oxygen getting there first. While quite rudimentary, the idea is to spray Argon into the bottle straight after pouring from it. This will displace any Oxygen in the bottle (since it’s heavier), and protect your wine from deterioration.
This does work in theory, but it’s not perfect in reality. The inevitable introduction of new Oxygen during and after pouring will have some effect on the wine – so it’s crucial to use a preservation spray as quickly as possible after pouring.
With that covered, let’s dive into the best wine preservation sprays available.
The Best Wine Preservation Sprays
Private preserve is the classic wine preserver spray.
Often touted as the world’s #1 wine accessory , they’re an ever-present aide to the wine industry while remaining easily available and inexpensive.
First created in 1986 by Entrepreneur Scott Farmer, Private Preserve is the definition of a product which hasn’t needed changed since it was created.
Their globally known can design has remained the same ever since it was first released. Mostly because it didn’t need to change.
As a product, it’s super simple. It’s just a can of Argon gas! It comes with a flexible hollow straw used to direct the gas straight into the bottle. Here’s a great video from Wine Enthusiast giving a quick demonstration of how it works:
The trick with this is to be as quick as possible.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to pour the wine without fresh Oxygen entering the bottle – so the idea is damage minimizing, not prevention. That said, it’s effective when done properly and can keep a wine close to fresh for up to a week.
|Top wine preserver for decades||Limited effectiveness|
|Easy to use|
Private Preserve has been the best-selling wine preserver for decades.
And for good reason.
The product is cheap, widely available, and trusted throughtout wine communities.
It’s not technological, it’s not complex, and it won’t make your wine last forever. But it is a delightfully simple product which will give you up to a week of extended life on your open bottles of wine.
The guys behind ArT Wine Preserver spray are the new kids on the block.
Their product is also a can of Argon gas, just like Private Preserve. Except a can of ArT costs around $15, while Private Preserve can be picked up for $11 or $12.
So what do ArT bring to the table?
Well, there’s two main improvements.
First, their cans come with a spray head already attached. That means there’s no fiddling around with a plastic straw (which might leak if not placed correctly). It removes that step from the processing – meaning you simply grab, spray, and close. Rather than grab, find the straw, make sure the straw is clean, affix straw, and spray.
The spray head is also controlled using a lever, which is much easier than the finger-push button on a Private Preserve can.
Second is that ArT comes with a wine stopper. This isn’t anything designer – it’s a simple rubber stopper. What it means, though, is that there’s no extra oxygen coming in through a cork, and no fighting to squeeze the cork back into the bottle. Again, it’s a nice simplification.
|Includes wine stoppers||Around $3 more expensive per can|
|Spray uses head; no straw needed|
|Easier to use than Private Preserve|
For a few bucks more, the ArT offers a bit more quality of life over the Private Preserve bottles.
If you prefer to lean towards tradition (or budget), then Private Preserve is still the option with the ‘prestige’ and reputation. But if you value simplicity and less stress, there’s no arguing that the ArT is easier to use – with the included wine stopper providing that extra bit of benefit.
At the end of the day – both do their job well and are worth the minimal investment to save a bottle of wine.
Going up the list in order of expense, next up we have the iFavine.
This works on a similar basis to the sprays – but seals the opening when we inject the gas. By doing so we can more directly replace Oxygen with Argon, without extra gas being able to escape/either through an open bottle mouth.
While this is an improvement on the initial sprays, I’m not quite sure it’s worth the $100 price tag. Especially considering that additional capsules are more expensive by Argon volume than the larger cans of ArT or Private Preserve.
That said, this is still a good product and sits at a nice mid-range price point. It does the job better than spray cans, and for much cheaper than the high end options.
The addition of a large stopper where you can set the date you opened the wine is a nice touch. Personally, though, I like the more ‘old-school’ of scrawling on the bottle.
|Seals bottle when injecting Argon||More expensive than sprays|
|Cheaper than access systems||Less effective than access systems|
|Includes stoppers with dates||Uses Capsules|
A great middle of the road option.
It works better than the sprays above, but not nearly as well as the high end ‘wine access’ systems.
Using a standard amount of Argon will extend your wine’s lifespan to around a week. While fully packing the bottle with the gas can stretch that all the way up to a month.
It’s one of the best options before we jump into the higher end systems. However, if you’re going to pay regularly for Argon capsules, I’d consider something like the Coravin instead. It’s a higher upfront cost, but is much more effective.
Introducing my favorite way to preserve wine (yes, I may be a little biased).
An ingenious solution designed by a Mechanical Engineer, Coravin have seemingly perfected wine preservation.
By inserting a hollow needle and replacing every drop of wine with Argon, the remaining wine in the bottle is preserved indefinitely.
As another curious engineer, I dove into researching Coravin and their effectiveness. You can read all my findings in our Coravin Review.
Long story short, though: Coravin was found by multiple sources, including wine expert Janice Robinson, a panel of expert tasting judges, and scientific testing, to completely preserve a bottle of wine. Even over a timespan of years.
The Coravin uses the same type of capsules that the iFavine uses. Which is why I’d be hesitant to get the latter. If you’re going to be paying the same cost for extra capsules over a long time, you may as well invest a little more upfront and get a better system.
The key things to be aware of are some functionality issues. Mainly that it will use a little more Argon than the iFavine or sprays (since it’s a 1:1 replacement), it can take a while to pour a glass (~20 seconds as standard), and you lose the ‘feel’ of pouring the wine.
For me, those are small prices to pay for what you unlock.
A Coravin allows you and your partner (and friends) to all drink the wine you prefer. It also means you can do some real taste comparisons and refine your wine palette. You can buy and compare two or three similar wines to really learn the differences between them – without having to drink the three bottles in a night!
|Extremely Effective||High-End Price Tag|
|Wine Lasts For Years||Uses Capsules|
|Works With Screwcaps|
|Used In Restaurants Globally|
Coravin comes at a high price point, which is the main concern of potential buyers.
It’s only really worth it for those lucky enough to have some real high-end wines. It means you can enjoy them without having to lose the entire bottle at once.
If you’re a wine lover but prefer to stick to a $15 Malbec over a $75 Chateauneuf, you’d get more value out of the sprays and stoppers over an access system like Coravin. But, if you have some vintages stored away or would be interested in expanding your palette, there’s no better tool than a Coravin.
Frequently Asked Wine Preservation Questions
Do Wine Savers Really Work?
Wine savers work to a certain extent. Cheaper versions, like wine stoppers or argon sprays, will help to prolong the life of your wine by a few days. Instead of having a 48 hour drinking window it can be stretched up to a week. High-end ‘access’ systems like Coravin have been proven to leave wine unaffected for years.
How Long Will A Wine Last With A Preserver?
Cheap Preservers like argon sprays and wine stoppers will extend the life of a wine by a few days to a week. Younger wines will last longer, while older wines will deteriorate much quicker. The best system is that of a ‘wine access’ system like Coravin, which has been proven to leave wine unaffected for years.
How Do Restaurants Keep Wine Fresh?
Keeping wine fresh in a restaurant is much different from home due to the higher turnover. A bottle of wine will rarely be open longer than a few hours! That said, for high-end wines or wine restaurants which stock hundreds or thousands of bottles, wine access sytems are almost always used to ensure quality. High-end ‘vendor’ systems like Enomatic will prolong the life of a wine by a few weeks, but are not as refined as a true access system.
Wine preservers are a serious topic. Really!
There are few things more heartbreaking than hoping to enjoy your second helping of your favorite bottle, only to find it more sink cleaner than tongue tantalizer.
I hope I’ve helped to give you a good overview of the various wine preservation sprays and the systems which have developed from them.
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Thanks for taking the time to read this far. I hope you have an amazing day.