So you open a bottle of red wine and don’t finish it. Maybe you’ll drink some more in two or three days; maybe you won’t. You can go out and spend $300 or so on equipment that should keep your wine ready for drinking, OR…
Hack 1: …you can take the bottle, recork it, and put it in the freezer. (Air has no effect on frozen wine, which is why this trick works for me.) When you’re ready to drink it, allow it to come close to room temperature; about 60F or so. (First try this technique with an inexpensive bottle, at least to satisfy yourself that it works for you.)
Hack 2: Suppose you have a red wine of a recent vintage that is too young to drink, but you really want to try it, and you know aeration will help. What to do? Open the bottle, pour a half a glass of wine, then (possibly when no one’s looking) put your thumb over the bottle’s mouth and shake the bottle vigorously. Pour. Drink.
Hack 3: You will sometimes get a bottle that’s corked: The wine tastes and/or smells like a wet blotter, because the chemical compound called TCA (2,4,6 – trichloroanisole) has left the cork and gone into the wine. What to do before you pour the wine down the drain? Pour the wine into a glass container. Insert a ball of plastic wrap into the container. Wait about 15 minutes, remove the plastic wrap, and taste again. Ideally, the TCA will have migrated to the plastic wrap and the wine will be saved.
Wines to Try: I recently visited Stellenbosch, South Africa, and was blown away by the high quality of the wines and the low prices. That’s why I was somewhat confident that the Excelsior Syrah, Excelsior Sauvignon Blanc, and Excelsior Chardonnay wines I purchased without tasting them would be okay. All three are really good, and not just for the price. (The most expensive of the three is $6.94/bottle.)