We’ve all opened wine and for whatever reason, left half the bottle unfinished. There is certainly nothing strange about that. Being the experienced wine consumer that I am, I’ve tried many different products on the market that claim to preserve unfinished wine. From the spray bottles that insert a layer of gas above the wine to prevent it from being exposed to oxygen, to the Vacuvin which pumps oxygen from the bottle. Every method yielded mixed results. But you know what ended up working best 6 or 7 times out of 10? Tightly corking the bottle and putting it into the refrigerator. The problem there? Well, you come home from work, want some wine and have to wait 20 minutes for the wine to warm up. We’re not that patient are we? So the wine sits and sits and many times, unfortunately goes down the drain. The costs can add up. There had to be another alternative and I believe it’s finally here. Today’s article will review the newly released 2015 Felsina Chianti Classico. But instead of reiterating the glorious estate history that has been chronicled on these pages many times, I decided to thrust Felsina into a controlled experiment to see if the subject of today’s post really worked. That subject is the Repour Wine Saver.
The Repour Wine Saver was created by chemist turned inventor, Tom Lutz. In the simplest terms, Repour is a specialized wine cork. And using it requires no effort. If you can cork a bottle of wine, you can use Repour. The concept is simple. Inside the stopper is an FDA approved oxygen-absorbing material that continuously absorbs oxygen from the air in the bottle above the wine. Simply remove the small foil seal on the bottom of the stopper, put the stopper in place of the original cork, and let Repour go to work. But would it actually work? Here’s what we did.
Controlled Felsina – Repour Experiment
I acquired two bottles of the newly released 2015 Felsina Chianti Classico. I stored both bottles in my wine cellar standing up for 2 weeks before we conducted our experiment. The bottles were labeled #1 and #2. Number 1 would be the bottle that would be exposed to the Repour Wine Saver and Number 2 would not. We opened both bottles over a dinner of chicken cutlet Milanese and broccoli rabe and were very careful in drinking precisely the same amount of wine from each bottle. After dinner, the wines were re-corked; Bottle #1 with the Repour and Bottle #2 with Felsina’s cork. Both bottles were returned to the wine cellar and left standing up. This was conducted on January 22, 2018.
As usual, the Felsina Chianti Classico is a reliable, excellent wine and the 2015 really uses the excellence of the vintage to its advantage. Everything is in place here. On the nose, the wine boasts cherry and berry aromas that are complimented with spices, soft vanilla notes and cypress like herbs. On the palate, the wine is medium to full bodied with plump, ripe red fruits that are lifted by wonderful fresh acidity. Nimble, with soft spice, vanilla, and tobacco leaf added for complexity, this is a wonderful Chianti Classico and an excellent value around $18. 90 points. Find this wine. I will add that both bottles behaved consistently with and without the food. After the bottles were numbered, we wrapped them in brown bags and kept mixing them up during dinner. It was not possible to tell the two bottles apart.
The Second Tasting
Repour claims to be able to preserve a bottle of wine for up to a month, even if you pour a glass at a time during that span and continually re-cork the bottle with the Repour. In our case, I didn’t want the non-repour bottle spoiling, so the wines were left standing in the wine cellar for only 9 days and then returned to the dinner table on January 31st. In an attempt to maintain the controlled environment of the experiment, I served the exact same dinner. The wines were uncorked and brought to the table.
Now, I was skeptical, I admit it. But I have to say, the difference in the two bottles was stark. To Felsina’s credit, the bottle that was simply corked was still drinkable. It hadn’t turned, but it was on its way. The flavor profile had been flattened, muted and there was a sort of linear metallic feel to the wine. The aromas were also very muted and not at all vibrant. Furthermore, the color of the wine had turned from what you see above to a noticeable ruby-brick color. I should have taken a picture side by side. Why I missed that? Go figure….
Anyway, the bottle that was corked with the Repour performed exactly as it had 9 days before. The wine was fresh, lively, plump, juicy and vibrant. If anything, I think the fruit may have added weight since being originally opened, similar to the way a decanted wine sometimes does. I served the wines to 4 different people, myself included, and all four of us agreed with no question that bottle #1 was far superior to bottle #2. As I said, this wasn’t a case where you had to taste and taste to try and discern a difference. It was stark.
The Repour Wine Saver is not expensive. The 4 pack costs $8.99. It’s your value judgement to determine cost benefit in that regard. But for someone like me, who can often open 3-4 bottles at a time while writing an article, this represents a very good method for keeping leftover wine fresh. Give it a shot and see for yourself.
Disclosure: Dr. Tom sent me the Repour Wine Saver as a courtesy sample. I did not promise or guarantee that I would write an article. I simply agreed to try the product and give him my personal thoughts either way. He offered me nothing in return for my experiment. I decided to chronicle the experiment in this article because I truly believe the product worked.