“ Brand: Vacu Vin / Type: Wine Stopper „
The first thing I do when writing a review is to think about why I came to own or buy the product. This is proving very difficult in this case, as there was obviously a time when I considered NOT emptying a bottle of wine within a day or so!
I do enjoy a glass or two of wine, and I'm not strict with myself, I will have one in the week if I fancy it and probably do drink "too much" of the stuff.
In terms of my preferences, I mainly prefer white and rose and these days most of what I buy comes with a screw top but most of the reds that I drink (or have in the wine rack to offer out) still have the old cork arrangement, even if a synthetic cork rather than the real thing.
When a bottle is left unfinished (this does happen, honestly) there is one thing to consider - when is the remainder likely to be drunk? If there is only a little left and it may not outlast the next day I usually flip the cork upside down and pop it back in. This would leave the wine absolutely fine for drinking the next day but if there's no likelihood of the remaining wine being drunk the next day, my wine saver comes into play.
The idea is that the pump and the supplied rubber stoppers create a vacuum inside the bottle which ensures the wine doesn't go off because of being left open to the air. I do find 24 hours of the wine getting air can even have a positive effect on the experience, but any more than that and I start to worry about the wine not being "quite the ticket". The problem is the oxygen in the air, which is known to have a bad effect on wine, and ultimately results in the wine losing its flavours and quality, leaving you with a pretty nasty tasting dirty dark red mess.
This set came with two of the rubber stoppers which are designed to fit into the open neck of a bottle and which have little holes in their tops. The pump fits over the top of the stopper and there is a simple process of opening and closing the pump, the action of which sucks the air out of the bottle through the tiny holes in the stopper, which are sealed in the process.
The quantity of wine in the bottle dictates how many 'pumps' are required to achieve the vacuum but the pump makes a click-click noise to indicate when the desired effect has been reached. When it's time to drink the wine the stopper requires a quick gentle push to release the seal and let the air out (in?!) and then it pulls easily out.
As I said, reds are the wines I most usually use this pump with and it's usually my partner who prefers red wine. As he only tends to drink wine at weekends, I have often used this pump to seal up a bottle from one week to the next and it has been fine. Without the pump there's no way the wine would have been palatable after that time.
The pump itself is made of matt black plastic and is very easy to operate, it doesn't require any strength, although you can feel it pulling a little as you reach the vacuum. Being plastic it keeps nice and clean and I just pop the stoppers in with the washing up when they have been used.
All in all this is a handy gadget to have around ... I was going to say that it helps ensure no wastage, but in reality I don't think I could really bring myself to throw wine away, so what it actually does is it helps reduce temptation to finish the bottle!
I bought my Vacuvin pump kit from Tesco a few years ago now but they are also readily available online for around £9-10.