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How to Store Mulled Wine (to Preserve Flavor)

How to Store Mulled Wine (to Preserve Flavor)

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Many people think that enjoying a few glasses of mulled wine during the holiday season is great. You might have a little tradition in your family where all of the adults do this.

Mulled wine is a type of spiced wine that is served warm, and it tastes quite delicious. It’s a red wine that is well-worth trying if you haven’t ever had the chance.

If you’re already a mulled wine fan, then you might be planning on getting some for an occasion soon. The only potential issue that you might face is determining how to store it properly.

Perhaps you normally only drink wine at a friend’s place or your family usually serves wine at big dinners that aren’t held at your house. If you have no experience storing wine, then you might not understand the optimal way to approach things.

How do you store mulled wine when you want to ensure that it stays good for as long as possible? Read on to learn how to store mulled wine the right way while also getting details about different situations where you’ll want to store it.

Storing Unopened Bottled Mulled Wine

The first thing you’re going to want to learn is how to properly store unopened bottled mulled wine. This is what you need to know when you buy a bottle of mulled wine from the store and you’re taking it home for storage.

You’re actually going to be able to store mulled wine the same way that you do any other red wine. You just need to place it somewhere that has a cool and steady temperature.

It’s recommended to store mulled wine at a temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It would also be a good idea to place the bottle somewhere that has a humidity level between 60% and 70%.

Another thing that you need to consider is that the mulled wine needs to be placed in a location that doesn’t experience heavy vibrations. You don’t want to put it on a shelf that might shake sometimes due to sound vibrations or any other occurrence that might cause vibrations.

Some people choose to place unopened bottles of wine in a nice wine refrigerator. These can be very great to own if you love wine and you’re going to be storing many bottles at a time.

It allows you to control the temperature that the wine is being stored at very precisely. Wine refrigerators are going to vary in cost quite a bit, but you should expect to spend at least $200 on an average one with some of the fancier ones being quite a bit more costly than that.

If you don’t have a nice wine fridge that you can use, then you should try to store the bottle of mulled wine in your basement or cellar. A cool closet corner might also work out fine if you live in a place where basements aren’t common home features.

When you’re able to store mulled wine in a cool environment like this, it’s possible for it to stay good for many years. Just remember that aging mulled wine isn’t going to improve the quality as it does with some other types of wine.

What About Opened Bottles of Mulled Wine?

So you decided to have a few glasses of your mulled wine with friends or family members recently. You enjoyed it, but you didn’t drink enough of it to finish the bottle.

You can simply close the bottle back up and place it back into storage. It’s just going to be imperative to refrigerate the bottle at this point to continue being able to store it properly.

When mulled wine is refrigerated and sealed in an airtight bottle or container, it’s going to be possible for it to stay good for at least three days. Most experts say that the mulled wine should be good for somewhere between three and five days depending on other variables.

This means that once you open a bottle of mulled wine you should expect to drink it fairly fast. You don’t want to keep mulled wine that has been open for weeks and weeks because it simply won’t be good any longer.

It’s important to remember to allow the mulled wine to cool completely before you put it into storage. You need to remember this since mulled wine is served warm, and some people even warm mulled wine on the stove.

If you placed the mulled wine in a pan, then you can still get it back into the bottle to give it an airtight vessel for storage. You’ll just have to use a funnel to get the mulled wine back into the bottle before moving forward.

The only potential problem will be if the bottle was sealed with a cork. You won’t simply be able to put the cork back in, and this means that you’ll need to use some type of airtight rubber bottle stopper.

It might be good to purchase a few of those if you’re going to be having wine regularly. Having them around will ensure that you’re able to store opened bottles of wine without it being an issue since so many of them come corked.

You might also encounter a bottle that simply has a screw top. In this case, you’ll just need to screw the cap back on and everything will be fine.

Don’t use vacuum sealers or anything like that since they can negatively impact the quality of the wine. It ruins the aromatic qualities of the mulled wine, and that really takes a lot of the enjoyment away from the experience of drinking mulled wine.

What About Storing Homemade Mulled Wine?

Homemade mulled wine is something that certain people really love to make. If you like to take the time to make mulled wine yourself, then you’re certainly going to want to store it the best that you can.

In this situation, you’re just going to need to find an airtight container that you can use for storage. The best container is going to be something that’s made out of glass.

You might have good luck if you try to use something such as a glass canning jar. These should be large enough to store your mulled wine and they’re airtight.

Doing this will allow you to store the mulled wine for at least three days when refrigerated properly. This does mean that you’ll only want to make your homemade mulled wine when you’re sure that you’re going to drink it within a few days.

Make sure that you have enough people around to help you drink it. You can easily heat your mulled wine in a small pot on your stove to get it ready to serve.

Heating mulled wine is actually really simple, you just heat the pot on a burner using medium-low heat. If you don’t want to go that route, then you could keep the mulled wine warm in a slow cooker assuming that you have one.

Tips for Storing Mulled Wine in a Corked Bottle

There are a few extra things to consider about storing mulled wine that is in a corked bottle. If you’re not all that familiar with storing wine, then you might not know how to approach this topic.

You need to store wine that has a cork enclosure horizontally to get the best results. Lots of people are more familiar with storing drinks in their refrigerators in a vertical position, but wine is different.

Storing the corked wine bottles horizontally is actually meant to help protect the cork. If the cork gets too dry over time, then that would be a very bad thing.

You could wind up having issues with your cork if it dries out, and you certainly don’t want that. This is why you always see wine being stored horizontally in wine cellars and wine refrigerators.

It is possible to store a bottle of mulled wine that has a screw-top enclosure vertically at least for a short time. However, most people just choose to store those bottles horizontally as well.

Most shelves and refrigerators that you’ll find that are geared toward storing wine will be built in such a way that storing things horizontally is the only sensible option. You’re going to be storing your mulled wine horizontally if you buy something to help you store the wine simply because that’s how everything is designed.

Mulled Wine and Aging

If you know a little bit about wine, then you’ve probably heard about people aging bottles of wine. Even if you’ve just seen people drink wine in movies you’ve probably seen a scene where somewhere is impressed with a rare vintage bottle of wine.

With some types of wine, the older the wine is, the better the quality will be. This simply isn’t the case when it comes to mulled wine.

Bottled mulled wine is made with the idea in mind that you’ll be drinking it pretty fast. The bottles can stay good for years, but it isn’t something that is made with the aging process in mind.

When winemakers are making “age-worthy” red wines, they’re going to be using high-quality grapes that are suited to that purpose. You have to achieve the proper balance of acidity and tannin to make a bottle of wine that is going to get better over the course of many years.

Some red wine bottles are stored for many decades and they improve with age. Mulled wine simply isn’t like that at all.

Mulled wine simply isn’t made from the highest quality grapes in the world. The base wine that is used to create mulled wine is simpler and it doesn’t go through the same aging process either.

Fancy wines are oak-aged and things are done to increase the quality of the wine. This doesn’t happen with the base wine that is used to create mulled wine.

The spices and flavors of the mulled wine will go a long way toward making a low-quality wine more enjoyable. Mulled wine is great because the spices turn drinking it into a different experience.

Another thing to consider is that an average bottle of mulled wine is going to cost around $20 in the United States. Sometimes you can find bottles of mulled wine that are less costly than that.

A bottle of wine that is so affordable is unlikely to be a type of wine that could be aged. They would charge a lot more money for the wine if it was something that could be aged, and you can use the price as an indicator of age-worthiness in many ways.

It isn’t really fair or sensible to compare mulled wine to fancy types of mulled wine that can be aged. You might not be worried about aging your mulled wine, but it’s still good to know that there are no benefits from attempting it.

Now that you know this, it’ll be easier to just focus on enjoying the mulled wine for what it is. Drink it up and enjoy it with your friends and family.

Can You Freeze Mulled Wine?

Technically, you can freeze mulled wine and store it to use later. However, this likely wouldn’t give you the best experience.

When you freeze something such as mulled wine, it’s going to change it and cause it to taste a little different. This doesn’t mean that the mulled wine will suddenly become bad, but it might not be the best to drink.

Some people do choose to freeze mulled wine that they don’t have the time to drink, though. They don’t plan on drinking the wine after freezing it, but they do still plan on using it.

Mulled wine can also be used for baking and cooking purposes. It should still be just fine for that after it has been frozen, and that means that freezing mulled wine can be a viable option.

Just don’t bother to try to drink the mulled wine after it has been frozen. The experience wouldn’t be what you want it to be and mulled wine is inexpensive enough that it would just be more practical to go buy another bottle that tastes right.

How Can You Tell When Mulled Wine Is Bad?

Of course, mulled wine isn’t going to stay good forever. There might be a situation where you simply aren’t able to drink all of your mulled wine before it goes bad.

You know that mulled wine is supposed to be able to be stored once it has been opened for three to five days so long as it’s refrigerated properly and stored in an airtight container. Knowing exactly when the mulled wine is bad might be hard unless you smell or taste it.

Mulled wine that has gone bad will usually have a slightly sour smell. It’s likely going to be best to smell the wine to ensure that it’s still good if three days have passed since you opened the bottle.

In some cases, you really will be able to drink the wine at the four- or five-day mark. Other times, it might be bad already and you’ll just want to throw it out.

Mulled wine is going to go bad because of oxidation like any other bottle of opened wine. Exposure to air and warmer temperatures will cause the mulled wine to go bad faster than usual, though.

If you want to ensure that you have the most time possible to drink your mulled wine, then it’s imperative to use the storage advice above. Even so, you’re going to need to make an effort to drink the wine within three days of opening the bottle just to be safe.

What to Do with Spoiled Wine

If your mulled wine has gone bad, then you might just want to throw it out. The most common thing to do with a beverage that has gone sour is to simply discard it.

There are some people who hate throwing things out, though. You might loathe having to feel as if you wasted something, and this might make it so that you will want to repurpose the mulled wine.

You could try to turn your mulled wine into vinegar if you really want to. This process isn’t incredibly complicated, but it is involved enough that you’ll want to follow a recipe.

Final Thoughts

Storing mulled wine is a topic that is more complicated than you might have initially thought. The basics are easy enough to understand, but there are so many things to consider aside from just knowing how to store a basic bottle of wine.

You have to consider the positioning of the bottle, the temperature that the wine is being kept at, the humidity levels, and so much more. If you don’t do things right, then your bottle of wine is going to go bad faster than you want it to.

Of course, since mulled wine is generally so inexpensive, it might not be necessary to worry so much about it. This is a cost-effective type of wine that people most enjoy during the holidays.

In all likelihood, you’re going to have no problems drinking your mulled wine before it goes bad. Just remember that you need to try to finish an opened bottle of mulled wine within three days.

You also have to store the opened bottle of mulled wine in the refrigerator in an airtight container or it won’t even stay good that long. If you simply can’t drink the mulled wine in time, then you could choose to freeze it and just use the mulled wine for cooking at some point down the line.