Drinking an entire bottle of wine one occasion is nothing unusual, especially if you have friends or family members to help you with it. However, drinking the whole bottle by yourself is not always a good idea for obvious reasons.
In these situations, you may want to recork the wine instead of keeping it open for whatever amount of time. Many people don’t know how to put the cork back inside a wine bottle. They may have tried and found it impossible. They may have even damaged the cork when opening the bottle.
Several reliable methods for recorking a wine bottle are available.
The Best Ways to Put a Cork Back in a Wine Bottle
Wine bottles with screwcaps are much easier to deal with than the ones with corks. Of course, all the snobs in the world will tell you that good wine never comes with a screwcap. But it can be a little frustrating if you don’t know what you are doing with the loose cork.
If you manage to recork a wine bottle properly, the wine will last several days more.
Putting a cork, any cork, back in a wine bottle
Natural wine bottle corks can become bloated – they are designed as such to ensure a tight seal – but this is also why they don’t readily fit the opening of the bottle after uncorking. Occasionally, you may be able to twist it back in, but only if you’re extremely lucky. Chances are that’s not going to happen.
But know that you don’t have to put the cork all the way back in. You only have to seal the wine bottle enough so that air wouldn’t get in. However, as mentioned, corks sometimes get damaged during uncorking and this is when it gets tricky.
If it’s beyond repair, you can use a replacement cork. They are easily available everywhere, sometimes in bundles of different sizes.
How to do it
Here’s a step-by-step guide for twisting the cork back in:
- Put the remaining bottle of wine on a hard surface and hold it tightly.
- Tilt the cork a little to push one side of it inside prior to the other. Hold the cork with the side resting on the bottle opening.
- Twist the cork and press it down in a single motion so that the spiral goes into the bottle for an inch.
- Still keeping the bottle in a firm grasp, press the cork down with the palm of your hand. This way you will move the cork further back inside of the bottle.
Push a stuck cork back in a wine bottle
Often, the wine bottle cork gets stuck in the opening of a bottle. Here is what you can do in this scenario:
Hold the bottle tightly and use a tool to push the cork all the way in. You need a fine utensil for this, like a chopstick, pen, the backside of a metal spoon or fork, etc. After that, you can either drink the wine immediately or you can reseal the bottle. If you wish, you could run the wine through a sieve to remove the pieces of cork.
Wine is always in contact with the cork, so little pieces of it won’t spoil the wine. You can find the best replacement corks as outlined below.
Alternative methods for putting a cork back in a wine bottle
If you get creative, you can make a cork from just about anything. If you have a damaged cork, you can wrap it in a piece of waxed paper. This will keep the wine fresh for up to five days if you keep it in a fridge or cooler.
Cut a small piece of waxed paper that fits the size of the wine cork and then wrap it around the entire cork. Hold the cork above the bottle and try to find a good angle. When you’re ready, grab the bottle tightly and push the cork back inside slowly.
Try not to twist the cork because it can ruin the waxed paper. Finally, press hard on the cork to get it all the way in.
Alternatively, you can use a piece of paper towel instead of waxed paper. For this, you also need plastic wrap and tape to keep everything together. However, you may want to go get some waxed paper since paper towel won’t keep the wine fresh for more than a day.
You can always put a cork back in or a screw cap back on a wine bottle and store it in the fridge for several days. However, this will not preserve the wine forever because it has come into contact with air.
So, you should drink any recorked wine as soon as possible — you have about five days before it goes bad.