Photos: Air Cork

She comes over, you open a bottle of wine, and after a glass each you put the cork back in. And by the time you get around to drinking it again, it’s gone bad.

That’s because air is the enemy of wine. Oxidation breaks it down, slowly turning it to vinegar. But you can inhibit oxidation and keep your wine at its peak longer by using the Air  Cork to remove the air from the bottle, preventing your wine from becoming a salad dressing ingredient.

Just insert the balloon into the bottle and squeeze the grape-shaped bulb, blood pressure cuff style, until it inflates firmly to the bottle’s sides. As it inflates, it pushes the remaining air out of the bottle, allowing the true flavor of the grape to be preserved.

When you’re ready for another glass, just hit Air Cork’s release valve and it’s time to pour and enjoy.

And don’t worry, as I did, that the ballon will alter the wine’s taste. It’s made of food-grade latex and is intended to touch the wine. Plus several sommeliers have confirmed that it doesn’t affect the taste at all. I’ll drink to that.