Wine and Beer Guide

Whether you are raising your glass for a toast, or pouring it into a stock pot, wine and beer are equally great for cooking and enjoying.

How to Preserve Opened Wine

What to do with that half-finished bottle of wine

Proper storage can extend the lifetime of your wine.

Randy Mayor

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What to do with that half-finished bottle of wine left over from last night's meal?

• If you plan to drink it within a few days, just re-cork and refrigerate, says David Lynch, General Manager at Mario Batali's Babbo in New York. Since almost all wine benefits from some aeration, he finds the flavors often improve by the second or third day after opening.

• If you won't reach for it again for more than a day or two, invest in a preservative product like VineyardFresh ( www.vineyardfresh.com), which displaces the oxygen in a half-finished bottle with safe, protective argon and nitrogen gas. This is a common practice at wine bars.

• Buy a half bottle, says Marc Murphy, chef/owner of Landmarc restaurant in New York City, where 60 wines are sold in half bottles. Each one equals about two hearty glasses, and the smaller bottles are increasingly popular with winemakers from California to Bordeaux.

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