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Single Serving Tip: Reuse Small Wine Bottles


September 7, 2012 Blog » Wine Tips & Tricks » Single Serving Tip: Reuse Small Wine Bottles

Let’s face it: most small bottle or single serving wines in the US are intended for airplanes, sporting events or minibars and are not the best wines you could be drinking. However! Those adorable .187 liter small wine bottles (called a Piccolo) are great and are reusable… Just rinse them out, let them dry, and then refill them with your own high quality wine! Let me break down the reasons why you should go buy a couple of 4 packs for yourself and give this a try.
Small Wine Bottles

Why re-bottle into small wine bottles?

If you are not going to finish the bottle you are opening, transferring the extra to small wine bottles can make a lot of sense. Due to minimized surface area, the wine will store better and last longer because it will reduce wine oxidation. By pouring the wine out of the original bottle, you have functionally decanted away any sediment. And you can have a controlled inventory of single servings, meaning you can have a larger variety of wines open at any one time.
small wine bottles for preserving leftover wine

Wine Shelf Life 1-2 Weeks+

The goal is to reduce the amount of time the wine touches air and also to slow the oxidation process. As soon as you open up a large bottle of wine, immediately transfer whatever you don’t plan on using to the small wine bottles and fill them right to the top (you want as little air in the bottle as possible). Then make sure to store them in the refrigerator. Under these conditions your wine should last 1-2 weeks (..and possibly longer, depending on the wine!). Be sure to review how to store open wine for a few additional tips.

Multi-Course Picnics!

Lightweight, single servings let you switch up the offerings. 4 small wine bottles will weigh less than one glass 750ml bottle and are much easier to carry in a picnic basket.

Single Man’s Burden

Single people drink wine too, and a regular 750ml bottle is a lot to drink by your sad lonesome self. When you open that new bottle, pour yourself a glass and transfer the remainder into 3 clean and sanitary .187 L screw top bottles. You can even have a white and a red with dinner without the guilt of all those open bottles.

envino PET 187 750 wine bottles

PET wine bottles by Envino


Anatomy of the .187 L bottle

Because these wines are primarily manufactured for airplanes and sporting events, they are increasingly made out of PET instead of glass. PET(polyethylene terphthalate) is one of the highest quality plastics available and contains no BPA. This makes them significantly lighter than their glass counterparts. The aluminum screw tops have small seals in them that you need to be delicate with during cleaning. The life of this seal is the effective life of the bottle, and you should get many uses out of a bottle before you need to discard it.

What You Will Need:

187 ml Bottles (4 for every 750 ml bottle)
  • These need to be clean, sanitary and dry. You are not bottling for longterm cellaring, but you still want a sanitary environment for your wine. Stores like Target and Walmart carry small wine bottle 4 packs.
  • A tiny food grade funnel
  • Homebrew supply stores usually have really good ones, but you want a tiny small end and a large enough top to not make it too cumbersome to pour into. These are usually polyurethane.
  • A bottle washer/rinser
  • Again, usually found at homebrew supply stores. This is a special inverted nozzle that attaches to your faucet for injecting high pressure hot water into bottles for rinsing.
  • Good habits
  • Treat these bottles like your high end wine glasses, rinsing them after every use. If you let wine sugars or solids dry in them, it’s easier to get new ones than to try and clean it out.

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    By Chad Wasser
    I live in Seattle, where I touch really fragile things with kid gloves for a living.