Let’s go halfsies: why buying half bottles makes sense

I was stocking up on half bottles recently, and a friend called me out for not being economically sensible. As someone who routinely checks the unit price when grocery shopping, I understand that half bottles don’t necessarily give me the most juice per dollar.

But in many circumstances, they end up being the better deal. Half bottles, at 375mL each, are perfectly sized for

  • Couples who only drink one glass each and will likely not want the same wine the next night
  • A lone wine drinker

Plus, if you save the empty half-bottle, you have a great vessel for extending the life of your leftover wine.

The less air your wine is exposed to, the longer it lasts. That’s the basic idea behind every piece of wine preservation technology on the market these days, from vacuum pumps to Coravin. They remove the oxygen in the bottle and either create a vacuum or replace it with inert gas. No oxygen = no oxidation = fresher wine. It’s the same principle behind brushing oil on a cut avocado: you prevent oxygen exposure to the flesh and thereby prevent browning.

While the empty half bottle is not nearly as high-tech as these other products, it is inexpensive, easy to replace, and comes with a couple of glasses of wine to start.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Enjoy your half bottle’s worth of wine.
  2. Rinse out empty half bottle
  3. Save empty half bottle
  4. The next time you open a full bottle you don’t quite finish, pour the remaining wine into that strategically saved half bottle.
  5. Cork it up.

Voila: There’s less space for air in the half bottle than in your half-filled standard 750mL bottle. You haven’t preserved the remaining wine forever, but you’ve given yourself a few more days to enjoy it.

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