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How To Close Wine Bottle


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Mil Uhl



Opening a bottle of wine can be an enjoyable experience, but what happens when you can’t finish the entire bottle in one sitting? You may find yourself wondering how to properly close the bottle to preserve the wine’s freshness for later enjoyment. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of closing a wine bottle to keep it in optimal condition until you’re ready to pour another glass.


Properly closing a wine bottle is crucial to prevent oxidation, which can drastically alter the taste and quality of the wine. Oxidation occurs when oxygen comes into contact with the wine, causing it to lose its vibrant flavors and aromas. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your wine remains fresh and enjoyable for an extended period.


In the following sections, we will discuss the tools and materials needed, as well as the step-by-step process for closing a wine bottle. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or simply want to save some leftover wine, these tips will help you preserve the wine’s integrity and make the most out of each bottle.


Tools and Materials Needed

Before we jump into the process of closing a wine bottle, it’s important to gather the necessary tools and materials. Here are the items you’ll need:

  1. A wine stopper or cork: Look for a high-quality wine stopper or cork that fits snugly into the bottle’s neck. This will help create an airtight seal, keeping the wine fresh for longer.
  2. A foil cutter or knife: If your wine bottle is covered with a foil seal, you’ll need a foil cutter or a sharp knife to carefully remove it. This will allow you to access the cork and properly seal the bottle.
  3. A corkscrew or wine opener: If you don’t have one already, invest in a reliable corkscrew or wine opener. This tool is essential for removing the cork from the bottle.
  4. A clean cloth or napkin: Keep a clean cloth or napkin handy to wipe away any excess wine or moisture from the bottle’s neck before closing it.

Once you have these tools and materials ready, you’re all set to begin the process of closing your wine bottle. Now, let’s move on to the step-by-step guide to properly seal your bottle and preserve the wine’s freshness.


Step 1: Removing the Foil Covering

The first step in closing a wine bottle is to remove the foil covering. This covering is typically found at the top of the bottle and serves to protect the cork and maintain the bottle’s aesthetics. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Position the bottle on a flat surface, ensuring it is stable and won’t tip over.
  2. If you have a foil cutter, simply place it at the base of the neck, where the foil meets the glass, and give it a gentle twist. The circular blades in the cutter will neatly cut through the foil, allowing you to remove it effortlessly.
  3. If you don’t have a foil cutter, you can use a knife as an alternative. Carefully insert the blade of the knife just below the lip of the bottle, making a circular motion to cut the foil all the way around. Take caution not to cut yourself or damage the cork in the process.
  4. Once the foil is cut, hold onto the bottle’s neck with one hand and use your other hand to grasp the foil and lift it away from the bottle. Discard the foil or save it for later use.

With the foil removed, you now have clear access to the cork, which is the next step in closing the wine bottle. Let’s move on to Step 2: Loosening the Cork.


Step 2: Loosening the Cork

Now that the foil covering has been removed, it’s time to loosen the cork. This will make it easier to remove the cork from the bottle when you’re ready to enjoy the wine again. Follow these steps:

  1. Hold the bottle firmly with one hand, making sure it is stable on a flat surface.
  2. Take your corkscrew or wine opener and position it at the center of the cork.
  3. Apply gentle pressure and insert the corkscrew into the cork, turning it clockwise. Be careful not to push the corkscrew too far into the cork, as this can cause it to break.
  4. Continue to turn the corkscrew until you have inserted it about three-quarters of the way into the cork.
  5. Once the corkscrew is securely in place, hold onto the bottle’s neck and use the corkscrew’s leverage to begin slowly pulling the cork out of the bottle.
  6. Keep a firm grip on the bottle as you slowly and steadily pull the cork out. Be patient and ensure a smooth extraction to avoid any spillage.

With the cork partially removed, you’re now ready to proceed to Step 3: Pulling Out the Cork and sealing the wine bottle for future enjoyment.


Step 3: Pulling Out the Cork

Now that the cork is partially loosened from the bottle, it’s time to carefully pull it out. Follow these steps to complete the process:

  1. Hold the bottle firmly with one hand, ensuring it remains stable on a flat surface.
  2. Using the corkscrew or wine opener, continue to pull the cork out of the bottle with a slow and steady motion. Apply even pressure to avoid any sudden movements or breakage.
  3. As you pull the cork out, you may hear a slight pop or release of pressure. This is normal and indicates that the seal has been broken.
  4. Keep a firm grip on the bottle and the cork as you remove it completely. Be cautious of any potential spillage, especially if the wine is still partially full.

Once the cork is out of the wine bottle, it’s important to take immediate action to ensure a tight seal and preserve the freshness of the wine. Let’s proceed to Step 4: Ensuring a Tight Seal.


Step 4: Ensuring a Tight Seal

Now that the cork has been removed from the bottle, it’s crucial to create a tight seal to prevent any air from entering and affecting the wine’s quality. Follow these steps to ensure a proper seal:

  1. Inspect the cork for any signs of damage or deterioration. If the cork appears to be in good condition, you can reuse it for closing the bottle. However, if it is damaged or crumbling, it’s best to use a new cork or a wine stopper.
  2. If you are reusing the cork, wipe it clean with a damp cloth to remove any residue or debris. This will help maintain the integrity of the seal.
  3. Hold the bottle upright and insert the cork back into the neck, applying gentle pressure to create a snug fit. Ensure that the cork is inserted fully to create an airtight seal.
  4. If you are using a wine stopper instead of the original cork, place the stopper firmly onto the bottle’s neck, ensuring a tight and secure fit.
  5. Give the bottle a gentle shake to check if the seal is secure. If you don’t hear any escaping air or notice any leaks, the bottle is properly closed.

With the wine bottle tightly sealed, you can now store it horizontally or in an upright position, depending on the type of closure. Proper storage will help maintain the flavors and aromas of the wine until you’re ready to enjoy it again.


Closing a wine bottle correctly is essential for preserving its quality and freshness. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that each bottle of wine retains its original flavors and aromas, allowing you to savor every drop. The next time you have leftover wine, don’t let it go to waste. Close the bottle properly and look forward to enjoying it on another occasion.



Closing a wine bottle properly is a simple yet vital process that helps preserve the quality and taste of the wine. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your wine remains fresh and enjoyable, even after opening. Remember these key points:

  • Use the right tools and materials, such as a foil cutter, corkscrew, and clean cloth, to facilitate the process.
  • Remove the foil covering carefully to access the cork easily.
  • Loosen the cork with a corkscrew, being mindful of maintaining its integrity.
  • Pull out the cork slowly and steadily to avoid any spillage or breakage.
  • Create an airtight seal by reinserting the cork or using a wine stopper.
  • Check for a secure seal by giving the bottle a gentle shake.

With these steps, you can confidently close your wine bottles and keep the remaining wine at its best for longer periods. Whether you’re saving a bottle for a special occasion or simply having a glass of wine to wind down after a long day, knowing how to properly close a wine bottle will ensure a satisfying experience every time.


So, the next time you’re enjoying a bottle of wine and can’t finish it in one sitting, remember to follow these steps to close the bottle correctly. Cheers to preserving the flavors, aromas, and memories that a good bottle of wine brings!