When it comes to resealing an opened bottle of wine, most people either use the cork that the bottle came with, or a hand-pumped vacuum stopper. Now, however, there’s another option – it’s called the Air Cork, although we also kind of like its previous name, the Wine Balloon.
The Air Cork consists of an inflatable latex bladder, attached by a hose to a squeezable hand pump. To use it, you lower the bladder into the bottle until it touches the surface of the wine, then pump it up until it seals against the insides of the bottle. It should remain sufficiently inflated for about three days, although you can just give it a few more top-up squeezes at that point, if you wish to keep the wine for longer.
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When you do want to finish off the bottle, you deflate the bladder via a release valve on the pump, then pull it out and rinse it off. The latex used for that bladder meets U.S. FDA standards for food contact, and is said not to affect the taste of the wine.
The device’s big reported advantage over a cork is the fact that the wine remains completely sealed against the bladder, not coming into contact with air trapped inside the bottle. While vacuum stoppers work by removing that air, the makers of the Air Cork claim that some of the wine’s aromatics also get pumped out in the air-removal process.
The Air Cork is available now, for US$23.95. You can see it being demonstrated in the video below.