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Dr. Vinny,

Someone uncorked my wine without me knowing it and now it has been opened for almost 24 hours! Is there anything I can I do to save it?

—Worried Wine Lover, Warrensburg, Mo.

Dear Worried Wine Lover … if that’s your real name,

It doesn’t matter if the cork was pulled by accident or on purpose, once that seal is broken, your wine is exposed to oxygen. That accelerates the processes of oxidation and evaporation, which is what will cause your wine to fade.

How quickly that happens depends on how much surface area the wine has—the more, the faster. Because surface area matters, if there’s a smaller container you can transfer the wine into that you can seal tight, do that. I know some folks who also store their wine in the freezer, which should be safe as long as you leave enough room for the inevitable expansion. If you’re not in the mood for that, sticking an open bottle in a refrigerator—even a red one—will slow down its fading.

Younger wines should remain more robust than older wines, and your own tolerance will come into play. I usually notice wines becoming unpleasant after a day or so, but I know some people can nurse a bottle for a week or more.

—Dr. Vinny

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