The development of wine preservation over the past 15 years has leaned heavily toward argon as the preferred method for keeping open bottles of wine tasting fresh. This is evident with recent experiences and product development success of preservation methods like Coravin, Napa Technologies, and several brands of cans containing 100% argon (including Silvadore Wine Preserver).
Argon has been used for many years by winemakers as a preservative for wines in storage, and is the preservation technology behind most larger institutional sized preservation systems.
The Science Behind Argon Wine Preservers
The science supports argon based preservation methods. How? Because using Argon to preserve wine is effective based on a combination of chemistry and physics.
Chemistry - Argon is an inert gas. Because it is inert, it does not and actually can not interact with the wine. It is colorless, tasteless, odorless, and harmless. Argon is in the air we breathe. Remember your high school chemistry class? (sorry to bring it up). If you recall the elemental table - that funny looking this that lists all the elements, including their specific weights - you can find both oxygen and argon. Look at Argon's atomic number/weight (18/39.95), and you'll see it's heavier than Oxygen (8/15.99). So what, you say? Well, since Argon is heavier than air, when you spray argon into the neck of the open bottles of wine, the Argon sinks inside the bottle and forms a protective layer on top of the wine. Think of a cool mist layer sitting on top of your favorite lake. Serene, pretty, and relaxing... This is what the argon is doing.
Physics - Heavier gas will displace the lighter gas, therefore the argon displaces the oxygen on top of the wine by creating a barrier between the wine and oxygen. As we noted in our “Why Do Open Bottles of Wine Go Bad” blog, oxygen is what causes the wine flavor to change (steadily deteriorating the wine). Oxygen is constantly “working” on the wine (i.e. like an apple starts turning brown after you cut it), and it becomes noticeable when you taste the difference. Some people notice the flavor change sooner rather than later, and some wines are very sensitive and change quickly while others take a little longer for oxidation to occur and be noticed. You can't take the risk in your restaurant of pouring a bad tasting glass of wine from a day or two old bottle, let alone 3, 4, or 5 days later.
3 Different Types of Wine Preservers that Use 100% Argon
There are three different types of highly effective wine preservers that use argon to create a barrier between the air and the surface of the wine, preventing the wine from oxidizing. The 3 types of preservers include:
Large Wine Preservation Systems. Self contained cabinets and/or piped enclosures that completely isolate the gas inside the bottle of wine from the ambient atmosphere. These wine preservation systems can be very effective, but they are also typically very expensive. Smaller units are usually around $3,000 or more, with costs to preserve an open bottle of wine reaching as high as $7 (when factoring in expense of the cabinet). Typical brand names include Napa Technologies and Enomatic.
Wine Preservation Devices. A device that sits on top of the bottle, or is inserted into the bottle. If they use 100% Argon and not a less expensive mix of gases (be sure to check), these can be very effective preservation tools. Although not nearly as expensive as a cabinet system, these devices still cost $300+ and require consumable cartridges of around $10 per cartridge. The cost to save an open bottle of wine is typically over $1 per bottle. Typical brands in this category include the popular Coravin, as well as others like Plum and Pek.
Canister Wine Preservers. These wine preservers deliver 100% argon directly into the open bottle of wine. The (typically) aluminum cans are recyclable and very low cost. Canister based wine preservers don't require any expensive or installed equipment, don't rely on an awkward bottle top device, and make preserving multiple bottles of wine behind the bar easy, economical, and perfect for a fast paced operating environment. Typical brands include ArT, VineyardFresh, and our own Silvadore Wine Preserver. With canisters, the cost to save a bottle of wine is under $0.30. A no brainer.
In all the three methods above, the basis for valid and reliable wine preservation is the use of 100% Argon.
We recommend to all our prospective business customers: use a 100% Argon method to preserve your wines. Whether you chose to use a system like Napa Tech, or a device like Coravin, or a simple and cost effective canister like Silvadore - just be sure you're using 100% Argon to keep your wines fresh and make your customer's wine experience better.
Try the 100% Argon based Silvadore Wine Preserver Today
Try using a 100% Argon wine preserver like Silvadore to make your guests' wine experience better and your wine revenue increase! Expand your wine-by-the-glass offering without risking wine waste, and see how you can increase your average price per glass served AND increase the number of glasses served.
All without committing to a large capital investment, and with a method that delivers 100% argon easily, quickly, and efficiently. Your wait staff and bartenders will appreciate the ease of use and increased tip income from selling more and better quality wine!
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