Wine experts will tell you that, within a few hours of opening a bottle, the vino begins to go bad due to exposure to oxygen. We’re going to trust this claim, as the SNEWS team cannot recall an instance that we allowed a bottle to go unconsumed for more than, like, half an hour. We really like wine.
Nevertheless, Cascade Designs has introduced the PlatyPreserve, a flexible plastic container that allows you to store leftover wine for days or even weeks. You simply pour in your vintage of choice, squeeze out the air, and then tighten the screw cap to form an airtight environment.
The BPA-free container holds about 27 ounces of liquid, enough to contain a whole standard-sized bottle of wine. The PlatyPreserve is made of opaque plastic that blocks out light to help preserve the wine, but also allows you to see how much liquid is inside. Printed on one side are instructions for using the container, as well as lines to indicate the 25-ounce mark (a full bottle) and 13 ounces (a half bottle). There are also white boxes printed on the exterior where you can write in marker the date of storage and details about the wine’s vintage and year.
Of course, a major selling point of the PlatyPreserve is its ability to keep wine in good condition over a long period of time. And this is where we really had a tough time during the testing. On several occasions we filled PlatyPreserve containers with the intention of leaving it alone for a couple of weeks, but failed repeatedly to allow it to sit for more than a few days without imbibing. We intended to run this review months ago.
Finally, we managed to control ourselves and left a full container sitting on a kitchen cabinet for two full weeks. The result was a perfectly fine tasting glass of wine, so we can say with confidence the thing really works. While Cascade Designs recommends that you store the wine at a temperature between 50 F and 52 F, we left it at a comfortable room temperature, and that was OK for our testing period.
The manufacturer says you shouldn’t use soap to clean the container, so we followed that suggestion and found that the interior, which has a nylon/polyethylene film, did retain a slight wine fragrance. Over the course of several weeks, we filled the container with several types of wine, cleaning it between each use, and we did not detect that the taste of the wine was altered negatively. We suspect that you would notice a difference if you used the same container and rapidly compared one wine after another, but that’s not a likely scenario.
One thing we liked most about the PlatyPreserve is that it’s very durable, and we carried full containers in backpacks for backcountry trips and suffered no leaks or punctures. The bottle cap locks down and does not come unscrewed unless you apply slight force. And, when we emptied a container we could fold it up and pack it away without taking up space in our packs. What’s really helpful is that this designated wine container relieves you of having to put wine in a bladder normally reserved for water.
Some testers appreciated that the PlatyPreserve was the perfect solution for bringing wine to certain parks and concert venues where no glass is allowed.
As far as the overall design, the container functions well in the field. One nice detail is that the cap is offset to one corner, so we only had to tilt the container slightly to pour the wine, which reduces spills. Plus, the bottom of the container is bellowed, so that it will stand up on a flat surface when it contains wine.
One drawback is that you may need to practice the method of removing air from the bag. The instructions merely say to place the cap on loosely, squeeze out all the air, and then tighten the cap. Well, easier said than done. On our first attempts we accidentally forced liquid to the top of the bottle and spilled some wine, so we had to fidget with it to get the right result. This is even more difficult if you’ve already consumed quite a bit of wine, so try it sober first.
Despite that one difficulty, the PlatyPreserve gets two thumbs up because it not only serves as an effective, lightweight container for the backcountry, but it’s also great to have around the house should you need to store leftovers. You know what they say: A wine is a terrible thing to waste.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $12.95
For more information:www.cascadedesigns.com