Best Wine Stopper of 2021
Thanks to its low profile look and metal finish, the OXO Good Grips stopper appeals even to our most discerning of testers. The sturdy wedge mechanism easily increases pressure on the seal with one single motion by expanding the silicon plug, creating a good seal with little effort. The stainless top looks at home and slick in most kitchens or dining areas. Without adding any extra pumps or multi-piece clutter, it seals the bottle well and is easy to clean. Removal is also quite easy, without any twisting or severe tugging necessary. These handy little stoppers do their job without drawing any attention to themselves. They are simple, convenient, and nothing more than is necessary, making it simple for you to moderate and save some wine for another evening.
The OXO Good Grips can handle side storage in the fridge, but we'd hesitate to depend on it for stopping spills if you're carrying it around in a backpack. Without a vacuum mechanism, the wine is subject to some oxidation from whatever O2 is left in the bottle when you opened it. You can extend this stopper's life easily by rinsing and storing it in the expanded configuration. Grab the OXO Good Grips as a classy gift or keep it in the drawer handy for your next wine tasting night with friends. It's a simple and well-priced solution for short-term wine preservation, which we appreciate.
Le Creuset brings us an elegant choice for keeping your bubbly fresh over time. Our testing finds that this stopper kept our sparkling wines suitably bubbly for up to four days after opening. At five days, the wines had clearly lost carbonation, becoming flat and undrinkable at six. This levered stopper for sparkling wines grabs the collar of the bottle and plunges a secure seal over the edge of the bottle. We are surprised and delighted to report that the lever requires very little effort to create a good seal. The price point is a little high, but the build and design of this stopper are unmatched. The finish is a unique metal look that stands out and shines.
The price may be a little high for some, but if you spend the money on a nice celebratory bottle, you should plan ahead and make sure it's fully enjoyed. Simple and effective, the Le Creuset is best for the true sparkling wine enthusiast.
Rabbit stoppers have a simple, classic style and the stainless center adds a splash of polish. These are about as close to a reusable rubber cork as you can get. Simply shove one of these beveled stoppers into your opened bottle of Beaujolais, and drink again another day. When we really mash them in there, these stoppers create a great seal, even for side storage.
While fairly versatile, these aren't ideal for fizzy drinks or sparkling wines. The stopper holds pressure well, but other choices with mechanical or vacuum seal would be preferred for side storage or tenuous travel. It also requires quite a bit of pressure to create a good seal, and then considerable tugging to break the seal. Folks with arthritis or any dexterity issues will want to look elsewhere. Basic yet functional, this multi-pack of stoppers is very inexpensive per item while satisfying most needs.
Vacuum activated mechanical devices get mixed reviews, but we really liked the secure feel of the EZ Basics. It excels with an ergonomic pump-action and clean metal finish aesthetic. Vacuum sealers boost confidence with side storage, and this model doesn't disappoint. Unsure which day you opened that bottle? Set the date dial and know how many days out that vino was uncorked.
You can follow suggestions on how many times to pump, but it feels a little unscientific getting it right. Other models have a telltale click or similar to signal correct pressure. With this model, we ended up judging by feel, which seemed to work out just fine. The finish, secure seal, and general quality all feel quite high on this vacuum sealer stopper set. This model is ideal for those looking to grab the ultimate for side storage security.
Wine vessels might not be the only bottles you want to seal and save for another day, and the Virtix takes versatility in a new direction with a cap-like design. It sits snug on the outside of the bottle, allowing it to fit almost any wine bottle, beer, soda, or even olive oil. The clean design allows for a simple, no-fuss rinse.
The material stretches a bit more than others, potentially allowing it to wear out if consistently used on larger bottles. Overall it held up somewhat well during testing, but we aren't confident in long-term results. This model doesn't provide a perfect seal, so bottles may leak if stored on their sides, as we saw during our test period. It's best to keep bottles using these caps upright. Buy a couple of packs of the Virtix to have on hand for lost screw tops on almost any bottle.
For those looking for a secure vacuum seal, the Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump can deliver. After approximately 20 pumps, the stopper created a seal so tight that we could pick up the bottle by the stopper without it popping out. A seal doesn't get much better than that. The seal is easily broken by pushing a silicon tab at the top of the stopper to release the vacuum and remove the stopper.
Elegance isn't exactly what comes to mind when we look at these stoppers. They're a basic grey color that favors function over aesthetics. The tab that releases the vacuum makes it easier to remove the stopper, but also makes us nervous about storing a bottle in a backpack with only the Vacu Vin stopper to secure the wine. Twenty pumps for the vacuum to set in could be strenuous for folks with dexterity issues and just feels like a lot of work to some testers. We do not recommend using these stoppers without employing the vacuum pump. If you're willing to vacuum seal your wines, we suspect you're willing to put in a little work to keep your open bottles in tip-top shape for multiple nights of subtle flavors, and this vacuum-sealed stopper will do the trick.
Reach for the Winco champagne stopper when you've frequently got lots of bottles to save. A clean metal finish stands out, and the approachable price makes it easy to save multiple bottles at a time after a tasting.
The wings elegantly raise then clamp around the lip of a champagne bottle. However, they are susceptible to catching on objects unintentionally while in transit. We found this out the hard way during testing, as it opened on accident and spilled some wine. Under normal use, this mechanism is solid and secure, just don't count on it if you're carrying your wine in a backpack.
One choice for those asking a wine stopper to do it all is the Haley's Corker. The manufacturer lists it as BPA-free. As you pour through the filter, you also get aeration before using it as a stopper. The multiple functions make this wine stopper an easy choice.
Multiple points to seal from the bottle and pour spout provide an extra leak point and added wear possibilities. Sometimes products that attempt too much fall short on some functions. During testing, we found that this stopper didn't aerate as well as a dedicated aerator, it allows small pieces of cork to pass through, and it doesn't provide the most secure seal. Still, it's a jack-of-all-trades option for wine bottles, from pour to store.
The MiTBA sparkling wine stopper twists the common design with an added pump for security. We found this extra security to be nice, especially for bottles less than half-full. It fit on every bottle of sparkling wine we tried with it.
The date dial to select when you set the bottle in storage is unnecessary. All tests indicated that after a few days, the carbonation is effectively gone, rendering a date-keeper pretty useless. Sparkling beverages across the board should be used within a day or two. However, if your fridge has three to four open bottles of champagne on a regular basis, the date dial could come in handy.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our lead tester, Evan Johnson, shared and sought feedback from friends and experts alike. He is continually searching for wines that pair well with interesting new flavors. He spends extra time cooking deliberately and enjoying the process (most importantly, with a glass of wine). Evan's experience bartending and working in wine marketplaces add to his experience in this area. Geeking out on all sorts of gear, he's keen to help people find the perfect tools and gadgets for their oenophilia.
Our testing process begins with market research on top styles recommended by wine experts and enthusiasts. After narrowing down the available options, we purchase every model we decide to test hands-on. We evaluate these stoppers using three metrics; Seal Design, Freshness, and Aesthetics. Seal Design offers some straightforward comparisons, as we compared the tightness and security of each stopper side by side. We also took bottles on light hikes, bike rides, and knocked bottles over sinks to see what would spill. Freshness is subject to the discerning palettes of our testers, who don't always agree. We tested identical bottles of wine with different stoppers, with testers tasting each wine over the course of 2 weeks as the wines slowly oxidized. Aesthetics is subject to personal opinion, but our opinionated testing crew does not hesitate to weigh in, and our photo documentation will give you a solid impression as to whether or not these stoppers will work in your kitchen.
Analysis and Test Results
After testing for weeks, we compared notes and came up with our final evaluations for each product. Below, we discuss each test metric and detail which models stood out as top performers in each area.
Of course, we all want our wine at the pinnacle of its perfect bouquet; whether that's decanted or still bubbly, a stopper can extend this state for a bit. Oxidation, while actually a key process in achieving the flavors in many wines, is the enemy of the open wine bottle over time. A wine's flavor begins to change as soon as you've opened it. A more dramatic (tasteable) process also begins immediately upon opening a bottle. Bacteria loves wine as much as the rest of us, and its metabolic process turns wine into acetic acid, giving it that vinegar taste that makes you want to spit it out.
Most connoisseurs recommend finishing a bottle the night you've opened it. According to this line of thought, the wine should be avoided completely after 2 or 3 days. However, this doesn't align with how many people drink their bottle of vino. Several of our testers consider a week-old open bottle to be more than fair game, and we suspect many of you feel the same, making a wine stopper all the more important. We tasted bottles over the course of a week, comparing their flavor to a control bottle that was left uncorked and open. Much debate ensued, and some testers had trouble detecting any degradation in the wine flavors for the first few days. What we agreed on is that while it's challenging for us to discern flavor changes between day 2 or day 3, we all noticed changes at about the fourth day for the bottles with stoppers, while an uncorked bottle starts to taste pretty funky on day 2.
The OXO Good Grips stopper is a tester favorite, featuring a small plunger that expands the silicone plug to create an airtight seal with little effort. The Rabbit stoppers are also quite effective but require a bit more effort to create a seal, as they function like a beveled rubber cork.
For champagne-style stoppers, it was a clear, crisp pop we looked for to determine if the seal held, then checked in on taste and aromas. Le Creuset provides an excellent, easy-to-achieve seal, keeping our champagne bubbly for up to four days. In real-life terms, this means the bottle you popped for last night's celebration can be good to go for mimosas today, tomorrow morning, and beyond.
Vacuum sealers like the Vacu Vin claim extra freshness, and the Vacu Vin provides a satisfying click to let you know a proper vacuum seal has been established. Our blind taste tests didn't show extra flavor savings from the vacuum sealers compared to the other stoppers, but if the thinking is that removing as much O2 from the bottles as possible to limit oxidation, they are successful at creating a vacuum.
We tested the seal in transport and timed tests investigating side storage. Looking for leakage, we found very little, even with our least favorite stoppers.
The Vin Vacu creates a strong vacuum seal that's more than adequate for side storage., However, the small tab that allows you to easily break the seal could become jostled in a backpack, leading to potential spills. Without the vacuum pump, these stoppers do not create a strong seal, so if you lose or damage the vacuum component, you're out of luck.
We find that models like the Rabbit are simple but effective if you push them hard into the bottle as you would a cork. The strong lever and quality materials of the Le Creuset give it longevity and give us confidence that it can survive a short journey (best to keep upright) in a backpack.
An eye-catching stopper can help you remember to finish that tasty liquid saved. Models like the OXO Good Grips have a polished stainless appeal to match modern decor. We also like how the stopper sits low, nearly flush, allowing for easier storage and minimal flair.
The Vacu Vin stopper is made almost entirely of silicon and has a dull gray color. While it's not distracting, it isn't our favorite when it comes to style. The Le Creuset Champagne sealer has a clean, all-metal appearance and puts out a pretty sophisticated vibe. The Rabbit Stoppers come in a pack of four, with four different dark, low-key colors. Whatever you choose, you likely to tip off your guests that you care about your wine. All of the stoppers we tested look way better than a reused cork, and they won't ruin your wine with the unavoidable chunks that fall off the cork as it breaks down.
A compelling wine stopper can enable you to enjoy an excellent bottle without feeling the need to down it all in one night. While there are snobs out there who'll say otherwise, we think a wine stopper is a great gift for nearly any wine enthusiast. They encourage moderation and protect fine wines from chunks of disintegrating cork while staving off the oxidation process. Once you've read through our guide, we hope you can quickly select the best stopper for you. Then you can open an extra bottle, knowing you can always save some for the future.
— Evan Johnson