Wine: By the Glass or the Bottle? {And a Giveaway}


My husband will only order wine by the bottle when we go out for dinner. There is a reason for this. You see, if you order by the glass…

You never know how long that bottle of wine has been open.

By going the bottle route, you know it will be freshly opened. Besides, a bottle of wine will ensure my husband and I get roughly two to three glasses each {depending on the size of the glass and the proper pour}. Furthermore, when I’m paying $8 to $12 for a glass of wine these days, I want it to taste the way it should.

You see, after a bottle of wine is opened, it really only lasts a day or two. And sometimes that’s even pushing it. After a few hours {who takes that long to finish off the bottle?}, a wine starts to deteriorate as it oxidizes. Put the cork back in and you’ve just trapped that oxygen in the bottle.

Enter the Wine Saver Pump.

Wine Saver Pump

While this is one of my favorite and most popular accessories at my Wine Tastings, many restaurants use them, too.

How does it work?

To preserve your wine, just put the rubber stopper in the bottle, place the saver on top and extract the air out of the bottle by pumping several times. This is why it’s also known as a Vacuum Wine Saver. You know that it’s sealed when it becomes increasingly more difficult to pump. Not so sure? Test it a couple of times. Pump several times and then squeeze the rubber stopper. If it was sealed properly, you should hear the air rush out… “Wsssshhhhh!”

How long does it last?

By using the wine saver pump, your wine may last up to a week or two depending on the wine. You will also lengthen the life by putting the wine in the fridge. {Yes, you can do this with a red. Just be sure to take it out 20 minutes or so before serving.} The best part about putting the wine in a fridge is that since you’ve vacuumed out the air, you can lay the bottle on its side and it won’t leak! That nearly always happens with a stopper or just reinserting the cork.

Who uses it?

  • Those who want to drink that one glass of wine every day or so to be healthy, but want their wine to taste good every time. Quality over Quantity!
  • Couples – where one likes red and one likes white. There are two stoppers, so each person can have sip a favorite wine all the time!
  • Those hosting a party. Got a few bottles opened at the end of the evening? Chances are you aren’t going to finish them all off the same night or even the next. Keep ’em fresh.
  • But what about those who laugh at me and say, “OH! We never have a problem finishing a bottle!” Well, you know what, I used to say that about my husband and me. If you think that’s you, then think of the time when you got chatty with a friend… and all of a sudden find you are opening up that second or third bottle when you really shouldn’t have… Chances are you won’t be finishing off the remaining bottle… not even the next day. The wine saver will be worth it.

What about restaurants?

We love to see when restaurants are using a vacuum wine saver on the wines that they offer by the glass! You can tell if instead of corks, you see rubber stoppers on the opened bottles. In addition to the rubber stoppers above, you’ll also see ones that look like those pictured below. They work the same way.


Still, how can you be sure that the restaurant staff is using the wine saver properly? Are they just putting them in the bottle like a cork or are they actually pumping the air out of the bottle each night? {It doesn’t make sense to do it after every pour… At the end of the evening is good enough for me!}

Well, you don’t know. And that’s why Rob still sticks to ordering by the bottle. Besides, as I mentioned here, many states allow you to bring your unfinished bottle home with you.


  • We’ll order wine by the glass if it’s a wine bar that focuses on offering flights. And I’m talking about more than just a couple of flights. Many restaurants offer one white and one red nowadays. In this case, wine by the glass or flight is usually “safe” because chances are that they go through these wines faster.
  • If the house wine is a good higher-end box wine, it’ll be fresh. I’m serious here. Boxes have a built-in vacuum system. That’s why you don’t have to drink a whole box {generally four bottles} in one sitting.
  • Some restaurants offer all of their by-the-glass wines on tap, like at Scusi. The wines are hooked up to a system that is supposed to seal each wine after every pour/tap. Genius, if they can get the temperature right. Though, we did see a bartender take a bottle with a reinserted cork in it out of a wine fridge instead of using the one in the system. We never did figure that one out.

But truly, what’s the worst that could happen? You could get a bad glass? Then send it back, right? You’d do that with a bad bottle. For some reason, I feel snobbish sending a glass of wine back and asking them to open a new bottle just for me. Sometimes, I don’t know if it might just be not-so-good-of a wine. While I’d like to think I have a somewhat trained palate, I just don’t want to be that guy. 

While Traveling Vineyard’s Wine Saver Pumps are available for $14.98 online…

I’m giving away a Wine Saver Pump this week!

I’ll announce the winner on next week’s Wine Wednesday post , where I’ll be talking about sending back a bottle.

To enter the drawing for the giveaway, simply submit a comment on:

Whether you prefer to order wine by the glass or the bottle and why


Share an experience where you were served a bad wine in a restaurant.

The drawing will close at 11:59pm Central on Tuesday, January 15th. Good luck!



8 responses »

  1. I worked in restaurants many years throughout my life, and I was shocked that what we charged for a glass of wine is what we could BUY the whole bottle for – such a mark up – that’s why I love BYOB places – worth the corking fee!

    But truthfully, I am a box wine girl – Bota Box and Bandit Pinot Grigio are two of my favs. 😀

    The biggest tip I can give someone when ordering wine at a restaurant – if you want “house” wine be sure to ask for it – if you just ask for merlot, some shady servers will bring you the most expensive glass of merlot that’s available, and you won’t know it until you get your bill!

  2. Truthfully, I never order wine when I go out, for the reasons you have stated above. I like wine but, I won’t order it. Maybe if it were highly recommended by a friend but, not per usual.

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