If I told you I’d been using a Zzysh Argon Preserver, you might assume I’d been to a Star Trek convention, or a retro-futuristic cryogenics lab. But no: the Zzysh is a rather simple but ingenious gadget for preserving wine. It’s also guaranteed to come last in your alphabetised Christmas wish-list.
I tested the one for still wine, although if you want to keep your bubbles fresh (no more spoons in the bottleneck for you) you’ll have to buy the separate “Champagne” version. Presumably it works with other sparkling wines too, for those of us who enjoy that sort of thing.
Ok, But How Does It Work?
I hear you. It’s really very simple. The Zzysh replaces the air in a wine bottle with a protective atmosphere of inert, food-grade argon gas, preventing oxidisation. With the sparkling version, a mixture of argon and carbon dioxide is used.
But how does it differ from a regular vacuum pump? Well, rather than just reducing the amount of oxygen in the bottle, the argon eliminates it completely, meaning that, in theory, your wine will last for weeks once opened, rather than days.
The third most abundant gas in the planet’s atmosphere (and atomic number 18 on the periodic table), argon is heavier than air and doesn’t react with wine. To inject the argon, you pop the supplied cap on the top of the open bottle, load a little gas canister into the Zzysh, stick the device into the hole in the top of the cap and press down for a few seconds.
You’ll hear a hissing sound as the argon rushes into the bottleneck, while the seductive aroma of wine-infused oxygen is ejected as a waste product.
The only slight issue is knowing exactly how long to press down for. The instructions say 3-5 seconds, which I guess depends on how much wine/space is left in the bottle. The best way to tell that all the oxygen has been removed seems to be to wait until the wine smell stops emerging. Or until the bottle explodes (only joking. It won’t explode).
Then, just leave the cap on until you’re ready to drink. Which, if you’re anything like me, should be within about eight minutes.
How Well Does It Work Though?
I tested mine with a bottle of Errázuriz Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile (price £10). As you may know, I love Chilean wine, and this one’s rich and well structured, with nicely integrated oak. It easily rivals similar, more expensive wines from Bordeaux. And its complexity made it ideal to test the Zzysh’s preservation skills on.
Oh, I should also say that I ran the wine through an Üllo Wine Purifier first, which aerates it and filters out the sulphites, rendering it extra smooth.
I left it for one week (the Zzysh claims to be able to preserve wine for longer, but I had an emergency bolognese to make). And I’m glad to say that its silky tannins and flavours of cassis, dark chocolate and menthol remained intact. No trace of the thin, vinegary stuff you’re usually left with after this time.
I haven’t tried it on a white yet, but the next time I find myself with some left over that I can’t finish, I’ll put it to the test. Of course, this may take some time… I’ll report back after Christmas.
Zzysh is widely available for £79.90.
See zzysh.me for the full experience.