AROUND HOME : Notes on a Wine Saver, and Garden and Animal Events : Saving Good Wine

THE SECRET TO eating alone, M.F.K. Fisher once wrote, is learning to treat yourself as if you were a guest. It's probably the best advice any solitary eater could possibly have, but it does have its drawbacks. What do you do about the wine?

A guest, after all, deserves a glass of wine with dinner. As the host, however, you would probably be reluctant to waste an entire bottle by opening it to pour a single glass. As the guest, on the other hand, you probably do not want to be so polite about drinking up that you leave the table tipsy. And as both host and guest, you probably hate the thought of only drinking water.

You could, of course, buy your wine in tenths. But small bottles of wine are hard to find, and they're expensive. Besides, now there's a better solution.

New on the market is Wine Life, an inert gas (carbon dioxide) that comes in an aerosol dispenser. You simply spray some Wine Life into the open bottle of wine, put the cork back on the bottle and save it for the next time you're in the mood for a glass of wine. The carbon dioxide replaces the oxygen and keeps the wine from becoming oxidized. The stuff really works--and, at about $4 a can, it's easy to see why lots of restaurants are already using it.

Wine Life is available at Flask Liquor in Studio City; Hi-Time Winesellers in Costa Mesa, and Rolf's in Newport Beach. Wine Life's distribution is still fairly limited, but it can be ordered by your local liquor store from Wine Warehouse in Los Angeles.

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