When it comes to enjoying a glass of wine, there is nothing quite like the aroma and flavor of an open bottle. But what happens when you don’t finish the entire bottle? Does it last forever, or do you need to drink it quickly?
The answer is that the shelf life of wine can vary depending on the type and how it has been stored, but in general, most wines can stay good for 3–5 days after opening.
So, if you are not planning to finish a bottle of wine in one evening, here’s what you need to know about how long an open bottle of wine can last.
- What Affects the Shelf Life of Wine?
- How Long Does an Open Bottle of Wine Last?
- How to Maximize the Life of an Open Bottle of Wine?
What Affects the Shelf Life of Wine?
There are several factors that impact how long a bottle of wine can stay good after it is opened.
The first factor is the type and quality of the wine. Wines with higher levels of tannin, such as red wines, tend to last longer than whites because they contain natural preservatives.
Temperature is another major factor that affects the shelf life of an open bottle of wine. Wine should always be stored at a cool, consistent temperature, as extreme fluctuations in temperature can cause it to spoil more quickly.
Lastly, oxygen exposure plays an important role in how long a bottle of wine will stay good after opening. If you pour too much wine into a glass at once, it will spoil more quickly because there is more oxygen in contact with it.
How Long Does an Open Bottle of Wine Last?
Table wines, like reds and whites, typically remain fresh for three to five days after opening. On the other hand, fortified wines such as Port or Sherry will typically last a few weeks or even months when opened. To keep wine fresher for longer, it is important to store it correctly. See below for a full breakdown of how long each type of wine will stay fresh after being opened.
Sparkling wines such as Champagne and Prosecco can last 1-3 days in the fridge after being opened; however, they are best enjoyed within 24 hours. Traditional-method sparkling wines like Cava, Champagne, and Franciacorta will last slightly longer than tank-method sparklers like Prosecco, Moscato, and Lambrusco.
Use a special sparkling wine stopper when storing an opened bottle for optimal flavor and taste.
After opening, Red wine can be stored best in a cool, dark place for 3–5 days with a cork. In general, the more tannin and acidity present in the red wine, the longer it will last after being opened. Therefore, lighter reds with low levels of tannins, such as Pinot Noir, won’t last as long when opened compared to heavier red, such as Petite Sirah.
In fact, some wines may even improve in flavor after being opened for one day. To ensure the best tasting experience, store open bottles of red wine in a chiller or other dark, cool place – if you do not have a chiller, your refrigerator is still better than leaving the wine in a room where the temperature is 70°F (21°C).
Full-Bodied White Wine
Full-bodied white wines such as Chardonnay or Viognier can remain fresh for up to 3-5 days if stored in the refrigerator after opening. On the other hand, lighter white wines with lower levels of acidity are best enjoyed within 24 hours of being opened.
If you want your wine to last longer, a vacuum wine stopper is a great investment as it ensures an airtight seal to keep the wine fresh.
Light White Wine, Sweet Wine, and Rosé Wine
These types of wine can last a bit longer than reds, usually between 5-7 days. They are still best stored in a cool place, such as a refrigerator or wine chiller, to ensure the best flavor and prevent oxidation.
More acidic whites, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, will last longer when stored in a cool place with a cork than less acidic wines like Chardonnay.
Although these types of wine can be stored for up to a week, the fruit taste can dwindle after 1 day as it begins to oxidize.
Fortified wines can last longer after opening if kept in the refrigerator. For the best results, store all fortified wines in a cool, dark place with a cork for up to 28 days.
Fortified wines such as Port, Sherry, and Marsala are made to last due to the addition of brandy during production. However, these wines can rapidly lose their flavor if exposed to light or heat, except Madeira and Marsala are able to last infinitely when open because they are already oxidized and cooked.
Bag-in-box wine, with its hermetically sealed bag and tap system, can last up to four weeks if refrigerated. Keep in mind that these wines’ flavors will begin to deteriorate after two weeks due to oxidation.
It is important to store opened bag-in-box wine upright in a cool place away from direct sunlight and ensure that the tap is sealed properly after each use. This will help to keep the wine fresh for longer and ensure it does not spoil due to oxidation or bacteria growth.
How to Maximize the Life of an Open Bottle of Wine?
No matter which type of wine you choose, here are some tips for maximizing the life of an opened bottle of wine:
1. Store opened bottles of wine in a cool place away from direct sunlight (ideally between 45°F-55°F/ 7°C-13°C).
2. Use a vacuum wine stopper or cork to ensure an airtight seal.
3. Store the bottle upright if possible, as this helps slow oxidation and preserve flavor.
4. If you can’t refrigerate your open bottle of wine, store it in a cool corner away from any heat sources (e.g., radiators).
5. If possible, transfer your wine to a smaller container like a 500ml carafe after opening, as this will reduce the amount of oxygen in contact with the wine and slow down oxidation.
By understanding how long an open bottle of wine can last and following the above tips, you can make sure to enjoy your favorite wine for days or even weeks after it has been opened.
Does Old Opened Wine Lose Alcohol?
Yes, over time, opened bottles of wine will slowly lose their alcohol content. This happens because the oxidation process causes some of the alcohol to evaporate.
Can I Drink Red Wine 7 Days After Opening?
Yes, most red wines will remain fresh for up to 7 days after opening if stored in a cool place.
Can I Drink Opened Wine After 2 Weeks?
It depends on the type of wine. Lighter wines with lower levels of acidity, such as rosé or white wines, are best enjoyed within 2 weeks after opening. Red wines can remain fresh for up to a week or two, while fortified wines like Port and Sherry can last up to 28 days when stored in a cool place.
Is It Safe to Drink Wine That Has Been Open For Several Weeks?
Drinking any type of wine that has been open for more than a few weeks is not recommended. The flavor and aroma will have changed significantly due to oxidation, making the wine unpalatable. If stored properly in a cool place with an airtight seal, opened bottles of wine should remain fresh and safe to drink for up to a few weeks.
Does Open Wine Go Bad In the Fridge?
Yes, of course. Open wine may go bad if left in the refrigerator for too long. Generally speaking, lighter wines with lower levels of acidity, such as rosé and white wines should be consumed within 2 weeks after opening to maintain optimal flavor and aroma. Red wines can last up to 7 days, and fortified wines like Port or Sherry can remain fresh for up to 28 days when stored in a cool place.
It is important to note that the flavor and aroma of any open bottle of wine will begin to deteriorate after a few weeks, so it is best to finish the bottle as soon as possible for optimal enjoyment.
How Can You Tell If Wine is Bad?
The best way to tell if a wine has gone bad is by smelling and tasting it. If the flavor is off or there are unpleasant aromas like vinegar, the wine has likely gone bad.
Additionally, if you notice any sediment in your glass when pouring the wine, this is an indication that the wine has oxidized and may not be safe to consume. It is always best to discard any wine you are unsure about, as it can be unsafe for consumption.
By understanding how long an open bottle of wine can last and following the proper storage techniques, you can make sure to enjoy your favorite wines for days or even weeks after they have been opened. Be sure to check for any signs of spoilage before consuming and never hesitate to discard a wine that has gone bad.