Opening a new bottle of wine and enjoying a glass or two with dinner is a great way to relax and unwind or to complement the meal ahead of you. But what do you do when you haven’t finished the bottle?
Chances are, you’ve re-corked it and placed it back in the fridge for a bit until you want another glass. But the next thing to consider is how long does wine last? Does wine go bad even when refrigerated?
We’re here to answer all your wine questions and some tips for how to store it to extend its life even once opened.
An unopened bottle of wine can be stored for decades and only get better with age, but once opened, things change. An open bottle of wine is being exposed to oxygen, heat, light, and bacteria, which can all affect the quality of the drink. A good rule of thumb is that an open bottle of wine can last a maximum of five days in the fridge. After this time, it may not be spoiled, but it will definitely not taste as fresh.
Of course, how long wine lasts also depends on the type:
White wine can last anywhere from 3-5 days when stored properly. Make sure to recork it as tightly as possible and keep it chilled.
Generally, red wine has a similar life span once opened. However, depending on the type, you might want to leave it at room temperature in a controlled wine cooler as opposed to in your fridge.
A sparkling wine can also last anywhere from 3-5 days when re-corked and refrigerated, but it will definitely lose some of its bubbles. If you don’t enjoy drinking flat sparkling wine, it’s best to finish the bottle when it’s freshly opened.
There’s also a big difference in how long wine can last depending on if it’s fortified or not. Natural wines can go bad in about a day’s time if not stored properly (but even then, they are not made to last once opened).
Fortified wine, on the other hand, can last for several weeks once opened!
So, does wine expire or go bad? The answer is yes!
Some ways to tell if your wine (opened or unopened) has gone bad, include:
Color: Changes in color can mean your wine is past its prime and has been exposed to too much oxygen.
Smell: Wine should not smell nutty, burnt, or like garlic or cabbage. These could all be signs it has gone bad.
Taste: If you’re still unsure, try a little bit. If your wine tastes sharp, sour, or like burnt applesauce, it’s time to toss it.
If you want your opened bottle of wine to last longer between pours, one of the best things you can do is invest in a tight bottle stopper. Keeping oxygen out of an opened bottle helps to keep it fresh longer.
Products like the Repour wine saver are amazing at removing all the oxygen from an opened bottle of wine while creating a tight seal to keep it fresh longer. And it’s simple to use - just like putting a stopper in the bottle!
Now that you know the best way to store opened wine, it’s time to get a bottle or two to enjoy! If you live in the Boston area, Vino Di Vino can deliver wine (and more!) right to your door.