How Long Does a Bottle of Wine Last After Opening?
Most wines only remain fresh after opening for a maximum of three to five days. Of course, the sort of wine will have a big impact on this, as the way it lasts varies depending on the style involved! Read on to learn more about this.
Light White, Sweet White and Rosé Wine
5-7 days with a cork in the fridge
When kept in your refrigerator, most light white and rosé wines will stay palatable for up to a week. After the first day, you’ll notice a subtle shift in flavour as the wine oxidizes. Often, the wine’s overall fruit quality will wane and become less vibrant.
Full-Bodied White Wine
3–5 days with a cork in the fridge
White wines with more body, such as oaked Chardonnay and Viognier, deteriorate more quickly because they were exposed to more oxygen during the maturing process before bottling. Make sure they are always refrigerated and corked. Buying vacuum caps is a pretty wise move if you consume a lot of this type of wine.
3–5 days in a cool dark place with a cork
Red wine tends to age better after opening the more tannin and acidity it has. Therefore, a light red wine like Pinot Noir that has less tannin won’t keep its bottle open as long as a deep red wine like Syrah. After the first day of opening, certain wines may even get better. After opening, keep red wines in a refrigerator or another cool, dark location. If you don’t have a chiller, storing the wine in your refrigerator is preferable to leaving it out in a 70°F (21°C) room.
28 days in a cool dark place with a cork
Because brandy is added, fortified wines like Port, Sherry, and Marsala have unusually extended shelf life. These wines do display beautifully when placed on a high shelf, but exposure to light and heat will cause them to lose their fresh qualities more rapidly. Madeira and Marsala are the two wines that will remain fresh eternally after opening since they have already been cooked and oxidized. Just so you know, dessert wine will stay open longer the sweeter it is. Here, the same temperature-based guidelines apply: it’s better to keep them refrigerated.
Why wine goes bad
After being opened, wine can deteriorate in two main ways. The first method involves the fermentation of wine’s alcohol by acetic acid bacteria, which produces acetic acid and acetaldehyde. This causes the wine to have a harsh, vinegar-like fragrance. Additionally, alcohol has the potential to oxidize, giving off a nutty, bruised fruit flavour that depletes the wine of its fruity, fresh flavours. Both of these are chemical processes, thus the colder you keep the wine, the more gradually this will occur.
4 Ways to Keep Wine Fresh
- Seal the bottle. Use the original cork, screw cap, rubber bottle stopper, or sparkling wine stopper to close an open bottle of wine to halt the oxidation process. You may even get a fancy wine vacuum pump device that allows you to remove air from an open bottle to create a seal that is almost impermeable. If you don’t have a stopper and lose your cork (or it won’t fit back in the bottle), some plastic wrap secured with a rubber band will do the trick.
- Keep your wine at a controlled temperature. You can just store white wines that have been opened in your refrigerator. Although the recommended temperature for red wine storage varies slightly from wine to wine, it is generally considered to be around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. You should keep opened red wine in a wine refrigerator or chiller because this is normally cooler than room temperature.
- Keep wine away from light. Wine’s flavors and smells can be harmed by UV rays from direct sunlight, therefore you should always keep any leftover wine in a dark location.
- Pour the liquid into a smaller bottle or decanter. Decant any remaining wine into a smaller bottle and seal it to further extend the shelf life of your opened wine. As there is less room for oxygen in a smaller bottle, oxidation is reduced.
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