How Long Does Wine Last after It’s Been Opened?
Imagine that you just had the longest day at work. All you want to do is go home, take off your shoes, and spend the evening watching another episode of your favorite show, with a glass of wine in hand helping you relax.
However, you remembered that the wine has been sitting in your fridge for a while now since you didn’t have time to finish it before. Now, the big question is – is it still good to be consumed, or do you need to stop by the shop on your way back to buy a new bottle?
The truth is that a lot depends on the type of wine. So, if you want to find out how long that bottle of wine you bought from Acker Wines or Fine Wine and Good Spirits will last you for, or whether it’s time to throw it away, all you have to do is keep reading.
Why does wine go bad?
Generally speaking, there are two ways in which wine can go bad.
The first one is when the alcohol in it is consumed by the acetic acid bacteria and metabolized into acetic acid and acetaldehyde, resulting in a sharp smell, similar to vinegar. The second way is when the alcohol oxidizes – this causes a nutty, bruised fruit taste.
Since both of them are chemical reactions, the temperature in which you store the wine will impact how much time it will take for it to happen.
How long does wine last opened?
Here is how long can an open bottle of wine last, depending on its type:
Usually, sparkling wines will last anywhere between one and three days when stored in the fridge.
Wines such as Cava or Champagne (traditional method wines) most likely are going to last longer than, for example, Prosecco (tank method wine), as they have more atmospheres of pressure in them, simply known as the bubbles.
Rose and Light White Wine
When it comes to light white and rose wines, they are usually drinkable up to a week after being opened (as long as they are stored in the fridge).
However, keep in mind that the taste is most likely going to change due to wine oxidation – the fruity character of the wine will become less detectable.
Full-Bodied White Wine
Since full-bodied white wines, such as oaked Chardonnay or Viognier, had more contact with the oxygen during their pre-bottling aging process, they tend to oxidize faster, which is why you should always remember to keep them in the fridge, corked.
They usually last somewhere between three and five days. If you drink quite a lot of this wine, you should seriously consider investing in vacuum caps.
When it comes to red wines, a lot depends on how much tannin or acidity it includes – those with lower levels of tannin will not last as long as those with high levels. What’s more, you might notice that some wines’ taste will improve the day after opening.
Once you open it, make sure to store it in a chiller or a dark, cool place. The average time during which you can consume red wine is between three and five days.
Fortified wines have very long shelf lives due to the addition of brandy. Even though they would look amazing displayed somewhere on the shelf, left for everyone to admire, you have to keep in mind that they can lose their flavor because of the exposure to light and heat.
If you are wondering how long they will last after being opened, there’s no right answer – a lot depends on how sweet the wine is. The sweeter the dessert wine, the longer it will last once opened – just remember to keep them in the fridge, and you might be able to enjoy your wine even 28 days after opening.
The Bottom Line
There’s nothing better than coming home after a very long day at the office or university and being able to relax with a glass of wine in hand – be it in a bathtub or in front of the TV.
However, when it comes to wine, you have to be careful, as it is one of those products that tend to expire quickly. If you have ever wondered how long an open bottle of wine lasts, now you know the answer, which is that there’s no specific one.
Everything depends on the type of wine you have, as individual wines behave differently – for example, dry white wine will remain drinkable longer than sweet white wine.
The important thing is to keep track of whether it’s time to finally throw the bottle away or if it’s still good – if you don’t, you might be in for a not so pleasant surprise.