There is no single rule when it comes to storing wine in the fridge. This means there is no uniform answer to the question, “How long does wine last in the fridge?”
Wines vary in taste and pre-aging process. As such, different kinds of wines have varied rules when it comes to storing them after opening the bottle. For example, a bottle of sparkling wine can only last a few days while a fortified wine can be stored for up to a month. Here are some basic guidelines on storing opened wine bottles depending on their types:
How Long Does Wine Last in the Fridge: Some Basic Rules
Sparkling wines are best consumed right after opening. This is because this kind of wine loses its carbonation easily after opening. As such, one should consume sparkling wine one to three days after opening given it is stored in the refrigerator.
Some sparkling wines, however, can last a little over three days. For example, sparkling wines that used traditional wine methods such as Champagne or Cava have more bubbles when bottled and can last for more days. On the other hand, wines such as Prosecco uses a tank method and does not have as many bubbles.
Red wines work differently. They can last longer when compared to other wines. Basically, red wines can last three to five days when stored with the cork inside the fridge. However, some red wines like Pinot Noir have more acidity and tannin that last longer.
In fact, some red wines will have a better taste a day after opening. Red wines are best stored in a cool dark place or a chiller.
Light White, Sweet White, and Rosé Wine
Light White, Sweet White and Rosé Wine last longer in refrigerators than the sparkling wines.
These kinds of wine can be left inside the fridge with their corks for five to seven days.
However, wine drinkers should know that most rosé and white wines’ tastes tend to change after a day due to oxidation. And over time, the fruity character of these wines will deteriorate, and then they become less vibrant.
Full-Bodied White Wines
Just like red wines, some full-bodied white wines can last three to five days after opening if placed inside the refrigerators.
Other variants, however, such as Viognier and Chardonnay can oxidize faster than others since they have more oxygen in their pre-bottling aging process. For these wines, it is best to consume them quickly rather than store them in the fridge after opening. If some are left unconsumed, then these two wines should be stored with vacuum caps.
The fortified wines such as sherry, port, and marsala probably are the wines that have longer shelf lives. This is because of their added brandy content. They can last for as long as 28 days after opening when placed inside the fridge. As a rule, the sweeter the dessert wine is, the longer it can last after opening.
Wine drinkers, however, should keep in mind that these wines’ vibrant taste will be quickly lost if they are exposed to heat and light.
Why Wines Go Bad
Knowing how long does wine last in the fridge is crucial. Otherwise, one will end up with bad wine, which is such a waste of money.
But why does wine go bad? There are two major ways why wine can go bad after opening.
The first is due to the acetic acid bacteria that consume the alcohol in the wines. The alcohol content that is metabolized into acetaldehyde and acetic acid will result in a vinegar-like taste and sharp smell of the wine.
Oxidation is the second reason for the wine going bad as it can cause the beverage to have a bruised fruit and nutty taste. This robs the wine of its fresh fruit-like flavor.
The oxidation and the metabolization of the wines are both chemical reactions that are due to the wine’s exposure to high temperature. Storing wines in a cool dark place prevent these chemical reactions.
Storing Wine in the Fridge
You open a bottle of wine but could not finish all of it. So, you just place the bottle inside the refrigerator. This is what most people do. Unfortunately, what many fail to realize is that there are some other guidelines when it comes to storing wine in the fridge. There are some helpful tips to prevent wine from going bad when already opened.
- The Cork Is Important
Many people leave the cork lying around on the table instead of putting it back after each pour. Such practice results in the air going inside the bottle, which also affects the taste of the wine.
The best practice is to put back the cork after each pour. The wine should also not be in a warm place while it awaits to be placed inside the fridge.
- Keep the Cork Moist
The cork has an important role to play from preventing opened wines from going bad. Aside from putting it back immediately, one should also ensure that the cork is moist during storage.
The best way to do this is to store wine bottles on their side to prevent the cork from drying up. Experts, after all, say that horizontal racking is the best way to keep the taste of wine intact.
- Half Bottles
Air is a catalyst for the chemical changes of the wine. This is why it is best to use a half bottle for the remaining wine. A half bottle is better than the original bottle since there is lesser air.
One should also use a funnel to pour the remaining wine into a half bottle with screw cap.
Best Consumed After Opening
There is no doubt that any wine is best consumed after opening. After all, various factors can affect the taste and smell of wine. And the best way to enjoy most wines is to drink all of the contents of the bottle in one sitting.
If one cannot finish the entire bottle immediately, then do not fret. Wines can be stored in the refrigerator. Just make sure to know how long a particular kind of wine is allowed to stay inside the refrigerator after opening.