Wines are staples in most parties. And many people indeed store this fruity alcoholic drink for relaxation purposes or whatnot. But what happens if an opened bottle of wine is not consumed immediately? How long is an open bottle of wine good for?
Unfortunately, even the most expensive wines can go bad if left for weeks unconsumed. They often turn into a liquid that both smell and taste like vinegar. As such, one needs to know how long before a wine bottle goes bad. After all, wines vary in their storage requirements and shelf life.
Let this article be your guide on how to store opened wines to spare you from throwing away leftovers of this precious alcoholic drink.
Why Use a Refrigerator or Cooler?
Wine experts would say that wine does not need to be stored in a fridge or cooler if they are yet to be opened. The same rule, however, does not apply for the leftovers.
One has to keep in mind that the fermentation process of wine produces plenty of carbon dioxide when the yeasts turn to sugars of the alcohol. It is this reason why wines are sealed properly.
Uncorking a bottle of wine exposes the liquid into the air, which results in oxidation. The chemistry of the wine changes due to exposure to air thus causing the flavor of wine to deteriorate. It is best to store the wine inside the fridge or a wine cooler to avoid oxidation from happening.
Opened wine bottles placed in room temperature can quickly turn the good wine into a vinegar-like drink.
How Long Is an Open Bottle of Wine Good for?
Some people consider leftover wines as no good. On the contrary, the remaining beverage in the bottle can still be kept and stored. They will not go bad right away if placed inside a cool place like a fridge or cooler. Of course, wines are best consumed immediately after opening. But if this is not possible, then they should be stored carefully since they can still be consumed within a certain period.
There is no single answer to the question, “How long is an open bottle of wine good for?” It would depend on the kind of wine.
Some wines can last for up to four weeks or more while others have to be consumed within three to five days from opening. The general rule is that sweeter wines usually last longer after opening. However, one should remember that any wine is likely to lose its taste if exposed to either light or heat when unopened. Most wines also require having their corks on when stored after opening.
Below are some guidelines on how long a wine lasts in the fridge depending on the kind of wine.
Red wines typically last three to five days after opening. Some red wines can even last longer such as the Pinot Noir. This is because this wine contains more tannin and acidity. Some wines also tend to taste better a day after the bottle is opened.
One, however, must remember that red wines should be stored sealed with its cork. They should also be placed in a cool and dark place like inside the fridge.
Sparkling wines are one of the wines that are indeed best consumed right after opening the bottle. Keep in mind that sparkling wines easily lose their carbonation when opened. If there are leftovers, then they must be consumed within the next three days.
There are a few exceptions as some sparkling wines tend to last longer than just three days. Champagne or Cava are sparkling wines that went through traditional wine methods. This means that they have more bubbles when sealed making the wine last longer even after it was opened. On the other hand, other wines that have undergone the tank method in production such as the Prosecco do not possess as many bubbles. This means they are best consumed immediately.
Light, Sweet, and Rosé Wines
Some wines, namely, Sweet Wine, Light Wine, and Rosé Wine have longer shelf lives than sparkling wines. They can stay inside the refrigerator for around five to seven days without going bad. Like red wines, these wines should have their cork on when stored.
Wine drinkers, however, should keep in mind that both white and rosé tend to suffer from chemical reactions even just after a day. Their tastes become less vibrant and fruity over time. They should be stored in a cool place after opening.
Full-Bodied White Wines
Full-bodied wines are like red wines since they can be consumed three to five days when stored inside the fridge. However, some variants oxidize easily since they contain more oxygen during their pre-bottling aging method. These wines are the Chardonnay and Viognier. They are best finished off after opening than left inside the fridge.
Leftover Chardonnay and Viognier wines should have vacuum caps when stored to prevent them from going bad.
Those who like storing leftover wines are best to choose fortified wines like port, sherry, and marsala. Fortified wines have longer shelf lives than most wines due to their brandy content. These wines can last as much as 28 days after opening as long as they are placed in the fridge.
Still Wonderful After Opening
Wines are alcoholic drinks that are best consumed immediately after opening as experts would say. However, this is not always the case.
Wine drinkers should not worry as leftover wines should not be thrown away. They can be stored inside the fridge or cooler for days without going bad or tasting like vinegar.
Some wines do not have a long shelf life. For example, the bubbly wines or sparkling ones will not last longer than five days. This is because their bubbles will fade over time. On the other hand, fortified wines like sherry and port can be stored for as long as four weeks or 28 days. This is because of their brandy content.
Nevertheless, it is best for wine owners to keep the bottles away from heat and sunlight before and after they are opened as well.