How Long Does Wine Last After It Has Been Opened?
The flavor of wine starts to change as soon as it is opened and if not stored correctly after opening, it will turn to vinegar very quickly. Now, if it is a cheap bottle, then who cares! But if enjoy drinking fine wines, then it is essential that you know how long you have to still enjoy the wine before it starts to turn into vinegar.
The amount of time a wine lasts after it is opened depends on two main factors: the type of wine and how it is stored. So, you have now popped the cork on your bottle of wine. How long can you expect it to last?
However, before we jump into the specifics of how long your wine will last, we need to quickly understand what makes wine go bad.
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Why Does Wine Go Bad Once Opened?
There is bacteria which is present in all grapes and when it comes into contact with oxygen, it grows and starts to turn the alcohol in wine into acetic acid.
Acetic acid is what is responsible for the vinegary taste of wine after it has been opened for a while. This is why the fermentation of wine is usually done in an environment which is oxygen free.
However, exposure to oxygen is not all bad news. When it comes to good quality red wine, oxygen exposure for a short period of time in a decanter or in a glass improves the taste and makes the wine more rounded.
How Long Does Red Wine Last After It Has Been Opened?
You can expect an average bottle of red wine to last between 3 to 5 days once you have opened it. Red wines with a higher amount of tannins and acidity will usually last longer.
So, if you know you are going to keep a bottle of red for a few days after opening, it is best to go for a full bodied red wine with lots of tannins and acidity as opposed to a light bodied red wine.
How Long Does White Wine Last After It Has Been Opened?
A bottle of white wine will usually last between 3 to 7 days after it is opened. The amount of time a white wine will last after opening depends on its acidity.
A light bodied white wine usually has more acidity than a full bodied white wine and therefore will last longer once opened. So, expect a light bodied white wine to last between 5-7 days and a full bodied white to last between 3-5 days.
How Long Does Rose Wine Last After It Has Been Opened?
For this purpose, rose wine is treated the same as a light bodied white wine so expect it to last between 5-7 days after you have opened it.
How Long Does Sparkling Wine Last After It Has Been Opened?
A sparkling wine will only last between 1-3 days. This is because it is carbonated and will start to lose that carbonation once opened.
The other factor to bear in mind is the fact that Champagne and Cava wines will last longer than Prosecco wines because the latter is made using the tank method as opposed to traditional methods (which packs in more bubbles).
How Long Does Wine In A Box Last After It Has Been Opened?
Wines that come in boxes usually last anywhere from 3-4 weeks. This applies whether it is a box of red wine or white wine.
Some boxed wines contain a vacuum-sealed bag to prevent oxidation and these boxed wines will last up to 6 weeks.
How Long Does Fortified Wine Last After It Has Been Opened?
The rule of thumb here is the sweeter the wine is (in other words the more sugar it contains) and the higher the alcohol content, then the longer it will usually last after it has been opened because the sugar and the alcohol act as preservatives.
A port will last between 2-4 weeks whereas a sherry will only last 1 week. Madeira and Masala wines are interesting wines because they will literally last for years after they have been opened. One of the main reasons is because they have already been oxidized as part of the wine making process.
How Should You Store Your Wine After Opening?
The best way to store a wine after opening is to re-cork it and put it in a wine cooler because this ensures that the wine is kept at the correct temperature. However, if you do not have a wine cooler, then you should store all wines in the fridge after they have been opened.
Red wine and fortified wines do not have be stored in a fridge or cooler. They can be stored in a cool and dark place. Hot temperatures and humidity tends to make wine go bad faster.
If you tend to have several wines open at the same time, then you are better off investing in a wine preserver which will extend the lifespan of your wine. There are several types available for all budgets which we have reviewed here on the site.
Photo by wolfB1958