You opened a bottle of wine to enjoy the evening. It was delicious. You loved it. But now, it’s going to go to waste. You can’t finish it. We’re both all too familiar with this scene, and it’s probably lead to many questions. How long is wine good for once opened? Is the entire bottle going to waste because you were unable to finish it? You can find the answers to all these questions below.
How Long Will an Opened Bottle Last?
Don’t worry too much if you didn’t finish that bottle of wine from last night. As much as we love it, sometimes, trying to tackle an entire bottle by yourself can be a bit of a challenge. It just all depends on the mood, right?
Chances are, you probably took a little piece of plastic wrap and placed it over the bottle in an attempt to close it up for the night. Or you struggled for a few minutes trying to force the cork back in. Sometimes, you succeed a little bit, and you leave it at all. Other times, you just fail and ultimately, end up reaching for that good ole plastic wrap before stuffing it into the fridge.
The answer to the question of “how long?” largely depends on the type of wine, and how you store the wine. Most wine can be stored up to 5 days; assuming you covered it and placed it in the fridge.
That answer may be good news, or that may be bad news depending on what you were hoping the answer was. There have been a few times where you forgot about the opened bottle of wine in the fridge (and that was from last weekend).
How Long Each Type of Wine Lasts
Here’s the list of the different types of wine and how long they will last if stored properly.
- Sparkling wine. 1-3 days if refrigerated & sparkling wine stopper is used.
- Light white wine. Good up to 5 days in the fridge with a cork.
- Rose wine. Enjoy it up to 7 days if stored in the fridge and closed with a cork.
- Full-bodied white wine. Up to 4-5 days if kept in the fridge and with a cork.
- Red wine. 5 days with a cork and stored in a cool dark place.
- Fortified wine. Enjoyable up to 28 days if stored in a cool dark place with a cork.
How They “Turn Bad”
The good news is, when we say the wine has gone bad, it’s just the taste we’re talking about. It won’t hurt you if you took a glass from a bottle that’s been appropriately stored in the fridge from say, 2 weeks ago (guilty here).
The longer a sparkling wine is open, the more it will lose its carbonation. You love sparkling wine for the bubbly sensation, and with it gone, it just doesn’t feel the same anymore.
Light White Wine
The longer a bottle of white wine is opened, the more it oxidizes. The more it oxidizes, the more the wine will have lost its fruit characters. You start noticing the difference after about a day or so of leaving it in the fridge.
Rose wine faces the same challenges and will “turn bad” just as light white wines.
Full-bodied White Wine
Full-bodied white wine will oxidize even faster than lighter white wines—speeding up the process of degrading taste. You’ll want to keep it as well covered as possible in the fridge.
Red wine will last a little longer depending on how much tannin and acid content it has. A wine chiller would be ideal for storing an opened bottle of red wine, but if you don’t’ have one, then the refrigerator is your best option. It’s certainly better than leaving it out to sit on the counter or in the cabinet.
28 days for fortified wines? Why the huge difference? Thank the spirits that are added to these wines. Often referred to as “dessert wines,” the sweeter the wine, the longer it will stay good opened. The best place for storing opened bottles of fortified wine is still the fridge.
Best Way to Store Opened Wine
You won’t open a bottle of expensive wine and chance not finishing it, so we’re not worried about how one of those bottles from going bad. But for the regular stuff you always buy, they’re still not exactly cheap either. It’d be a waste to let it go bad, so you’ll want to avoid reusing the cork and the plastic wrap.
Instead, you should make use of one of those small appliances you probably already have collecting dust in one of your cabinets—the vacuum sealer. If you have one, check it quick and see if it’s got a hose accessory attachment. If it does, then you’re in luck. If you don’t, then now is the perfect excuse to buy one. Don’t rush in blind if you think this is a perfectly good reason to get yourself a vacuum sealer (because it is). I suggest you check out some reviews for different vacuum sealers first from places like kitchenreviewed.com as well as the other online retailers who allow reviews from actual buyers.
- Push the stopper into the wine bottle opening.
- Attach the hose to the vacuum sealer and then plug the other end of the tube to the stopper.
- Use the vacuum machine to remove the air from the bottle.
This helps keep your wine fresh for a lot longer. FoodSaver claims up to 5 times longer, but I’ve only been willing to test it as far as 2x longer. Most bottles I open don’t get a chance to stay in the fridge for any longer than that anyway (and that’s hard enough already if you ask me).
How does this help keep the wine longer? By reducing the air in the bottle, you help slow down the oxidation. There is less air or oxygen, and thus there is less oxidation.
If you’re here looking for answers to how long wine is good for once opened, then you know you’ve run into the problem one too many times already. Use a vacuum sealer to take the air out, and stop letting good wine go bad before you can enjoy it again.