How long does open wine last?
We try not to have this problem too often at Wine Selectors headquarters, but if you do happen to find yourself with an opened bottle or two left over at the end of an evening, here’s our video and guide to how long they will last before they are spoiled.
Light White Wines
When sealed with a screw cap, cork or stopper and stored in the fridge, light weight whites like Pinot Grigio, Pinot Gris
, Sauvignon Blanc
and blends, Riesling
and Gewürztraminer should remain fresh for up to two days. You will probably notice a change in taste as the wine oxidises and the fruit character can diminish, becoming less vibrant.
Full-bodied Whites and Rosés
Three days is about the longest you will get out of an opened Rosé
or full-bodied white including Chardonnay
, Roussanne, Viognier
. Again, make sure they are sealed with a screw cap, cork or stopper and refrigerated. Full-bodied whites such as oaked Chardonnay and Viognier, tend to oxidise more quickly because they were exposed to more oxygen during their pre-bottling ageing process.
Full-bodied Red Wine
Sealed and stored in a cool dark spot or the fridge, reds wines like Shiraz
, Cabernet Sauvignon
, and Malbec
can last for around four days and generally the more tannin and acidity the wine has, the longer it tends to last after opening. Once opened, late harvest wines can also stay fresh for up to four days.
Due to the addition of brandy during the blending process, vintage fortfied wines
, Tawny, Muscat and Topaque
will last for up to 28 days after being opened. Ensure the screw cap is tight or the bottle is sealed with the original cork and store in a cool dark cellar, pantry or cupboard.
Why does opened wine go off?
Once opened and exposed to the air all wine will begin the chemical reaction of oxidisation, robbing it of its fresh fruit flavours, so drinking the entire bottle is the best solution to avoid spoilage. Refrigeration helps to keep wine fresh longer by slowing down the process of oxidisation
. Opened wine can also go bad when acetic acid bacteria consumes the alcohol in the wine causing it have a vinegar-like smell and taste. Again, storing the wine at a lower temperature, helps slow down this reaction. Read more about best practice wine storage in our article, The Dos and Don't of Good Wine Storage