How long does wine last once opened?

I regularly get asked while on tour how long a bottle of wine will last once it has been opened. At my place it isn't long! But if you do have some wine left over and don't want to waste it there is a time frame dependant on the type of wine.

If your wine has oxidised where the air has chemically reacted and has converted acetaldehyde to acetic acid, your wine will taste like vinegar. Whilst this won't hurt you, it sure doesn't taste great. If it isn't too oxidised try putting it into your cooking to give some depth of flavour to your dish.

Here is my guide on how long your wine will last once opened. Make sure the bottle is resealed with either a cork, stopper or screw cap.

Sparkling Wine

1-3 Days in the fridge with a sparkling wine stopper.

There are 3 ways in which bubbles are created in wine and carbon dioxide must be present. It can either be added as a gas and this will create a large bubble in the wine or fermented in a tank or the bottle where the bubbles are smaller.

The finer the bubble the longer it will take to disappear out of the wine which is why there is a

1-3 day variation.

Another note to take away from this is the finer the bubble the less of a hangover you will get!

Rosé and Light or Sweet Whites

These wines will last around 5- 7 days in the fridge but will lose their vibrancy and freshness. Most of these wines are fruit driven and are best to drink when you open them.

Heavy Whites

Heavier whites like chardonnay will last 3-5 days in the fridge. The reason for this is that fuller bodied wines have been exposed to more oxygen in the wine making process and are more likely to oxidise faster once opened.

Red Wine

The tannins and acidity in red wine help to preserve them more than white wines and this helps them to last once opened. Left in a cool dark place a red wine will last 3-5 days, and some will even improve on the second day of opening. Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon has more acidity and tannin than a Pinot Noir for instance and will last the 5 days whereas the latter will only last around 3. If the room temperature is above 18C please store the wine in the fridge.

Fortified Wine

These wines once opened will last up to a month if stored sealed and in the fridge. The sweeter the wine the longer it will last. Many have the addition of brandy which helps to preserve them once opened also.

Tips for prolonging the life of wine once opened

Store open white, sweet and sparkling wine in the fridge. The lower the temperature the longer it will take to oxidise.

Make sure you pop the cork or cap back onto the wine bottle, the idea is to stop air getting to the wine.

Invest in vacuum stoppers, when used properly they take the air out of the bottle to slow down the oxidisation process.

Red and fortified wines can be stored in a cool dark place but if room temperature is above 18C place them in the fridge.

My preference is to not drink it at all but to use it for cooking:)

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