You open a bottle of wine ready to drink it all, but sometimes you just can’t finish the job. Sadly, after it has been opened, the shelf life clock of wine starts ticking.
Many wines are meant to be aged inside the bottle, properly corked and sealed. However, opening or uncorking a wine bottle sets off an oxidation process. Once the oxidation kicks in, the wine’s flavors and aromas deteriorate. Generally, you should be drinking a bottle of wine within four to six hours of opening it. With that in mind, how long does wine really last after it’s opened? There’s no straightforward answer, it depends on multiples factors, as well as how well the wine is stored.
Oxidation in Wine Is Not Necessarily a Bad Thing
When you pop up the cork of a wine bottle, air reaches the wine, and immediate deterioration begins. Despite how bad it sounds for wine, oxidation has both a positive and a negative impact on wine. Many wine experts advise drinkers to let wines breathe. Some oxidation can help soften tannins and highlight flavors. In other words, some ideal state of oxidation is desirable when drinking a wine. This is the principle behind decanters. However, exposing delicate wines or any wine in general to air too long is indeed a bad thing. This is particularly true with whites and well-aged reds, which oxygen easily damages.
Factors Affecting How Quickly a Wine Oxidizes After Popping the Cork
Type of wine: Red or White
The type of wine plays a role in the oxidation process. In general, red wines oxidize more slowly than white wines. Whereas a red may last up to a week after opening, a white wine lasts about three days.
Age and Tannin
Youthful, tannin-rich wines typically last longer after opening than those with fewer tannins or well-aged wines. As a rule of thumb, always plan to drink a delicate or well-aged wine within three days. Full-bodied, tannic wines may last up to a week.
Sugar and Alcohol Content
Both the sugar content and alcohol content are important in determining the oxidation rate of a wine. Both sugar and alcohol act as preservatives, slowing oxidation. Resultantly, fortified wines like Sherry or dessert wines like Sauternes may keep for almost a year –do not expect it to be in excellent-tasting form though.
Amount of Oxygen
The less wine remaining in the bottle, the more air there is leading to quicker in-bottle oxidation.
Keeping your opened bottle cooled and fresh may help towards slowing down oxidation. The steady temperatures of a cooler prevent heat or temperature swings that could speed up wine’s degradation. Hence the importance of having a proper cooling solution.
How Long Do Most Wine Types Last Open
Spoiled wine is essentially just vinegar, so do not fret. However, for those interested in the facts, here’s a quick summary of how long different wines last open. Keep in mind that these figures are mostly expected in ideal cooling and recorking conditions.
- Sparkling wine. 1-3 days
- Full-bodied white wine. 3-5 days
- Red wine. 3-5 days
- Fortified wine. 28 days
Playing It Safe With VenToSpain
How can you tell whether a wine is past its prime? If you detect off flavors or aromas that do not match the wine’s characteristics, chances it is time to discard it. As a general rule, you can preserve an open bottle of wine for three days.
At VenToSpain we suggest you drink your wines within a day or two of opening for best results in order to get the most enjoyment. That’s exactly how we love drinking our wines. Next time you choose a wine of our international line VenToSpain, you must be committed to enjoying that bottle to the fullest. Check out our international wine line VenToSpain today. Do not miss out on discovering the authentic flavor of Spanish wines.
VenToSpain is now available at restaurants, gas stations and other points of sale too. Visit:
- Entre Tapas Restaurant
- Madrid Tapas y Vinos
- Mobile Sunny Isles at Collins 18300
- Chevron Miami Beach at 401 71st St, Miami Beach, FL 33141
- A&G Mini Mart at Chevron Doral 2498 NW 87th Ave, Miami, FL 33172
Find out what VenToSpain has in store for you!
Sources: www.winefolly.com, www.goodhousekeeping.com