So, you finally popped open that wine bottle that you have been wanting to try for months as it sits in your wine cellar waiting to be consumed. Now you have reached the debacle of not knowing how much time you have until it is time to call it quits on consuming your wine. Just how long does a wine bottle last after it has already been opened? Are there ways to preserve the taste of wine longer after the bottle has already been opened? If those are the questions that you are currently seeking the answers to, then you have come to the right place. This article will go into everything you need to know after you have popped open that heavenly bottle of wine, but you just have not gotten around to finishing it yet.
The Debacle of the Opened Wine Bottle
So now you are probably wondering when it is time to toss your opened bottle of wine. Well, on average, most people would say that you should definitely throw your wine bottle away after it has hit around 3-5 days. After about 5 days, the wine starts to bad. Yet, you don’t need to worry because it is not the type of bad that you are thinking of like spoiled milk where you absolutely can get sick and the taste is absolutely foul. In this case, wine is already vinegar in flavor and content so “spoiled” wine won’t essentially harm you. It just won’t have a super stellar taste after that, and the flavor will start to greatly dissipate. For that reason, here is a simple rule of thumb for different kinds of wine and how to store them after they have been opened. Sparkling wine is considered to “spoil” quickly, so you really just want to give this wine around 1-3 days in the fridge with a sparkling wine stopper. Past that and well it won’t be so good anymore. When it comes to light and rosé wines, they have a little bit more shelf life than sparkling wine, with those wines typically lasting around 5-7 days in the fridge with a cork.
If you have a full-bodied white wine, then you can expect this wine to last around 3-5 days on average when stored in a fridge with a cork. The same rule also applies to red wine, but instead of a fridge you should store your red wine in a cool, dark place in order to preserve the flavors as best as you can throughout those five days. Lastly, we come across fortified wines and bag-in-a-box wine, which both have a much longer shelf life. Fortified wines can last up to 28 days (yes you read that right!) after being opened. All you need to do is store it in a cool dark place with a cork and you should be good to go for the next month. The same applies to wine in a bag or box, except you should typically store those in a fridge.
How to Tell When the Smell is All Wrong
In essence, you will really be able to tell when this wine has gone super wrong, mainly with the taste. Wines often go bad in two different ways. Either they go bad by having the acetic acid bacteria consume the alcohol until it metabolizes the wine to have acetic acid and acetaldehyde. This creates a very sharp-vinegar smell. The other way that wine can go bad is when the alcohol oxidizes causing a nutty, bruised fruity taste that basically robs the wine of its fruity flavors. In essence, watch out for these signs as well, in order to really understand when your wine has gone bad!