Now the difference between how long an opened bottle of wine and unopened bottle of wine last is quite large. The two have different shelf lives once the cork has been popped open on the bottle, and I mean very different shelf lives. We are not just talking about a few days as opposed to a few weeks or months. I mean that some of your unopened bottles of wine can last you up to 20 years. Yes, you read that right! Well, what exactly is the science behind that? What makes a wine able to last that long? We will delve into just that.
The Science Behind an Unopened Bottle of Wine
One thing before we move forward is that it is important to remember that different types of wine yield different shelf lives than others. Not all wines are made the same and therefore not all wines will expire in the same manner. For example, white wine only lasts a few years (about 1-2 years past its expiration date while red wine has a little bit of a longer shelf life at about 2-3 years. Cooking wine on the other hand extends past that at around 3-5 years past its expiration date, and lastly fine wine takes the cake with being around 10-20 years, so long as you ensure that you properly store the fine wine in the cellar or some place where it is dark and cool. These are the typical lengths of time for unopened bottles of wine, but keep in mind that being able to go beyond this expiration date is also dependent upon your ability to store the wine well. You won’t be able to reap the benefits of these longer shelf lives, if you store the wine in places where it is hot or exposed to sunlight, so be mindful of that! Here are some tips to help you store your wine in optimal conditions for the best shelf life possible.
Best Ways to Store Wine at Home
- Store Wine at Proper Temperature: Temperature is one of the most important factors to consider for storing wine properly. The ideal temperature for a bottle of wine, typically follows around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, each wine type may have even more specific temperatures, but for the most part, if you are storing many different kinds of wine around that ideal temperature, you should be good to go!
- Light and Vibration Affect Wine: Light is the number one factor for affecting the quality of your wine, even when it is unopened. The sunlight contains UV rays that tend to damage the wine’s flavors and aromas. For that reason, your wine needs to be stored in a cool, dark place in order to really give it its best chance for lasting as long as it possibly can. Additionally, vibrations can also disturb sediments within the wine bottle, which can really disrupt the process of allowing the wine to age favorably. For this reason, have your wine stay away from things like washer and dryer, stereo systems, etc.
- Wine Fridge: If you are having trouble finding an appropriate place for storing your wine, then definitely get a wine fridge. A wine fridge can be a great way to keep your wine safe in a cool, dark place. Now I want to emphasize that a wine fridge and a regular fridge are not the same. A regular fridge is normally there to keep food cold and dry whereas a wine fridge ensures a proper level of humidity and temperature in order to keep the wine at its best. For that reason, definitely invest if you feel like you don’t have the appropriate place or are already running out of storage!
Well, there you have it! Different types of wine will typically last a varying amount of time, and you can incorporate a few tips in order to make sure that your wine truly lasts the expected amount without going bad or spoiling much quicker than you anticipated. In other words, not all wine lasts 20 years, but for the most part you can expect an unopened bottle of wine to last for quite a few years if you store it right!