No matter how much friend love wine, girlfriend can"t always finish a party in one sitting. So, what execute you do with that leftover wine? do you simply put that in the fridge and hope for the best? just how long do you have before that bottle goes under the drain? 

There isn"t a one-size-fits-all solution, but there are some things you have the right to do depending upon the kind of alcohol you"re talking about. In this guide, we"re getting to the bottom of your most burning questions, including "Does wine walk bad?"

We"ll additionally explain what "going bad" means, ways to prevent it, and how long you deserve to keep one unopened bottle of wine even after that expiration date. (Yes, the true!)

Why Does alcohol Expire and also How have the right to You phone call It"s gone Bad? 

As with many food and drink, wine will certainly expire at some point or another. And also the reason is oxygen. 

It"s true the plenty of oxygen is needed throughout the fermentation process of winemaking — it"s exactly how the yeast turns sugar into alcohol. Yet once that procedure is complete, you desire to avoid exposure to oxygen as lot as possible.

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Too much oxidation will turn the wine into a vinegary liquid. As soon as you open a party of wine, bacteria start to malfunction the alcohol. Over time, it converts the alcohol into acetic acid and also acetaldehyde. These chemical compounds room responsible because that vinegar"s odor and also sharp, acidic, and sour taste. Alcohol can likewise oxidize, leading to the wine to shed its freshness and flavor, and also creating a taste comparable to bruised fruit.

Another factor that alcohol goes negative is due to the fact that of cork taint. This just happens through wine bottles that room sealed with herbal cork. Most cork taint happens because of a chemical compound recognized as TCA the eats away at the cork. The an outcome is a damaged bottle of alcohol that provides off a musty smell similar to a wet dog or damp, moldy basement. (We"re guessing that"s not exactly what you were going for.)

The best way to determine if wine has actually gone negative is to odor it and also taste it (if you dare). If the aroma is off or the tastes weird or the color looks brown, climate trust your senses and let the go. Negative wine won"t death you, yet it"s certainly a buzzkill that"ll destroy the drink experience. 

How long Does opened Wine Last?


There"s no single answer for how long an opened bottle will certainly last before going bad. Also experts differ a little on just how long alcohol lasts when the bottle is open. Yet there are some basic guidelines that can assist you identify when it"s ok to keep pouring and also when it"s time to lining it. Lean on her senses and keep these suggestions in mind.

Sparkling Wine: 1-2 Days

Pop, fizz, flat! If you"ve ever popped open a bottle of sparkling wine, girlfriend may have actually noticed that the carbonation dwindles pretty conveniently after opening. The said, no all sparklers are created equal. 

Sparkling wine made in the classic an approach (think Champagne or Cava) will have actually a much longer shelf life thanks to the presence of an ext bubbles at the moment of bottling. (This wine might last three days if girlfriend refrigerate it and also use a sparkling alcohol stopper.) top top the other hand, sparkling wine produced in the tank method (like Prosecco) will start to fizzle the end faster. 

Full-Bodied White Wine: 3-5 Days

Full-bodied white wines such together oaked Chardonnay, Muscat, and also White Rioja typically oxidize much more quickly 보다 lighter whites. Why? due to the fact that these well-off and complex wines room exposed to more oxygen throughout the aging procedure before bottling. It"s finest to store full-bodied whites through a vacuum-sealed cork in the fridge.

Light White and Rosé Wine: 3-5 Days

The beauty beauty of light white and rosé wines isn"t simply in their soft hues and refreshing taste — it"s in their capability to last a while after ~ you open up the bottle. When stored in the fridge and properly sealed, this vinos can last up to a week. However, there will certainly still be some palpable alters with the wine"s flavor and crispness when it begins to oxidize.

Red Wine: 3-5 Days

When it concerns red wine, the an ext tannins and acidity that has, the longer it"s most likely to last. For example, a rich Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah will last longer than a Pinot Noir when opened. (In fact, some red wines taste much better after they"ve had time come oxidize and breathe for a day.) Make sure to refrigerate open up red wines — contrary to what some can say, leaving lock on the counter at room temp is not a great idea.

Fortified Wine: 28+ Days

Thanks come the enhancement of distilled spirits, strengthened wines choose Port, Marsala, and Sherry will certainly last much longer than any kind of other wines after ~ you open them. Typically speaking, the sweeter the wine, the longer it will certainly hold. Similar to other wines, store fortified wines in the fridge.

How long Does Unopened wine Last?

Compared come an open bottle that wine, an unopened bottle can last considerably longer. Together in, year longer. The an essential is to store it effectively (more top top this in simply a moment). Still, the alcohol is going to failure eventually, so check out the label and also don"t wait also long.

Sparkling Wine: Unopened sparkling wine deserve to last at the very least three year after the expiration date. White Wine: whether full-bodied or light, white wine can last 1-2 years past the "best by" date.Rosé Wine: As v sparkling wine, rosé can last about three years unopened.Red Wine: These dark-colored wines have the right to last 2-3 years beyond the expiration date.Fortified Wine: As close as you can gain to a forever wine, fortified wines have currently been preserved thanks come the enhancement of distilled spirits. High-quality Ports deserve to last because that decades. Once properly stored, unopened Ports deserve to last indefinitely.

Can I avoid Wine Spoilage? 


In a word, no. Friend can"t store wine indigenous deteriorating fully — it"s simply a natural component of a wine"s life span. However here room a few things you deserve to do to slow down the process. 

Find a Cool, Dark Space

Whether it"s red, white, rosé, or sparkling, maintaining your wine bottles in a cool, dark ar away from straight sunlight will decelerate the destruction process. Friend don"t require a wine cellar for ideal wine storage, either. As lengthy as you have actually a cabinet or other designated room that"s cooler than room temperature and away native heat and light, your wine must be alright. 

Use bottle Stoppers

Also referred to as wine stoppers, party stoppers room those ubiquitous accessories the you can discover at just about any digital or retail store that sells wine or kitchen tools. There room some pretty an elaborate ones ~ above the market that have actually vacuum seals and pumps that deserve to reduce oxidation.

If you don"t have a appropriate stopper and need a fast DIY hack, use plastic plunder or foil around the bottle opening and also fasten it tightly with a rubber band. It"s not the many elegant solution, but it"s tho effective and also certainly better than nothing!

Keep it Humid ... And also Sideways

A humid atmosphere is finest to save wine bottles v a herbal cork seal. Due to the fact that cork is porous, that can quickly dry out and shrink, thereby allowing air and bacteria right into the bottle. And you recognize what that leads come — negative wine.

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You deserve to also aid maintain the cork"s humidity by storing your bottles of alcohol on their sides. Act so lets the cork soak up some of the wine and also keeps the intact. Some experts suggest save on computer bottles between 50-55 degrees with 70% humidity is ideal.

Does Wine go Bad? Yes, however It Doesn"t have actually to ruin a good Time

As with practically anything the you eat or drink, many wine will eventually go bad. Oxygen is the biggest opponent for many wine, which method you"ll want to reap it together soon possible after opening it. But that doesn"t mean you have to gulp the whole bottle at once. With the best tools, warehouse practices, and a tiny wine knowledge, you deserve to make that bottle last simply a little bit longer. 

Lighter and also sparkling wines have the shortest shelf life when opened, when fuller-bodied reds have actually a bit much more staying power. (Not surprisingly, fortified wines are the the strongest of the bunch.) also better, if friend don"t open up a wine bottle, it can last well previous its expiration date. But we say, why wait? There"s no time prefer the present to treat yourself to a delicious, drinkable experience. Cheers!