How Long Does Wine Last Opened?


 Sparkling Wine

1–3 days in the fridge with a sparkling wine stopper

Sparkling wines lose their carbonation quickly after opening. For your information, a traditional method sparkling wine, such as Cava or Champagne, will last a little longer than a tank method sparkling wine such as Prosecco.


Short Answer: The most common way that a wine goes bad is when acetic acid bacteria consumes the alcohol in wine and metabolizes it into acetic acid and acetaldehyde. This causes the wine to have a sharp vinegar-like smell and a spicy, bruised apple-like taste that is very unpleasant.

 Light White, Sweet White and Rosé Wine

5–7 days in fridge with a cork

Most light white and rosé wines will be drinkable for up to a week when stored in your refrigerator. You’ll notice the taste will change subtly after the first day as the wine oxidizes. Some wines will even taste better after the first day, including minerally cool-climate wines (think Northern Italian Pinot Grigio, French Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc).

 Full-Bodied White Wine

3–5 days in fridge with a cork

Full-bodied white wines like oaked Chardonnay and Viognier tend to have much less acidity which will cause them to ruin more quickly than light white wines. Be certain to always keep them corked and in the fridge. If you drink a lot of this type of wine, it’s a really smart idea to invest in vacuum caps.

 Red Wine

3–5 days in a cool dark place with a cork

The more tannin and acidity the red wine has, the longer it will last open. So, a light red with very little tannin, such as Pinot Noir, won’t last open as long as a bold red like Petite Sirah. Some wines will even improve after the first day open. Store open red wines in a chiller or a dark cool place after opening them. If you don’t have a chiller your fridge is better than letting the wine sit out in a 70°F (21°C) room.

 Fortified Wine

28 days in a cool dark place with a cork

Fortified wines like Port, Sherry, Marsala, and Madeira have very long shelf lives because of the addition of brandy. While these wines do look marvelous displayed on a high shelf, they will lose their wonderful flavors more quickly from exposure to light and heat. The sweeter the fortified wine, the longer it will last. For example, I’ve tasted a 20-year Tawny that had been open for at least 15 years (stored in a home cellar) that tasted as though it had just been opened!

 Special Containers

  • Bag-in-a-Box

    2–3 weeks stored in the fridge (red and white wine)

Bag-in-a-box is a wonderful thing for daily drinkers because the bag never takes in oxygen. There are even a few producers that have decent-tasting box wines without any flaws. Still, you’ll won’t want to keep these wines for longer than a month because box wines have expiration dates, due to the regulation on food stored in plastics.

  • Wine-in-a-Carton
    Follow same rules for bottled wines.

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