Most of us are familiar with the scenario of opening a bottle of wine, having one glass, and then pouring the rest of the bottle away days later. Or alternatively, opening a bottle of wine, having one glass, then ending up sinking the rest of the bottle to avoid wasting it and waking up with a sore head. The reason behind this behaviour all comes down to the question of how long wine lasts once opened - a question we are going to answer for you here. So, does wine go off? Read on to find out…
Does wine go off?
Wine definitely does go off - but this all depends on the quality and the format. When it comes to bottled wine, unopened, high-quality wines can be be stored for many years, a process which ages the flavours. Lower-quality wines should be consumed more quickly and don’t age as well.
However, wine in a box, like our Portuguese Alvarinho, can last for up to six weeks once opened, meaning your favourite wines are readily available, whenever you want. When you find yourself in the mood for a drop, all you have to do is grab a glass and enjoy, pressure-free.
If you haven’t opened the bottle yet, you probably don’t have too much to worry about - but if you have, that wine is now a ticking time bomb. Keep reading to find out how long you have before that delicious flavour starts to diminish...
How long does white wine last?
Once you’ve opened your bottle of white wine, you don’t have long before it starts to go off and the flavour fades. Wine expert and Master of Wine Barry J. Dick says: “Most white wines and rosés should be consumed within 24 hours, even if you keep them in the fridge”. So, if you’re craving a glass of Chardonnay but don’t want the whole bottle, you’d better invite a couple of friends over to help you out!
How long does red wine last opened?
As a general rule, red wine tends to be more robust than its white counterpart, and can last a few days before passing its best - although Barry warns that with each day that goes by, you can expect the freshness to be diminished.
Does champagne go off?
Sparkling wines and champagnes tend to ‘go off’ more quickly than wine; thanks to the fizzy bubbles they contain. Bubbles are more stable in champagne, which - if you’re lucky - might keep in the fridge for around a day after opening. If you purchase a bottle of prosecco, however, you have less time to savour your glass of fizz, with bubbles disappearing in just a few hours post-pop - perhaps why we tend to drink so many at bottomless brunches!
Bad wine and corked wine
Lots of people confuse gone off wine with corked wine. “It’s important to remember”, says Barry, “that corked wine is very different to wine that is simply past its best”. Corked wine occurs when nasty smells and flavours make their way into the wine from the cork - and if you know your stuff when it comes to wine tasting, you’ll know immediately whether a wine is corked.
Enjoying wine in your own time
Ultimately, we believe that drinking wine should be as stress-free as possible - that’s why our wine comes in boxes and cans, so you can take a sip whenever you want. The format of the wine should match the occasion; whether that’s inviting friends over for a bottle or two, enjoying a quiet glass from a Bag-In-Box while cooking the Sunday roast, or kicking back on a beach with a few cans of wine and the salty breeze on your face.
For more wine knowledge
Although we strongly believe wine should be enjoyed not endlessly discussed, we know that sometimes people want to have just a little but more wine knowledge. That’s why our Master of Wine has written a short eBook on the questions that he gets asked most often. After all, as possibly the most qualified person in the world of wine you can expect people to ask you a question or two - and Barry gets asked the same ones. A lot! And ‘How long does wine last’ is just one of them!
You can find the eBook here.