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Friday, September 27, 2019

The Complete Guide to Keeping Wine Fresh

young couple toasting with a glass of red wine
Yakobchuk Viacheslav/Shutterstock

Today, it’s easier to get a nice bottle of wine than ever before. From boutique grocery stores to wine lovers’ subscription boxes, you can quickly start stockpiling bottles faster than you can drink them.

Having a well-stocked wine selection at home is a great thing. But all that wine won’t last forever—even if you never open it. And once it’s open, a bottle of wine can seem like a ticking time bomb, turning into vinegar long before you’re ready.

However, the shelf life of wine isn’t a mystery (even though it may seem like one sometimes). Once you know how long your opened and unopened bottles will keep, you can strategize, so you never end up pouring good wine down the drain. Let’s take a closer look at the timeframe.

How Long Does Opened Wine Keep?

When you pop that cork, you introduce oxygen to the bottle. Oxygen is what causes the wine to spoil faster once it’s open.

Since wine comes in so many different varietals, there’s no solid answer as to how quickly it goes bad. The exact timing depends on the type and quality of the wine. But to give you an estimate, most opened wines will spoil in the range of two to five days. (Sparkling wines have an even shorter lifespan; they’ll go flat in about a day.)

Of course, your wine won’t go bad all at once. It will start deteriorating in quality, but at first, the difference may not be all that noticeable. So if you’re okay with a wine that’s lost some of its aroma and taste, you can get more time out of that opened bottle. But once it takes on a brownish color or an unpleasant smell, it’s no longer worth drinking at all.

How to Make Opened Wine Last Longer

There’s good news, though: you can make those opened bottles last a bit longer with these tips. Here’s how to extend the life of your wine past the two-to-five-days mark.

Use the Fridge and Cork

When you have a half-open wine bottle, your first instinct is probably to cork it and put it in the fridge for later. And that’s exactly the right thing to do.

RELATED: Chilling Your Wine in the Fridge Overnight? You’re Doing It Wrong

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