How to Store Opened Wine Bottles

15-08-2017

You popped the cork, had a glass, and now you’re ready to call it a night. Sometimes the evening runs dry before the wine does, and you’re left with “left over” wine. The good news is that opened wine can be stored and enjoyed another day with a little know how.

red wine being poured into a glass

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First of all, you need to understand how long of a shelf life your opened bottle has in the first place. Some wines really should be consumed the evening they’re opened, while others will do just fine recorked for several days. While fortified wines (Port, Sherry, or Marsala) can last for up to a month, most wines can’t last longer than 3-5 days after being opened. So, to be safe, always bank on consuming your opened wine within a few days of popping that cork. Beyond that, here’s how to extend your favorite wine.

 

Sparkling Wines

Good for 3-5 days

Store in the refrigerator with a specialty sparkling wine stopper. Expect to lose carbonation in direct relation to the amount of time the wine remains opened.

 

Red Wines

Good for 3-5 days

As with all opened wines, you’ll want to recork a red. The key difference in extending the life of a red, vs. just about any other wine, is that it should not be placed in the refrigerator. Instead, store it in a cool, dark place. The only exception to this is if the air temperature in your storage place is above 70 degrees. In this case, you may do better to place the red in a chiller or the refrigerator. You’ll find different reds last longer than others. This is the result of the tannin level in the wine itself, meaning low tannin reds like Pinot Noir won’t last as long as a wine with greater tannins. You may even notice that some reds taste better after a day of opened storage.

 

Light White, Sweet, and Rose Wines

Good for 5-7 days

You’ll want to recork these varieties and then store them in the fridge. As the wine ages, you’ll notice the fruit flavors start to become less vibrant. This is the result of oxidation.

 

Full Bodied Whites

Good for 3-5 days

A fuller white, like a Chardonnay, can only last 3-5 days after being opened. These wines will oxidize more quickly than the delicate whites because they’ve already been exposed to more oxygen during their initial again process. To get the most life out of your wine, recork it and store it in the fridge.

If you know you want to extend the life of your wine, boxed (or bagged) wines are the way to go. These wines can easily stay fresh for up to a month after opening with little extra care needed. Just make sure the box is chilled and you’re good to go.

Finally- sometimes life gets in the way and, despite your best efforts, you didn’t get the wine consumed within 3-5 days like you had planned. Not to worry, opened and aged wines won’t hurt you if they’re consumed past their prime. Chances are they just won’t taste as fresh, and you’ll likely lose the bouquet and flavor palate a bit.

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