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How Long Does an Open Bottle of Wine Stay Good For?

To drink or not to drink? This is the question we wine lovers have to ask ourselves when we have an open bottle of wine and we’re not sure if it’s still good. As wine enthusiasts here at The Tasting Room, the integrity of our wine is deeply important to us. We know that once opened, the clock starts ticking on the bottle of wine – as it only stays good for so long. Let’s explore just how long an open bottle of wine can stay good for. 

Quality Matters 

We’ll start off by saying, there is no cut and dry answer. Each bottle of wine is different. If you’ve ever done a wine tasting at our Downtown Syracuse restaurant or attended our wine enthusiast Wine Release dinners, then you already know just how much variety there is among wine. These factors that make different wines taste different, such as style, quality or tannins, also play a role in how long a bottle of wine stays good for. 

But there is an ultimate deciding factor when it comes to staying good. And that’s quality. The better the wine, the longer it will stay good once open. 

Why Does Wine Go Bad Once Opened?

Now, why does wine go bad to begin with? The answer is oxygen. And while you may think it’s the space in the bottle above the wine that we’re referring to, it's not. It’s the oxygen that is introduced and absorbed into the wine upon opening that causes the wine to begin to lose its original taste. This is why wine has a clock on when it should be enjoyed once opened.

Exploring Different Wines and Their Shelf-Life Once Open

Let’s take a look at how long different wines can… 

White Wine: White wine does not oxidize too quickly upon opening if it has been well-made. Whites such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio can comfortably last three to four days in a half-full bottle. Higher-grade, single-vineyard wines with a high fill level may even last up to a week in the fridge. 

Red Wine: Similarly to white, red wine can last about 3-4 days once open. The more robust the red, the more tannins it has to protect itself against oxygen. This means that the denser the red, the better off it is after a few days of being open. 

Sparkling Wine: Sparkling wines need a secure stopper to clamp the bottle closed after the cork is popped. This is not just to protect the taste of the wine, but also to keep those bubbles alive. But when it comes to how long the bottle lasts, how much is missing is a factor. If only about a glass is missing, a re-stopped bottle will stay good for about three to four days, so long as the stopper is secure enough to maintain the pressure. Whereas a half-full bottle, likely only has about two days. 

What To Do With Wine That Has Gone Bad

Not sure if your bottle of wine from last weekend is still good? Make Sangria! You can check out The Tasting Room’s recipe for Martina’s Signature Sangria here!

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