In the past, I was someone who always finished a bottle of wine. However, when drinking wine turned into my job, I started finding myself with a lot more half-full bottles; wines I really loved and just couldn’t bring myself to throwing out simply because they’d been open for a couple of days. Now you have a half a bottle of wine on your hands the following day or three to a week later and you have that timeless question on your mind: really how long will an open bottle of wine last?

How Long Does Wine Last After Opening?

It is going to depend on several different factors, including what kind of wine, whether it is an opened or unopened bottle of wine, and the way it is being stored. Everyone has that absent-minded time when they go to bed earlier than usual and leave a bottle uncorked and unopened accidentally all night long – and then wake up to an unpleasant smell wafting from your kitchen. (That is oxidation – being exposed to too much oxygen.)

The best method for keeping wine after it has been opened is to make sure you re-cork it and then place it in the refrigerator. By refrigerating and re-corking, you limit the wine’s exposure to light, heat, and oxygen. Or get into the habit of re-corking after very glass to save it for later instead of just leaving an open bottle out on the counter as you are drinking it. All of those things that cause a bottle of wine from being decent on the next day to being disgusting. If you remembered to take precautions before going to bed, then a bottle of white or red wine can last for two to five days.

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How Long Does White Wine Last?

An unopened bottle of white wine, similar to an unopened red wine, can be consumed a few years after it has been produced – as long as it was properly stored in a dry, dark, cool place. When you purchase white wine you should ask the owner of the wine shop whether she or he recommends that the unopened bottle be store in the pantry or refrigerator before it is consumed. (You may notice that at some liquor stores there are certain white wines that are refrigerators but others are not.) How your white wine tastes will definitely be impacted by storage. Even if it best to store it in the pantry until you are ready to drink it, you may want to have it chilling in the refrigerator for a while before you open it to give it that nice refreshing taste.

How long will white wine last once it has been opened? Similar to red wines, you can expect a majority of white wines to taste their best for under five days. However, if the wine is a “lighter” wine, then it may last for around one week.

What About Red Wine? How Long Does It Last?

If you have a bottle of red wine that is unopened that you acquired a few years ago and had totally forgotten about it, then it still should be okay to drink it. That is if the red wine was stored in a dark, dry, and cool place the entire time. So how long will red wine last after it has been opened? According to experts, generally red wine is at its best for three to four days after it has been opened. However, if it is a dense or robust red wine, it might be able to keep itself protected for longer, and up to one week. To make sure that your red wine lasts for as long a time as possible, make sure to cork it securely as soon as you can pouring your last glass and then store it in a dry, dark, cool place. Even after mastering the art of how red wine should be stored, don’t put it too far out of sight. Try leaving it in a place that you will remember. How long will an open bottle of red wine be able to last without having a cork? If it went overnight in that particular state then you may want to throw it away.

Habits to Make your Wine Last Longer

Get into the habit of getting your wine saved to enjoy later by recorking it after every glass rather than leaving an open bottle on the counter for several hours. Your wine will also stay fresher throughout the night if you do that. If you trash the cork accidentally, or it expands into twice the size and you aren’t able to shove it back into the bottle, don’t worry. Maybe you will feel a little afraid if you don’t happen to have any wine stoppers or extra corks, but it can help you with creating a seal on the top of your wine to slow down the oxidation process. So make sure to have some stoppers on hand.

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