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How Long Does Open Red Wine Last For?

  • 3 min read

It’s at the tail end of a lovely dinner, and you find yourself with half a bottle left of that Shiraz you popped open for this occasion. 

You could finish it, or you could store it. But how long does red wine last after it’s uncorked?

It’s an age-old question that has left many people scratching their heads, wondering if they need to drink it as soon as possible or if they can at least wait a few days before their bottle of red wine is spoiled. 

Read on and find out about the drinking window red wine has after it has been opened, as well as how to prolong its life. 

How Long Does Red Wine Last Once Opened?

Because red wine is made in so many ways and comes in so many variations, there is no ‘one shoe fits all’ answer when asking how long does red wine last after opening. 

But, if we were to generalise, red wine typically lasts from 3 to 6 days under the right conditions. 

  • Light Red Wines:Open lighter reds tend to last the shortest amount of time before ‘spoiling’. Light reds such as Pinot Noirs typically last around 2 to 3 days under the right conditions.
  • Medium Red Wines:Open medium-bodied reds, such as Shiraz and Merlot tend to last a little longer, between 3 to 5 days. 
  • Full-Bodied Red Wines: Open full-bodied red wines usually last the longest, staying fresh between 4 to 6 days. These include Cabernet Sauvignon and some Shiraz. 

The more full-bodied red wine is, the higher its alcohol and tannin content, which helps it to stay fresh longer. Full-bodied reds tend to have 13.5% alcohol content or more. 

What Happens to Red Wine After It Is Opened?

After your bottle of red has been opened, the liquid inside will be exposed to oxygen, causing it to degrade rather rapidly. This is called oxidation. 

Ways to Prolong Wine’s Life After It Has Been Opened

After opening a red wine, you should recork it or seal it well and then refrigerate it as soon as possible. When re-corking, it’s best to use the ‘stained’ side of the cork facing the bottle (the other side may not be clean and reduce your wine’s drink life). If you don’t have a cork, other effective ways to seal your bottle include:

  • Wine Stoppers
  • Wine Vacuum Pumps
  • Inert Wine Gas Preservation Systems
  • Wine bottle screw caps

Remember to always keep your wine cool and in a dark environment, or at the very least away from direct sunlight. Before opening your wine, we recommend storing them on some high quality wine racks.

How to Know If Your Opened Red Wine Has Gone Bad?

After wine has been spoiled, it will have a sour, abrasive smell, not dissimilar to nail polish, bruised fruit or vinegar. Remember, wine comes from fruit, so it’s no wonder that it may smell like a slice of fruit that has been left out for too long. It will also seem dull and lack its trademark colours. And when you taste it, you’ll know that it’s gone bad, while also tasting overly sweet.

How to Store Your Red Wine Under the Perfect Conditions 

Wine Cabinet Wine Refrigerator

Learning how to store your wine is a highly rewarding skill to have. There’s a lot to consider, including temperature, humidity, light conditions and even the amount of vibration that occurs where your wine is stored. You can learn all about that in our blog here.

At Wine Stash, welove wine! So much so that we made it our job to help other wine lovers store their wine under the best conditions. From storing your wine on our premium wine racks, or in our state of the art wine cabinets/wine refrigerators, we provide a fantastic range of wine storage solutions. 

Check out our online store today to begin your wine collection journey.

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