One of life's really important questions; does wine go bad? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, along with all the delicious things in life, wine doesn’t last forever. But we wouldn’t want you pouring unfinished bottles down the sink, letting it go to waste. Just follow these guidelines below and drink up. Invite your friends over and finish that open bottle you’ve got chilling in the fridge.
The science bit
Wine spoils because the liquid gets exposed to the oxygen in the air once the cap is off, which causes a chemical reaction. The lower the room temperature the slower the reaction will happen. Make sure you recap after each pour and store your wine upright to minimise the surface area exposed to the oxygen in the air.
Bright lights are not a friend to red wine, as the UV rays can damage the taste. This is why red wine bottles are often darker in colour, which acts like a pair of sunglasses.
Does sparkling wine go bad?
If your sparkling wine doesn’t sparkle anymore, it has gone bad. Sparkling wines such as Prosecco or Cava can last 1-3 days if it’s stored in the fridge and has had the cork replaced. Champagne can last 3-5 days if it’s correctly covered. There’s a well-known hack that an upside down spoon will keep the bubbles in the bubbly. This has not totally been proven, but it may keep some of the fizz for about 24 hours. If you do want your Champagne to last, we’d recommend using a bottle stopper.
Does red wine go bad?
Find your cool dark happy place and store all your opened red wine bottles there. Red wine will be drinkable for up to 3-5 days once opened with a wine stopper used. Make sure you seal your bottles as quickly as possible as oxygen can give red wine the taste of vinegar, which doesn't taste nice at all.
Does white wine go off?
You’ll notice that the taste of light bodied white and rosé wines will change if the wine is off. It may taste sharp or of bruised fruit. Light bodied white and rosé wine can last just under a week in the fridge with the cap screwed back on. Full-bodied white wine lasts a little less because of the pre-bottling aging process. But, they’re usually fine for up to 3-5 days in the fridge with the screw cap on.
What about the others?
Fortified wines like sherry are made to last a while and are still drinkable up to 28 days if stored in a cool, dark place. This is the same for bag-in-a-box wine which can last up to 28 days in the fridge.
If you follow these drink-by dates, you’ll be well on your way to minimising your wine wastage. Happy sipping!