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Laura Pearse
11 February 2021 | Laura Pearse

How long does an open bottle of wine last?

First let's look at why wine goes off and goes bad once the screw cap has been opened or the cork popped.


Wines stored after opening can go bad in two major ways:

  • The first (and most usual) is when the alcohol oxidizes it reacts with oxygen in the air. This causes a nutty, bruised fruit taste that 'steals' the wine's fresh fruity flavours.
  • The second is bacteria within the acetic acid can consume the alcohol in the wine and recats with it to create acetic acid and acetaldehyde. This gives the wine a sharp, vinegar-like smell.

These are both chemical reactions, so if you lower the temperature, the reaction will be slower- that means: keeping your wine in the fridge will make it last longer.

Different styles of wine will last longer than others once opened. Get the cheatsheet

Here is my guide to how long each wine type will last after being opened.


How long does red wine last once opened?

Red wines can last 3–5 days in a cool dark place sealed with their screwcap.Red Wine Grapes

The more tannin and acidity the red wine has, the longer it tends to last after opening.

So, a light red with very little tannin, such as Pinot Noir, won’t last open as long as a rich red wine, like Shiraz.

Some wines will even improve after the first day open.
Store open red wines in a dark cool place after opening them.

If you don’t have a wine cellar, your fridge is better than letting wine sit out in a 21+°C room.


How long does sparkling wine last once opened?

Sparkling wines can last 1–3 days in the fridge with a sparkling wine stopper 

Sparkling wines lose their fizz quickly after opening. A traditional method sparkling wine, like ours or a Champagne, will last longer than a tank method sparkling wine, like Prosecco.

The traditional method wines have more atmospheres of pressure (more bubbles) in them when they’re bottled, which is why they tend to last longer.Get the cheatsheet

I have found the best Champagne Sealer, I've spent years trialling various closures/ ways to seal sparkling wine, and this one is the very best I've found.

Your sparkling wine will now last up to 5 days.


How long does a Lighter Unwooded White or Rosé Wine last once opened?

Rose WineUnoaked white wine or rosé can last 5–7 days in the fridge sealed with the screwcap.

Off dry white and rosé wines will be drinkable for up to a week when stored in your refrigerator.

The taste will change subtly after the first day, as the wine oxidizes.

Overall the fruit character of the wine tends to diminish, becoming less vibrant.

How long does Chardonnay or Full Bodied White Wine last once opened?

Chardonnay or a full-bo3–5 days in fridge sealed with the screwcap.

Full-bodied white wines, like oaked Chardonnay, tend to oxidize more quickly because they saw more oxygen during their pre-bottling aging process.

Make sure you keep them sealed and in the fridge.

If you drink a lot of this type of wine, it’s a really smart idea to invest in an Argon Gas canister.


How long does Fortified Wine last once opened?

Fortified wines can last 28 days in a cool dark place, sealed with a cork.

Fortified wines like Port and Muscat have very long shelf lives because of the addition of brandy.

I know these wines look fantastic displayed on a shelf, but they will lose their vibrant flavors more quickly from exposure to light and heat.Get the cheatsheet

Just so you know, the sweeter the dessert wine, the longer it will last open.


Next time you're at the Cellar Door,make sure to ask us exactly how long our Swan Valley wines will last once you open them.

We look forward to seeing you soon. 


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