If you’re wondering how in the world you’d actually have any vino leftover after dinner (who doesn’t finish the whole bottle!?), it does happen. The question, How long does wine last after opening, is a common and timeless question, just know you are not alone. When you do find yourself with leftover wine at the end of the evening, don’t panic. It’s not going to be bad by tomorrow. Promise.
In fact, the good news is, if you store it properly, your wine will be just as good tomorrow as it was tonight. Here’s how long wine lasts after opening the bottle.
Red wine and white wine will last between two and four days when properly stored, dependent on if they are fortified wines or full-bodied white wines.
Sparkling wine has a shorter shelf life. For one to three days after it’s opened, your bottle of bubbly with still sparkle.
Of course, how long your drinking wine actually remains fresh will depend upon its quality. There are a handful of things that you can do to help your Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, oaked Chardonnay, and all of the other wines you can imagine from losing their characteristic tastes as quickly as they otherwise would.
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For starters, if you know you’re only going to indulge in one glass of wine with your meal, make sure that you re-cork your bottle immediately after opening. Use wine stoppers to get a tighter seal. If it’s a red and needs to aerate, let it do so in your glass.
Secondly, if you find that you have a half open bottle and the night is drawing to a close, save all the flavor of the remaining liquid by corking the bottle tightly and storing it in the fridge.
No matter if it’s red or white wine, storing half-full bottles in the fridge will help slow down the oxidation process and keep your wine from spoiling so quickly.
Don’t just assume everything is fine.
When you decide to remove the cork from your half bottles for the second time, don’t just assume that your boozy leftovers will be as good as new. Sometimes, despite your best intentions, your wine will have soured.
So that you don’t find yourself drinking a glass of vinegar, it’s a smart idea to make sure that your pour a small amount into a glass and examine the liquid. Does it smell like wine? Is it a clear or jewel-toned liquid?
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If the answer is yes, go ahead and have a sip. If you detect anything off, like a brown-tinged color, it’s probably not best to pour yourself a glass.
However, that doesn’t mean you should throw it away! Just because wine isn’t good enough to drink, doesn’t mean it’s not fit to cook with. In fact, there are so many recipes that an old bottle of wine can add a complex new dimension to. Like this one.
Coq Au Chardonnay
Don’t worry the next time you realize that you’ve had an open bottle of wine in the fridge for a couple of days. Worst case scenario, it will be a great way to motivate yourself to try out some deliciously new, wine-soaked recipes.
You can also store the reminder of your table wine from an opened bottle in an empty ice cube tray to freeze to deglaze pans or add to recipes later.