Have you ever been offered a glass of wine by someone, with the disclaimer that it’s been in their fridge for a while and they aren’t sure if it’s still good?
I’ve had this happen more than once, and I’m often asked how long wine lasts after it’s been opened.
The answer can vary, but I would say 5 days (maximum).
Some wines spoil more quickly than others (sparkling wine of course, is hard to keep bubbly after 3 days) where as others like port or dessert wines last much longer. The higher than normal sugar and alcohol content in these wines acts as a preservative. But, if you’re still unsure, what can you look for?
Firstly, it won’t smell the same (see pic below from Winefolly on smells to watch out for). Second, the colour might have changed. When you cut an apple, and leave it for a few hours, it turns brown and the same thing happens with wine. Therefore, if your wine looks darker, or has a brown tinge (and it didn’t before) it’s probably passed its’ prime.
So how can you ensure wine lasts as long as possible? Treat it like any other perishable food item. Pop it back in the fridge (even red) and make sure it’s closed securely. There are some products out there to help preserve wine, but they’re all just limiting the amount of oxygen exposed to wine. An easy, yet somewhat unconventional option is to transfer the wine into a smaller container. Not everyone has small wine bottles lying around but a mason jar works equally as well. The wine has less oxygen in that jar, than it does in a bottle and it also makes storing wine in your fridge a little more easy.