How Long Does Wine Last?

Tuesday, 14 January, 2020
If you’ve ever wondered whether a leftover or old bottle of wine is still OK to drink, you’re not alone. While some things get better with age, that doesn’t necessarily apply to an opened bottle of wine.

Food and beverages do not last forever, and this holds true for wine as well.

This article covers how long wine lasts, as well as how to tell if your wine has gone bad.

How long does unopened wine last?

Though unopened wine has a longer shelf life than opened wine, it can go bad.

Unopened wine can be consumed past its printed expiration date if it smells and tastes OK.

It’s important to remember that the shelf life of unopened wine depends on the type of wine, as well as how well it’s stored.

Here is a list of common types of wine and how long they will last unopened:

  • White wine: 1–2 years past the printed expiration date
  • Red wine: 2–3 years past the printed expiration date
  • Cooking wine: 3–5 years past the printed expiration date
  • Fine wine: 10–20 years, stored properly in a wine cellar

Generally, wine should be kept in cool, dark places with bottles placed on their sides to prevent the cork from drying out.

How long does opened wine last, and why does it go bad?

The shelf life of an opened bottle of wine varies depending on the type. In general, lighter wines go bad a lot faster than darker varieties.

Once wine is opened, it’s exposed to more oxygen, heat, light, yeast, and bacteria, all of which can cause chemical reactions that alter the quality of the wine (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source).

Storing wine in lower temperatures will help slow down these chemical reactions and keep opened wine fresher longer.

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