Storing Opened Wine: 5 Tips for Keeping it Fresh

Any wine collector knows opened wine is exposed to oxygen, which accelerates the oxidation process, leading to a decline in freshness and taste qualities. However, there is always a way to preserve your opened wine bottle to avoid wasting wine by ensuring leftovers retain their quality for a few days.

Don’t act too late and expect some subtle changes in flavor and aroma, especially as you get closer to the end of the storage window. Store it in its early stages right after you open the bottle.

Here are some tips.

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5 Easy Methods to Store Opened Wine

Choosing the right storage techniques can help wine lovers enjoy leftover wine without compromising its taste profile. It’s like giving that extra life to opened wine and avoiding unnecessary waste.

Methods 1: Minimize Air Exposure

Reseal Wine Tightly

If you can, always try to use the wine’s original cork. Just give that cork a firm push back into the bottle, or, if you’re feeling fancy, using a vacuum wine preservation system can really make a difference. Re-corking the bottle, can help minimize air exposure, but it’s not as effective as vacuum sealing or inert gas preservation.

If you don’t have original cork wine stoppers, no worries! There are now many alternative options available that can help preserve your wine without cork. Check it if you need it.

Reseal Wine Tightly

Inert Gas Spray:

Inert gas spray gadgets use argon gas (don’t worry, it’s totally harmless) to form a protective shield right on top of your wine. Pretty cool, right?

Inert Gas Spray

Vacuum Wine Savers:

Vacuum wine saver are like little vacuum cleaners for your wine bottle. They manually pump out the unwanted air, leaving behind a tight vacuum seal.

Vacuum Wine Savers

Transfer Leftover Wine to a Smaller Container:

Got a decent splash left in that bottle but not planning on finishing it tonight? Consider transferring it to a smaller, airtight container.

Just transfer it into a smaller, airtight bottle or container, it reduces the space (headspace, in this case). Grab a clean, glass container that fits the amount of wine you have leftover, fill it up to the top, and seal with a lid.

I usually keep a spare 375ml bottle on hand to store the remaining wine in the fridge after enjoying a few glasses.

Transfer to a Smaller Container

Although this may be acceptable for short periods, prolonged exposure to room temperature will degrade the wine.

Methods 2: Storing Opened Wine in Fridge

Don’t fall for the myth that only white wines belong in the fridge after opening. Red wines, too, benefit immensely from refrigeration once they’ve been opened.

Storing opened wine in a refrigerator (around 45°F) significantly slows down oxidation, preserving its fresh fruit flavors and aromas for up to 3-5 days.

Just remember, store the resealed bottle upright to minimize the surface area exposed to oxygen, this keeps the wine from interacting with the cork too much, preventing potential off-flavors. And don’t store your opened wine near heat sources or in direct sunlight, even in the fridge.

resealed bottle upright

Methods 3: Drink It Soon:

Even with the best methods, opened wine won’t last forever. Aim to finish it within a few days (3-5 for most wines) for the best experience.

Red Wines, White & Rosé Wines:

Will stay in the zone for about 3-5 days when stored properly. Just remember to keep them cool and corked. Take red wine out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes before serving to let it warm slightly for optimal flavor.

Sparkling Wines:

Unfortunately, that bubbly charm will lose its carbonation faster than other wines unless stored in the fridge. Once opened, it’s best to consume your sparkling wine within 1-3 days.

Fortified Wines:

These are the tough cookies of the wine world. Thanks to their higher alcohol content and sweet additives, fortified wines like Port, Sherry, or Madeira can last 1-2 weeks in the fridge.

FAQs

How long does opened wine last?

Red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah can last 3-5 days in the fridge; lighter reds like Pinot Noir degrade faster. White and Rosé wines last 3-5 days, with sweeter types lasting longer. Sparkling wines last 1-2 days with a stopper. Fortified wines like Sherry and Port can last weeks, while Madeira and Marsala can last months.

Does wine go bad?

Yes, wine can go bad in several ways. Wine can spoil in various ways: oxidation from air exposure or poor storage, bacterial spoilage from acetic acid bacteria, cork taint like TCA, and heat damage leading to cooked flavors. Signs of bad wine include unpleasant smells, flat flavors, color changes, and a cloudy appearance.

How to prevent wine from going bad?

To preserve wine quality, store bottles in a cool, dark, stable place on their side to keep corks moist. Consume opened bottles within 3-5 days if well refrigerated. Be vigilant for faults such as cork taint, oxidation, or heat damage.

Can you drink opened wine after 2 weeks?

Red wine can maintain its quality for up to two weeks if stored properly, though the likelihood decreases. While the wine won’t spoil, it may lose its vibrancy and freshness. For the best quality, aim to consume opened bottles within 3-5 days.

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Williams T. Edwards
Williams T. Edwards, the visionary founder of Williams Minneapolis, has not only shaped a vibrant and dynamic venue but has also brought his expertise in wine coolers to the forefront of the local scene. This unique establishment, with its blend of history and modernity, invites patrons to experience its welcoming ambiance, diverse beverage selection, and entertainment options. Whether you're a local looking for a reliable favorite or a visitor seeking a memorable night out, Williams Minneapolis is a must-visit destination in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
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