How long until wine goes bad?
You’ve opened a bottle of wine and for some reason you didn’t finish it…what do you do now? How much time do you have left until it goes bad?! Depending on the style of wine the time frame changes.
Wine goes bad for two main reasons. First the wine is exposed to oxygen which causes the wine to oxidize developing aromas of nuts and bruised fruit. The other reasons is because acetic acid bacteria consumes the alcohol and metabolizes it into acetic acid and acetaldehyde which causes wine to have a vinegar smell. Either of these won’t make you sick, they just don’t taste very good.
On average Sparkling Wines last 1-3 days in the fridge with a sparkling wine stopper. Prosecco and other tank method wines will lose their bubbles before traditional method wines like Champagne and Cava.
Lighter Whites, Sweet Wine, and Rosé typically last 5-7 days in the fridge with a cork or screw cap. After the first few days these wines will start to loose their fruit character and freshness due to the exposure of oxygen. Light Bodied white wines consist of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Albarińo, and Vermentino.
Full Bodied White Wines have about 3-5 days corked in the refrigerator before they start diminishing in flavor. Chardonnay and Viognier are your prime examples of this style. They tend to oxidize more quickly due to their maturation process before bottling (ex. barrel aging).
Red Wines like full bodied white wines have about 3-5 days due to their exposure to oak and barrel maturation prior to bottling. You should store these in a cool dark place with a cork. However the more acidity and tannin a wine has they longer it will last, this relates to why some wines age better in a cellar than others. For example, Sangiovese or Cabernet Sauvignon would last longer than a Pinot Noir.
Fortified wines will typically last about a month after opening if stored in cool and dark places. These wines can last so long because they are fortified with the spirit, brandy.
*Madeira and Marsala can last even longer after opening because they are created in an oxidized style
*Rule of thumb with dessert wines: the sweeter they are the longer they will stay good after opening. These should be corked and stored in the refrigerator.