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How Long Does Wine Last after opening?

Wine begins to lose its charm 3 days after opening. Wine that has been open for 7+ days is typically unpleasant. Wine rapidly degrades after opening because it reacts with oxygen that is present in the air. This process is known as oxidation. Oxidation in open bottles of wine is the same process that causes a cut apple to turn brown.

You can extend the life of your wine for weeks by preventing oxidation. You prevent oxidation by displacing oxygen with the ArT Wine Preserver. We discuss more tips and tricks with the 4 wine preservation techniques below that can further extend the life of your open bottle of wine.


How long does white wine or red wine last after opening?


Specifically - it is fairly difficult to predict the exact rate of spoiling by wines. Generally white wines in the fridge last longer than red wines left out.

For example, open bottles of Pinot Noir wine can spoil in less than 3 days. Many fragile white wines spoil over night if not refrigerated. Some heavy fortified wines can last a few weeks after opening.

Red and white wines that are open will last two to five times longer when preserved properly with ArT Wine Preservation, and even longer if combined with other preservation techniques.


Does Wine Go Bad?

Wine goes "bad" as quickly as 3 days after opening. Though bad wine probably won't harm you, it is certainly unpleasant. By day 7 almost all wine becomes "bad". Wine goes bad due to a rapid degradation in the presence of air known as oxidation (oxygen reacting with the wine).

Red and white wines both oxidize in the presence of the air. This causes the wine to go bad. Preventing oxidation using ArT Wine Preserver and simple techniques can prevent wine from going bad.


4 Methods: How to Store Open Bottles of Wine

Storing open bottles of white and red wine so they last longer is easy with just a few steps. You can take advantage of a refrigerator and the ArT Wine Preserver to make open bottles of wine last for weeks. More in the list below.

As a note: There are many guides for storing opened wine using some of the techniques below. We wrote the only in depth technical article on how to make open bottles of wine last longer using an argon wine preserver. The separate article has more specifics on how argon and an argon wine preserver is used to keep wine longer. Now - onto the list of things your can do to keep your open bottles of wine longer.



1) Refrigeration & Remove Heat

Refrigeration lowers the energy in the bottle, thereby reducing the energy pushing oxidation reactions forward. That is because the higher the temperature, the faster the oxygen molecules will move and more often they will collide with the wine. More collisions lead to more reactions. Ideally a wine specific fridge, as this eliminates the possibility of food aromas from entering the bottle if your seal is less than adequate.
This does include red wines - although it should be noted that this was once considered faux pas. Red wine should be allowed to return to at least 55 F (or producer recommended temperature) before consumption.

When it is time to re-open your bottle of wine and pull out of the fridge: Do NOT use heat or a microwave. This may cause undesired reactions if localized heating occurs. A good rule of thumb is to pull an open bottle of red wine from the fridge 30-45 minutes before consuming & to pull an open bottle of white wine from the fridge 10-15 minutes before consuming.



2) Remove sunlight

Just like refrigeration reduces energy by removing heat, storing in a dark place removes the solar energy. Without being too technical, we want to prevent heat or solar energy from entering the bottle and allowing oxygen to react.

Even for unopened bottles of wine - you should store the bottles away from sun and other harsh forms of light. These can fuel degradation of even the finest wines kept at perfect humidity and temperature.

A fridge works perfect for this and can keep the open bottle of wine both dark and cold. 



3) Vibration Dampening

Unnecessary vibrations should be avoided to make an open bottle of wine last longer. By "vibrations" - we aren't talking about a little hum in the fridge. We mean shaking or transporting an opened bottle of wine in the back of pickup truck. This basically aerates a wine, because it makes for more collisions between the oxygen and the wine. Aeration is a good thing right before consumption, as it brings out the aromas and flavors. But aeration earlier will lead to degradation.

This means you should avoid storing open bottles of wine in places like your car.


4) Store upright (Opened Wine Bottles Only)

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Leaving the bottle upright decreases the surface area exposed to oxygen compared to laying down. Lower surface area decreases the amount of molecular collisions between the wine and oxygen and therefore the rate of the oxidation reaction.

This may seem counter intuitive since unopened wine bottles are typically stored on their side. Keep in mind we are currently discussing already opened bottles of wine. In which case a reusable cork with argon is the absolute best method of “sealing”, as it reduces the surface area exposed to oxygen even after pouring.


Keep in mind these are all tips for opened bottles of wine. For unopened bottles of wine, you will want to store the wines on their side instead of upright. You will also want to store wines "cool" rather than "cold". This can be done with a special humidity controlled wine cooler.



5 Places NOT to Store an Open Bottle of Wine

We already discussed methods and ways to store open bottles of wine. Below are a 5 places you do NOT want to store an open bottle of wine even if you use a high quality wine preserver like ArT Wine Preserver:


1) Your Vehicle:

Poor Temperature Control | Movement | Potentially Illegal

There are many reasons a vehicle is not a good place to store an open bottle of wine. First off, this may violate state law if a person do not reseal the bottle properly

Secondly, temperatures in a car or truck tends to fluctuate greatly - with high temperatures in the summer and low temperatures in the winter. Temperature swings or extremes damage the structure of wine.

Lastly, if this vehicle ends up moving a lot (because its a mode of transportation), its likely an opened bottle of wine will be subject to a large amount of vibrations and shaking.

For the same reasons, storing an unopened bottle of wine will go bad if you store it in your vehicle. Humidity and temperature control is necessary for protecting unopened bottles of wine long term, which is uncontrolled in a vehicle.


2) Your attic:

Poor Temperature Control

An attic is a convenient place to store many things, but opened bottles of wine should be stored elsewhere. The temperature in attics tend to swing greatly and it is possible for aromas from the attic to seep into the wine.


3) Your windowsill:


Storing an open bottle of wine on a windowsill looks pretty - but subject to excess light. This light will degrade the wine quicker than storing somewhere dark.


4) Your suitcase: 

Poor Temperature Control | Movement

This one often cannot be avoided if a bottle is picked up while traveling. But keep in mind baggage tends to get bounced around & is subject to high and low temperatures at airports all year round.


5) Your friend's place:

Good luck getting your wine back.


Next Step

What questions do you have for us? Let us know by contacting us.

If you are ready to protect your open bottles of wine, click the link below to learn more about the ArT Wine Preserver.

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