Love wine? Well regardless of how much we love wine, we can’t always empty the bottle in one night. Does sparkling wine go bad? What are we suppose to do if there is wine leftover? How long does it last before it has to hit the drain?
There is not a blanketed solution, however depending the type of wine there are things you can do. Our guide will get to the bottom of most of those often-asked questions, such as how long will open wine last? how do you know if wine has gone bad? does sparkling wine expire? And, does sparkling wine go bad?
Does sparkling wine expire and how can you tell if the wine has gone bad?
Most drinks and food will expire eventually, as will most wines. The cause is oxygen.
During the fermentation process of making wine, you will need lots of oxygen. This is what makes yeast turn sugar into alcohol. However, after that process is done, avoid any exposure to oxygen as much as you possibly can.
When wine is over oxidated, it turns into a vinegary liquid. Once the wine is opened, bacteria start to break down the alcohol. In time, it changes the alcohol into acetaldehyde and acetic acid. That is the reason for vinegar’s sour taste. Alcohol also oxidizes, resulting in the wine losing its flavor and freshness and leaving a taste somewhat like fruit that is bruised.
If you truly want to know if wine has gone bad, is to taste it and smell it, would you dare? If it has a strange taste, doesn’t smell quite right or the color is brownish, then trust your instincts and find its way to the kitchen sink.
Opened wine – will last how long?
There really is no one answer for how long opened wine will last before it goes bad. However, there are guidelines to help determine that’s alright to keep pouring or when it is time to pour it down the drain instead of your glass.
Sparkling wine 1-2 days
Pop it open, hear that fizz and then…flat! The carbonation diminishes pretty fast once its opened. With that being said, they are not all created equal.
Cava or champagne tends to have a longer shelf life due to more bubbles when bottled. If you use a sparkling wine stopper, it could last 3 days. Sparkling wine such as Prosecco will lose its fizz faster.
White full-bodied wine 3-5 days
White full-bodied wine such as White Rioja, Chardonnay and Muscat typically become oxidized faster than whites that are lighter. Why? you might ask. Because these complex and rich wines during the aging process are unprotected from more oxygen prior to bottling. Store these types of wine in the frig using a vacuum sealed cork.
Rosé and light white wine 3-5 days
It isn’t just about their refreshing taste and soft hues; it is that they are capable to last for some time after opening them. When they are correctly sealed and stored in the frig, these beauties can last up to seven days.
Red wine 3-5 days
Red wine will last depending on how much acidity and tannic acid it has. A Syrah or a rich Cabernet Sauvignon lasts longer than a Pinot Noir once it is opened. Be certain to store red wines in the frig rather on the counter at room temperature.
Fortified wines 28 plus days
Wines such as Sherry, Marsala and Port last the longest after opening. In general, the sweeter the wine, the longer it will last.
Unopened wine – will last how long?
Wine that has not been opened will last much longer compared to opened wine. We’re talking years longer. The important part is storing it correctly, we’ll get to that in a minute. It will breakdown at some point, so be sure to read the label and don’t wait way too long.
Unopened sparkling wine: can last three years beyond the expiration date.
Unopened white wine: White light or full-bodied wine will make it 1-2 years beyond the expiration date.
Unopened rosé wine: Just like sparkling wine, it can last approximately 3 years
Unopened red wine: these will last 2-3 years past the “use by date”
Unopened fortified wine: fortified wines are already preserved. Good quality Ports will last for years. When they are stored correctly, Ports will last forever.
Storage tips for keeping the wine good/fresh
It is a natural process for the life span of wine to eventually spoil. You cannot stop wine from going bad completely. However, there are things you can do to slow it down.
Store in a dark, cool place
Regardless of what kind of wine, keep it in a dark, cool spot with no direct sunlight. A spot where it’s a bit cooler than room temperature and avoid light and heat.
They are the same as bottle stoppers that you find pretty much in any retail store that has kitchen accessories. Some even have pumps and vacuum seals that help to reduce oxidation.
If you find yourself without one and need it quickly, you can use foil or plastic wrap around the opening and secure it with a rubber band. It may not be the most stylish solution, but it will be effective and get the job done.
Keep it sideways and humid
If your wine bottle has a natural cork, keep it in a humid setting. Cork can easily shrink as it dries out as it is porous, which allows bacteria to seep into the bottle. And that will cause…bad wine.
Cork will keep its moisture better when the bottle is placed sideways. This enables the cork to soak up some of the wine keeping it moist. Experts recommend to store wine with 70% humidity and at temperatures ranging from 50-55 degrees.
Warning sign that means it’s gone bad
A wine enthusiast could most likely know right away if the wine has gone bad. But, after all, we are not all wine fanatics, so here are some tips to help you determine if your wine has gone bad:
There are clues visually that give away wine going bad…
This is for wines that were clear from the start. If it looks cloudy or has developed a film, time to find the kitchen sink and dump it.
Wine can turn brown when exposed to oxygen. Even unopened bottles of wine will age. If the color seems brownish and the wine wasn’t meant to age, it’s portably time to get rid of it.
Are there bubbles?
You will know that the second fermentation started when you see bubbles appear in the wine. The bubbles suggest that the wine has poured and has to be poured out.
Smell is one of the most obvious ways to tell if your wine should find its way to the sink to get poured out. The smell can be sweet, vinegar or chemical like, medicinal and unpleasant. It depends on how your wine will react to outside elements.
If you didn’t take note of changed scents and appearance, you may take note of unusual or strong flavors in wine that has taken a turn for the bad. These may include:
- Sour or sharp vinegar
- Caramelized or sherried flavors
- Horseradish taste
Does sparkling wine go bad? Yes, but that doesn’t mean it has to ruin a great time.
Eventually just about everything end up going bad, that includes wine. The biggest problem for most wines is oxygen. So, enjoy your wine as soon as you can after you open it. We are not saying to chug down the bottle all at once. Using the correct storage, tools, and a bit of knowledge about wine, you can definitely prolong the life of your wine.
Remember, once opened, sparkling and lighter wines have shorter shelf life, while full bodies reds have more shelf life. Unopened wine can last beyond its expiration date; however, we say, what are you waiting for? No time like the present to enjoy a delicious glass of your favorite wine. Salute!