Wine & More

How Long Does Wine Last Once Opened?

featured image of opening a wine bottle with waiters corkscrew

Ever wondered how long can you expect a bottle of wine to last once it is opened? It often depends on the type of wine, how it’s stored, and if it’s sealed with a cork or screw cap. In short, once opened, wine usually lasts around 3 to 5 days if kept in a cool, dark place. We suggest refrigerating the white, rosé, and sparkling wine. Use a cork, vacuum stopper, or a wine preservation system to minimize oxygen exposure. Reds often last longer than whites post-opening. Sparkling wines need careful preservation and refrigeration, or they will start to lose their effervescence within a few hours. Fortified wines like Port, Madeira, or Sherry are more resilient, staying fresh for weeks, due to higher alcohol. Let’s explore this topic further. Look at our simple wine-preserving guide to see when it’s time to open a new bottle and when it’s time to say goodbye to an old one!

How long does wine last once opened?

The simplest rule for playing it safe is to drink the wine within 3 days of opening the bottle.

The opened bottle should be refrigerated and re-corked. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum wine stopper or the innovative Coravin preservation system to keep it safe.

Here are some wine duration guidelines in the table below.

Type of Wine Duration Once Opened Additional Notes
Red Wines 3-6 days Store in a cool, dark place. Recork or use Coravin to limit oxygen exposure. Full-bodied red wines, such as Syraz or Cabernet Sauvignon with more tannins last longer.
White Wines & Rosé Wines 3-5 days Light-bodied whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, should remain fresh for up to 3-5 days after opening. Rosé wines last for up to 3 days. Full-bodied whites last up to 4-5 days.
Sparkling Wines Best consumed within 3 days Sparkling wine loses effervescence quickly once opened.

Use a Champagne stopper to extend the fizz for up to 3 days. Preserve it in the wine fridge or the taste will degrade significantly.

Fortified and Sweet Dessert Wines Up to 28 days or more Store fortified wines like Port, Sauternes, Sherry, and Marsala re-corked or with a wine stopper in a cool, dark place. Sweeter dessert wines last longer when opened, so keep them in the fridge.

But the ultimate deciding factor is the quality of the wine. Some wines will lose their freshness and aromas and oxidize much quicker, making them tasteless.

Wines with higher tannins or acidity generally stay fresh for a longer period.

Storing wines in the wine refrigerator extends their shelf life compared to leaving them on the counter.

It’s also recommended to store open red wines in the chiller, wine fridge, cellar, or a room where the temperature fluctuations will be kept at a minimum.

The best advice, though, is and will always be to drink the wine as soon as possible. Optimally within three days.

Sparkling wines 

Sparkling wine poured in a flute wine glass
Credits: Sparkling wine poured in a flute glass, Pixabay

If you’d like to keep a bottle of sparkling wine open, you have to be aware that you will quickly lose the fizz if you don’t use a sparkling wine stopper. 

Luckily for you, there are a few reliable Champagne and sparkling wine stoppers available on the market. We’ll talk about one of them later in the article.

If you don’t have one, it is safest to drink the whole bottle after it’s been opened.

Preserving carbonation is the primary issue with sparkling wine, as it tends to lose its fizziness before oxidation becomes a concern.

The great thing is that the traditional method sparkling wines like Cava or Champagne last longer than tank method ones.

They are produced with higher pressure during bottling, than for example, Prosecco.

If you have a sparkling wine stopper, consuming the wine within two or even three days is generally safe. But, remember to refrigerate it.

The fuller the bottle, the better it will retain its carbonation.

However, you release a significant amount of carbonation every time you open the bottle.

Therefore, if you plan to enjoy a sparkling wine a day or two after opening it, avoid repeatedly opening the bottle to maintain its effervescence.

White wine and rosé wines

Light-bodied white wines and rosé wines can last up to 3 to 5 days when refrigerated and recorked. The simpler wines should be drunk within the 3 days.

If you have a structured, layered, and more complex white wine, like Korta Katarina The American Pošip, you can have an opened bottle for up to 5 days.

The taste will change slowly but subtly, depending on the quality of the wines.

Some complex wines (for example natural, organic, or amphora-aged wines) could taste better after being open for some time in the bottle.

Enjoy the unknown and start exploring!

Red wines 

Red wine poured in a wine glass by a waiter
Credits: Red wine poured in a wine glass, Pixabay

Light-bodied reds that are fresher and easier to drink, like Sansigot, Plavina, or Lasina, will last for 3 days once opened and recorked in the fridge.

The more robust and complex the red wine, with more tannins, the longer it lasts in the fridge.

Red wines like Plavac Mali, Teran, and Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux blends can hold up to 5 days in the fridge.

What happens if you don’t refrigerate wine after opening?

If wine is not refrigerated after opening, it will come into contact with air and oxidize.

Oxidation is a chemical reaction that turns ethanol into acetaldehyde, and affects the flavor and aroma of the wine greatly.

Sulfur is often added during the winemaking production to prevent oxidation.

It is believed that wines with less sulfur spoil faster, although there can be other factors involved too.

Natural wines or organic wines without added sulfur go against that idea.

Many factors affect the expiration date of wine once opened:

  • the wine serving temperature,
  • the style of wine,
  • the type of wine,
  • the amount of wine left in the bottle,
  • the type of wine closure, and
  • more.

In summary, keeping opened wine refrigerated slows down oxidation, contributing to its preservation.

Professional wine fridges are the best options for proper wine storage.

Factors that affect wine’s shelf life

As a living beverage, wine changes over time due to various factors.

Oxidation is oftentimes a key reason. This process is normal and occurs during winemaking, fermentation, aging in barrels, and corking.

Oxidation can affect wine taste by increasing acetic acid levels and making flavors flat. It can also cause wine to smell vinegary instead of vibrant.

Once a bottle is opened, exposure to oxygen can dull the color, aroma, and flavor of the wine.

From a health perspective, oxidized wine is generally safe to drink. It is essentially turning into vinegar, becoming less enjoyable from a wine lover’s perspective. 🙂

Storing your open bottle at a low temperature, preferably in a wine fridge, can slow down the reaction.

How can you know if a wine has gone off?

When examining wine, pay close attention to signs of oxidation, such as dulled fruit aromas and flavors or a change in color to a brown-edged tinge.

Another indication of wine spoilage could be vinegary notes, which may be caused by acetic acid bacteria.

It’s important to note that wines can still be enjoyable even after losing their freshness. We always recommend smelling it or tasting it before discarding the bottle.

In summary, before you decide to throw out the wine, pour a glass and inspect its color and smell. If it smells like vinegar, wet cardboard, wet dog, or worse, it might be spoiled due to over-oxidation or bacterial growth.

Tips for storing opened wine

  • Consider investing in a wine cooler or wine cabinet if you plan to store wine for a long time. It helps maintain the right temperature and humidity levels.
  • Keep wine in a cool, dark, and humid place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  • The best temperature is between 50-60°F (10-15°C), with around 70% humidity. Sunlight can affect the wine’s aroma and taste.
  • Store wine bottles horizontally to keep the cork moist and prevent air from getting in.
  • Avoid rooms with temperature fluctuations and disturbing vibrations.
  • Use wine gadgets and wine accessories to preserve and store open bottles.

Luckily, there are many wine gadgets available. Instead of stressing about open wine, use a Champagne or sparkling wine stopper, vacuum wine stopper and Coravin.

Champagne, Prosecco and Cava Wine Stopper

Our Pick
Champagne, Prosecco and Cava Wine Stopper by KLOVEO
$25.00 $23.75

Excel with an 88psi capacity, self-tightening seal, and Italian craftsmanship. KLOVEO's stopper uses Pascal's Law for a 'bubble-tight' seal, works flat or upright, and is BPA and Phthalate Free.

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02/18/2024 06:18 pm GMT

We personally love the Champagne Stoppers by Kloveo.

They keep our Champagne fresh and bubbly for longer.

The stopper securely attaches to the bottleneck, preventing leaks even when tipped over. Plus, it feels like opening a new bottle every time with that satisfying fizz.

It works for Prosecco, Cava, some Magnum and 187ml bottles, and many large beer or cider bottles.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Just press the cap down and the seal does the rest.
  • Then, lock it with the stainless steel safety clip.
  • It’s easy to release, even for those with arthritis!
  • To keep the maximum fizz, seal your bottle right away and refrigerate it.

Easy to use, great value and quality. What more is there to say…

Vacuum wine stopper

Our Pick
Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump with 4 Vacuum Wine Stoppers

An easy, airtight solution and preservation system that ensures quality, featuring reusable stoppers that provide an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to maintain freshness in opened bottles.

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02/18/2024 06:38 pm GMT

Here is how the Vacu Vin wine pump and stopper work:

  • insert the rubber stopper into the neck of the bottle,
  • put the pump atop the stopper, and
  • draw the air out of the bottle until all the oxygen is removed (you’ll hear a click after its done).


Best Wine Preservation
Coravin Timeless Eleven Wine Preservation System

The wine preservation technology and the first automatic and connected Wine Preservation System, complete with key accessories for enthusiasts and collectors.

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Another way to preserve wine is by using inert gas. Coravin wine-by-the-glass preservation system is essential for keeping opened bottles fresh longer.

With the Coravin Timeless Eleven Wine, you can enjoy a glass without opening the bottle, keeping the rest fresh for weeks.

It uses a needle to access wine through the cork, replacing it with argon gas to prevent oxidation. No need to open or remove the cork.

The kit includes:

  • Automatic tip-to-pour activation, Bluetooth, and LED screen
  • Four Coravin Pure Capsules filled with argon gas
  • Coravin aerator for fast decanting
  • Two screw caps for screw cap bottles
  • Carry case, clearing tools, and bottle sleeve

With the Timeless Six wine preserver, you can enjoy wine on your terms.

It lets you pour wine without removing the cork, keeping the rest fresh for a long time with argon gas.


Q1. Can you drink opened wine after 2 weeks?

Usually, it’s not recommended to drink wine opened after 2 weeks, unless you use a wine preservation system like Coravin. Normally, opened red, white, or rosé wine can last between three and six days. Dpending on proper storage, factors like the type of wine, how it’s stored, and whether a preservation system is used. Nevertheless, always pour a glass and inspect its color and smell to check.

Q2. Can an opened bottle of wine go bad?

Yes, the opened bottle of wine can go bad. Once open, wine typically lasts for three to six days. If it goes bad, it may alter in taste, smell, and consistency. Be sure to store it properly, or use wine gadgets and Coravin.

Q3. Is it OK to drink old wine?

It’s generally okay to drink old wine if it has been produced for aging, properly stored, and is from a type of wine that benefits from aging. Most wines are meant to be consumed relatively young, within a few years of their vintage date. However, certain types of wine, such as high-quality reds and some whites, can improve with age if stored properly. These wines often develop more complex flavors and aromas over time. That said, not all wines are suitable for aging, and drinking old wine that has passed its prime can result in a less enjoyable tasting experience. Old wines may lose their fruitiness, become oxidized, or develop off-flavors. Additionally, if a wine has been poorly stored, it may have spoiled and could even be harmful to consume.

Q4. Is it OK to drink 20-year-old wine?

Yes, it’s generally fine to drink a 20-year-old wine if it’s a high-quality one meant for aging and has been stored properly. Not a supermarket wine, stored on the shelf for 20 years, obviously. We often taste some amazing old, vintage wines, and archive wines, aged for 30+ years. Unforgettable experiences!

Q5. Do wines expire?

When stored correctly and unopened, white and rosé wines produced for immediate consumption can last 1-2 years past their recommended drinking time, and red wines 2-3 years. Fortified wines and wines produced for prolonged aging in a cellar (such as vintage, and archive wines) can be enjoyed for decades. Wines don’t exactly “expire” in the same way as food does. However, they can deteriorate in quality over time if not stored properly or if they’ve been open for too long. Unopened full-bodied wines can last for years or even decades if stored in ideal conditions, with red wines typically lasting longer than whites and high-quality wines having the potential to age gracefully for many years. It’s important to store wines in a cool, dark place with consistent temperature and humidity levels to prolong their lifespan.


Ready to take your wine experience to the next level and ensure every bottle stays fresh and enjoyable? Ready for some more wine tips?

Explore five ways to chill wine effectively and hassle-free. Learn how to buy the right wine glass and wine accessory for the ultimate wine-tasting experience. Check our tips on how to open a bottle of wine like a pro,

Don’t let another bottle go to waste – learn everything about the best wine openers and travel with ease by using our favorite wine luggage options!

If you’re looking for more tips and recommendations, feel free to reach out to us.

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