It’s at the tail end of a lovely dinner, and you find yourself with half a bottle left of that Shiraz you popped open for this occasion. You could finish it, or you could store it. But how long does red wine last once opened?
It’s an age-old question that has left many people scratching their heads, wondering if they need to drink it as soon as possible or if they can at least wait a few days before their bottle of red wine is spoiled.
The answer will vary slightly depending on the type of red wine, the climate you’re in, and the way an open bottle is stored. To get to the bottom of this question once and for all, we’ll break down what happens to an opened bottle of wine and how you can slow the process to get the most out of whatever you’re drinking.
How long does red wine last once opened?
Because red wine is made in so many ways and comes in so many variations, there is no ‘one shoe fits all’ answer when asking how long does red wine last after opening.
But, if we were to generalise, red wine typically lasts from 3 to 6 days under the right conditions.
Light red wines — Open lighter reds tend to last the shortest amount of time before ‘spoiling’. Light reds such as Pinot Noirs typically last around 2 to 3 days under the right conditions.
Medium red wines — Open medium-bodied reds, such as Shiraz and Merlot, tend to last a little longer, between 3 to 5 days.
- Full-bodied red wines— Open, full-bodied red wines usually last the longest, staying fresh between 4 to 6 days. These include Cabernet Sauvignon and some Shiraz.
The more full-bodied red wine is, the higher its alcohol and tannin content, which helps it to stay fresh longer. Full-bodied reds tend to have 13.5% alcohol content or more.
Are there ways to make red wine last longer once opened?
There are general guides to how long red wine lasts after opening, but is there anything you can do to buy yourself more time? The answer depends on a few factors.
How to know if your opened red wine has gone bad?
After wine has been spoiled, it will have a sour, abrasive smell, not dissimilar to nail polish, bruised fruit or vinegar. Remember, wine comes from fruit, so it’s no wonder that it may smell like a slice of fruit that has been left out for too long. It will also seem dull and lack its trademark colours. And when you taste it, you’ll know that it’s gone bad, while also tasting overly sweet.
Wine Stash can help you store your red wine under the perfect conditions
Cellaring and ageing red wine properly is the first step to extending its shelf life and getting the most out of your investment. From bespoke solutions to our classic collection of cabinets and wine cubes, Wine Stash helps you store your wine reliably while keeping your top-tier collection in premium conditions.
At Wine Stash, we love wine! So much so that we made it our job to help other wine lovers store their wine under the best conditions. From storing your wine on our premium wine racks, or in our state of the art wine cabinets/wine refrigerators, we provide a fantastic range of wine storage solutions.
Check out our online store today to begin your wine collection journey.