How Long Will Open Wine Last?

How Long Will Open Wine Last?

22nd September 2023

Wine is a beloved beverage enjoyed by many around the world. Whether it's a glass to unwind after a long day or a bottle to celebrate a special occasion, wine is a versatile drink that comes in various types and flavours. However, once you open a bottle of wine, its lifespan can be limited, and knowing how long it will last can help you make the most of your favourite wines.


Several factors can affect how long an open bottle of wine will remain enjoyable. These factors include the type of wine, the storage conditions, and the presence of preservatives or oxygenation.

Type of Wine:

Firstly, the type of wine plays a crucial role in determining its shelf life after opening. Generally, red wines tend to last longer than white wines. This is because red wines usually have a higher alcohol content and tannins that act as natural preservatives. On the other hand, white wines contain less alcohol and fewer tannins, making them more susceptible to spoilage.

Moreover, sweet wines and fortified wines, such as Port or Sherry, have a longer shelf life due to their higher sugar and alcohol content. Their natural sugars act as preservatives, keeping the flavours intact for an extended period.

Storage Conditions:

Another factor to consider is the storage conditions of the opened bottle. Wine should be kept away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, as they can adversely affect its taste and composition. Ideally, the wine should be stored in a cool, dark place, such as a cellar or a wine refrigerator.

Oxygen and Preservatives:

Exposure to oxygen is also an essential element in determining the lifespan of an open bottle of wine. When wine comes into contact with oxygen, it undergoes a process called oxidation, which alters its taste and aroma. To minimize oxidation, it is crucial to recork or reseal the bottle tightly after each pour. Additionally, using a wine vacuum pump to remove excess air from the bottle can help prolong its freshness.

Red Wine

As a general rule of thumb, once a bottle of wine is opened, it should be consumed within three to five days. This timeline is applicable to most red and fortified wines. However, some robust red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, can last up to a week if stored properly.

White Wine

White wines, on the other hand, should ideally be consumed within two to three days. Lighter whites, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, are best enjoyed within two days of opening. It is worth noting that as time passes, the flavours and aromas of white wine may become flat and less vibrant.

Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wines, including Champagne and Prosecco, have an even shorter lifespan after opening. These carbonated wines are highly sensitive to oxygen, so it is advisable to consume them within one to three days. To help retain their fizziness, a champagne stopper can be used to seal the bottle tightly after each pour.


To conclude, the lifespan of an open bottle of wine depends on various factors, including the type of wine, storage conditions, and exposure to oxygen. Red wines, especially those with higher tannins, tend to last longer than their white counterparts. The storage environment should be cool and dark, and the bottle should be resealed tightly after each pour to minimise oxidation. While general guidelines suggest consuming opened wine within three to five days for reds and two to three days for whites, personal taste preferences can vary. Ultimately, it's up to the individual to determine when a wine is no longer enjoyable and should be discarded.