When To Drink Your Open Wine

I love that joke that goes something like – ‘I overheard someone talking about cooking with left over wine. I was confused. What is left over wine?’

If this is you then maybe you don’t need this post, but if you ever have occasion to have some white or red wine left over then you might want to continue reading.

The question always is, how long will my wine last after it has been opened? The answer to this question will depend upon the kind of wine we are talking about and how you plan on storing it.

For the most part, red wines can last a bit longer than white wines. This is because of their tannins. The reason we have to let our red wine breathe is because of the tannins. Tannins will help prevent oxidation of wine. This is helpful in keeping wine, but not the easiest to work with when trying to open your wine up.  However, the more a wine is exposed to oxygen the worse off it gets. They have as love/ hate relationship. They love each other at first, but then too much time together will spoil everything.

No matter what, you should always use a stopper for the wine. It is just fine to use the cork that came with it if you can. You should also put both reds and whites back in the wine cooler. The cooler temperature helps slow the oxidation.

Back to red wine – the lighter the wine, the faster it will go bad (darker wine has more tannins). So you are looking at about 3 days. For the darker wines (Pinot Noir or Beaujolais) can last for 3-5 days.

How about white wine? A full bodied wine (like a Chardonnay) will likely last a bit longer that lighter wines. Generally speaking thought, whites will last for about 3 days. Again, provided you have a stopper for them and they are in the wine cooler.

Does this mean that Sparkling Wine or Champagne can last for 3 days too? No way! Your really should drink Champagne immediately.  This is not something to have 1 glass of and then be done with it. If you have a stopper, it may be okay for 24 hours, but it will not be the same.

All in all, it is best to stick with the mentality of ‘what is left over wine?’.


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