How Long Does an Opened Red Wine Bottle Stay Good?

How Long Does an Opened Red Wine Bottle Stay Good?

Let’s face it, you probably rarely have wine left in the bottle, but now and then, you have some leftover wine in that opened red wine bottle that you want to save for another day. You may also have an unopened bottle of red wine that you’ve left in the fridge for a while and are wondering how long it’ll last. Read on to find out how long red wine lasts in the refrigerator.

How Long Does Red Wine Last When Refrigerated?

If you have an opened red wine bottle, you can cork it and store it in the fridge to lengthen its lifespan. In general, cheaper red wine will last between three and five days in the fridge, with plenty of time for you to finish off the bottle. 

opened red wine bottle

Unopened red wine can last anywhere from six months to six years as long as you don’t pop the cork. If you refrigerate it properly – in a wine refrigerator, not the kitchen fridge – you can make it last even longer.

Does Refrigerated Red Wine Last Longer?

There are three culprits to making your wine go bad: light, heat, and oxygen. Refrigeration will keep your wine from getting too warm and will make it last longer. It’s always a good idea to cork your unused wine and stick it in the refrigerator.

If you have unopened red wine, keeping it cool can lengthen its lifespan. However, you don’t want to store it in your kitchen refrigerator. The temperatures are simply too cold and will ruin your wine if it’s left in there too long. Instead, keep your wine in a dedicated, temperature-controlled wine refrigerator (or an underground wine cellar, if you’re lucky). The ideal temperature for wine is 55 degrees F.

Why Does Wine Go Bad?

Several factors contribute to wine going bad. Without a cork, oxygen can reach the wine, and oxidation begins. Eventually, the wine will take on a vinegar taste. 

Heat breaks down the molecules and affects the taste of your wine. It can even loosen the cork and allow oxygen inside.

opened red wine bottle

Light can also cause problems, and too much light creates light-struck wine. As with heat, it messes up the chemical compounds and affects the taste.

Tips for Keeping Red Wine Fresh Longer

Here are a few of our favorite tips for helping your red wine stay fresh:

  • Always store your wine in a cool, dark place until ready to drink.
  • Cork the bottle immediately after pouring to prevent oxygen from getting to the wine.
  • If you lost the cork, use plastic wrap and a rubber band.
  • Store the bottle on its side to keep the cork wet.
  • Keep wine chilled to 55 degrees F in a wine refrigerator.

Final Thoughts

On the rare occasion that you don’t finish off your bottle of red wine, you can prolong its life through proper storage in the refrigerator. If kept at the right temperature, opened red wine can last up to five days, and an unopened bottle can last six years and beyond.

Knowing how long your bottle of red wine will last will allow you to purchase a nicer bottle, ensuring it doesn’t go to waste.