The Complete Guide to Keeping Wine Fresh

young couple carrying a glass of red wineYakobchuk Viacheslav / Shutterstock

Today, it is easier to get a good bottle of wine than ever before. From the grocery stores to the subscription crates for wine lovers, you can quickly start stocking bottles faster than you can drink them.

Having a well-stocked wine selection at home is a good thing. But all this wine will not last forever, even if you never open it. And once opened, a bottle of wine may seem like a time bomb, turn into vinegar long before you're ready.

However, the shelf life of the wine is not a mystery (although it may seem sometimes). Once you know how long your open and unopened bottles are going to stay, you can develop a strategy to never end up pouring a good wine into the sewer. Let's take a closer look at the calendar.

How long is the open wine kept?

When you open this cap, you introduce oxygen into the bottle. Oxygen is what makes wine spoil faster once opened.

As the wine is composed of so many different grape varieties, there is no solid answer as to its speed. The exact timing depends on the type and quality of the wine. But to give you an estimate, most open wines will spoil in a range of two to five days. (Sparkling wines have an even shorter shelf life and will go flat in about a day.)

Of course, your wine does not go bad right away. Quality will begin to deteriorate, but in the beginning the difference may not be so noticeable. So, if you agree with a wine that has lost some of its aroma and taste, you can enjoy this open bottle longer. But once it takes on a brownish color or an unpleasant odor, it is no longer worth drinking.

How to make wine last longer

The good news though: you can extend the shelf life of open bottles with these tips. Here's how to extend the life of your wine beyond the two to five day mark.

Use the refrigerator and cork

When you have a bottle of semi-open wine, your first reflex is probably to clog it up and put it in the refrigerator for later. And that's exactly what to do.

In addition to oxygen, heat and light accelerate wine degradation. By plugging it and sticking it in the refrigerator, you limit the exposure to these elements. If you lose cork, cover the top with plastic wrap and elastic, or keep some wine corks at hand.

Even red wine should be stored in the refrigerator once opened. Make sure to take it about half an hour before drinking it so that it can reach the right temperature.

Opt for quality

A high quality wine that went wrong has something particularly painful. But fortunately, the better the wine, the longer it tends to last. Higher quality wines are kept about a week after unblocking, while a mediocre quality wine will deteriorate in a few days.

Drink tannic reds

The tannins create the dry and bitter taste that red wines are known for. They do not suit all tastes, but if you like tannic wines, you'll be glad to know they last longer than their milder counterparts. The tannins help protect the wine against the aging qualities of oxygen.

Keep it half full

A bottle half full or more will not mess up as fast because it does not contain as much oxygen. So, if you're wondering if you're going to drink more or not, you might want to wait: the fullest bottle will last longer in the refrigerator.

Use a sparkling wine cork

To prolong the life of sparkling wine, try a wine corkscrew designed to prevent it from falling flat. Leave the cap on the bottle until you are ready to finish it because you will lose some excitement at each opening. In addition, some sparkling wines always have good taste once they have become flat, so you can give a taste to your wine flat before throwing it away.

Buy a wine conservator

Even for non-sparkling wines, a fantasy wine corkscrew can make a difference. A basic conservative vacuum will buy you a few more days with your wine, while high-end preservatives this use gas displacement can keep your wine as long as two weeks.

How long does the unopened wine stay?

couple shopping for wine and comparing labelsGeorge Rudy / Shutterstock

When you have not opened the bottle, it's tempting to think that your wine will last forever. But unfortunately, even in the most sophisticated cellars, wine bottles still have a limited shelf life.

Although popular belief suggests that wine improves with age, most wines are designed to be consumed quickly after bottling. Only some very high-end wines are supposed to be aged for years.

Most unopened wines will taste fine a few years after bottling. However, as with open wines, the exact life depends on the type and quality of the wine.

How to make an unopened wine last

You do not need a proper wine cellar to store your bottles for maximum quality. These tips will help your wine stay fresh until you're ready.

Store it in a dark and cool place

Although you do not want to keep your unopened wine bottles in the fridge, you should keep them away from heat and light, which could degrade the wine even before you open it. Aim for a place that remains near 55 degrees or, without strong temperature fluctuations.

A cellar can work well, but a cupboard, cabinet or garage can also be cold. Light moisture is good because it prevents cork from drying out, but avoid storing wine near a heat source, such as the oven or radiator.

Invest in a wine cooler

Instead of a full-fledged wine cellar, you can store the bottles in a simple wine cooler instead. Although they start at $ 100 and they go up from there, a wine cooler is a worthwhile investment if you care about your wines and do not have a good place to store them.

Lay Bottles Down

Storing the wine horizontally helps prevent corks from drying out. A dry cork will leave oxygen in the bottle, so it's something to avoid. Plus, keeping the wines horizontally is a great way to maximize your space use. wine racks are designed in this spirit.

Alternatives to the bottle of wine: what you need to know

If you want to worry even less about the shelf life of your wine, you can buy wine in a non-traditional container, such as a screw cap bottle, box or can.

Screw-capped wine lasts about as long as clogged wine, but you will not have to worry about cork drying and oxygen supply. It also reduces the risk oftaste of cork, "A manufacturing defect that can give a bad wine taste.

Unopened canned wine has a shorter shelf life than unopened bottled wine: check the expiry date to find out how long you have. But once opened, a box of wine can stay fresh for weeks since the design of the bag insulates the oxygen.

The verdict has still not been made on the exact length of the canned wine, but since there is no way for oxygen to enter the can, he probably has a longer life than bottled wine. Of course, once opened, you will want to finish the can quickly, but it is much easier to finish a single can of wine in one sitting than to search a bottle.

With the accessibility of good affordable wines today, it's not the end of the world if you have to dump the last half-spoiled bottle. But why lose something when you can make it last instead? Follow these tips to get the most out of your wines, whether they're cheap, mass-produced pics or high-end bottles you may never find.

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