Ask Whit is back! Today we have a question from the lovely Aeshna about the shelf life of an opened bottle of wine. There’s no one right answer, but I’ll try my best!
Q: “How long can you keep wine after opening it before it goes off? Thank you!” -Aeshna
A: It’s different for every bottle. I play the how long will this wine stay drinkable game all the time by keeping opened bottles in the fridge for weeks sometimes just to see and it can be surprising. I can tell you that some styles of wine more than others can better handle being exposed to oxygen- Rieslings with their classic high acidity combined with higher RS (residual sugar), fortified wines and dessert wines like Madeira or Port, purposefully oxidized whites like Sherry or wines from Rioja or the Jura. I’ve also found that some wines fermented and aged in amphora have this magical ability to withstand the elements and can be open for several days and still taste very good.
But with everyday bottles, a couple of days open is usually fine. More than two days is when some wines start to fall flat. My main tip is put the cork all the way back in the bottle to the point where you’ll need a corkscrew to open it again. And put it in the fridge, whether it is red or white.
Photo taken at Ronco del Gnemiz, April 2012