When purchasing a bottle of wine, you may think that once you’ve opened it - your wine will be fine as the cork is covering the liquid.
However, this is not always the case with storage options. But, what is the best way of storing wine when you’ve opened a wine bottle? How long does red wine last after opening?
These are some of the questions that we will be running through in this blog to show you, wine lovers, the best ways to keep your wine’s taste, smell and appearance at the highest level. Read along for more information.
What Can Happen if you Leave Red Wine Open?
If you’ve ever left any food in the fridge, cupboard, or anywhere in your household, you may see it moulding and be left inedible. Fortunately, this is not the same with red wine as older wines are not harmful to consume.
However, your wine will lose its taste and fruity aromas slowly. This may begin to make it have hints of vinegar to the smell when you open and pour the wine. Another factor you may notice is there may be a slight brown edge tinge in the wine - which may look very unappealing.
However, despite the fact that it may look, taste and smell different - drinking bad wine cannot be toxic or make you feel ill. The only problem you may find is that the taste of the wine will give your tastebuds a shock of how different the taste is (more of a sour taste).
On the other hand, some people’s tastebuds may prefer the taste of a more bitter wine that is left open. It depends on someone’s preference of what they enjoy about a certain brand of wine.
But, does red wine go off? No, it doesn’t have any health implications - as wine doesn’t have an expiration date as it is meant to age slowly for however long the owner wants. But, in most cases, open wine is not overly loved among the wine drinking community. So, how long does opened red wine stay at its peak in the drinking window?
Full-Bodied Red Wine
You may be opening an unopened bottle of full-bodied red wine and wondering how long they stay fresh. An opened bottle of full-bodied wine will stay fresh for 4-6 days due to the amount of alcohol (13.5% or more) and the tannins (naturally occurring compounds and elements) in the wine.
Medium Red Wine
Medium wines such as Pinot Grigio, Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, etc will last a little bit less than the full-bodied wines - only being in peak condition for 3-5 days. Their high tannin level and alcohol content (12.5%-13.5%) is the cause of the wine lasting longer than weak wines.
Light Red Wine
Light red wines such as Grenache and Barbera have a lower alcohol content than the rest of the wines (12.5% or less) and only have a small number of tannins. Therefore, the aroma or flavour of the wine won’t last as long as the stronger wines.
What Does a Wine Cooler do For Your Red Wine?
Red wine being stored in a wine cooler - even before it’s open is the best form of storage to keep wine optimal, at the right temperature and humidity. However, depending on how long you want to keep the wine in the wine cooler - will be the deciding factor of what temperature you store the wine.
If you’re looking to store wine long-term, then the optimal temperatures to keep your wine at should be around 15 to 18 degrees Celsius to preserve the flavour and aroma of your red wine over time.
Storing your beverages such as red wine, white wine, beer, etc horizontally prevents the cork of the wine bottle from being dried out while placed on the wine racks inside the wine cooler. Investing in a wine cooler will prevent wine from ever dipping below its optimal temperature and humidity levels - whilst coming in various shapes and sizes for different customers.
If stored correctly at the right temperature, your red wine will be ready to serve at any time. With wine having no shelf life date - this high-tech, luxury necessity will keep your red wine able to serve for years!
Does Red Wine Go Off in a Wine Cooler When Opened?
When you uncork your bottle of wine, it is soon exposed to a rush of oxygen. This will naturally age and evolve your wine quicker than when unopened. This is when your wine will start losing its smells and aromas much quicker. But does red wine go off in a wine cooler? Where do you store opened wine?
The simple answer is no - it won’t go off. However, tastes and aromas will dissipate. On the other hand, with a wine fridge, cooler temperatures will slow down chemical processes - including oxidation. For example, if the wine was at a warmer temperature, this process will be much quicker.
However, if the wine is stored at too low a temperature - being too chilled will also heighten the structure of the entire, including these tannins. What this means is that the wine will not be able to adjust and become more astringent - making it very unpleasant to drink.
A great way to store wine at the right temperature whether it is open or unopened red wine is to purchase a dual zone wine cooler - as you can store different wines at their optimal temperature.
So, in conclusion, no matter how you store your wine - if you’ve opened your wine, it will always lose its peak flavours and aromas after a maximum of 6 days. However, there are ways that we’ve discussed (storing it at optimal temperature) to give it the best chance of survival over the next few days.
But unfortunately, there is no way to keep it fresh consistently - unless it's unopen and stored correctly in a wine cooler, wine cabinet (with metal wine racks, cranville wine racks, mounted wine racks, etc) or placed in a wine cellar.
What red wine fridges do Elite Wine stock?
For red wines, we are going to need something with a heater - as we know, red wines can be enjoyed anywhere between 14 to 22°C and some people even like to put their red wine in the fridge to drink cold!
For heavier reds like Merlot and Malbec they are best enjoyed at room temperature which means 18-22°C otherwise they can taste bitter and the notes will not be as prominent if the wine is served too cold or not at the right temperature.
We have a wide range of red wine fridges but the brand that sticks out is Swisscave, all their wine fridges come with a very powerful heating system which means they can maintain a steady temperature of 16°C or more to ensure the red wine is ready to drink, as soon as it is poured.
Swisscave have a range of sizes and specifications to chose from depending on how much wine you want to store - here are some examples:
- SWISSCAVE WL155F - The smallest unit available with a maximum capacity of 47 Bordeaux bottles. The WL155F is perfect for small collections and can also be used under a counter top - aesthetically pleasing and perfect for red wines due to the shelf shape/dimensions
- Swisscave WLB360F-MIX - This is their mid sized premium unit which features white, blue and amber lighting - the premium range has a MIX of shelving so every alternate shelf is designed for larger burgundy type bottles which also makes this unit, perfect for your red wine collection
- Swisscave WL455F - The tallest model from the Classic range and features blue ceiling lights and plenty of telescopic shelves, a wine fridge for those who are on more of a budget as it is more cost effective than the Premium range but from a storage/serving point of view - I don't think you could choose better, storage for your red wines, made easy!