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Because not all wines are the same, once the bottle is uncorked, how long they can be kept before spoiling varies. A wine can spoil the next day, but if the necessary precautions are taken, it can last between two and five days, depending on the wine.
A bottle of red or white wine can last approximately two to five days. Sparkling wine is one to three days old (although it will turn flat).
Boxed wines usually last weeks in the refrigerator due to its lack of exposure to oxygen.
Bon Appéttit points out that a wine could spoil in a day if it is an unstable natural wine, or it could last a week if it is a highly tannic commercial red.
Over the days, the aromas of the wine in an open bottle change. It may also taste a bit bland. Aromas of cooked fruit, or even vinegar, can develop. An obvious sign that the wine has gone bad is the smell of cork.
There’s also some wines that show better a couple of days after being open, like Brunello di Montalcino, tells VinePair, Alisha Blackwell-Calvert CSW, an independent wine consultancy in St. Louis.
Blackwell-Calvert simplifies the proof by pointing out that a wine is good if you taste it and think it tastes good. “If it’s been open for four or five days and you still like it, then it’s still a good wine,” he says.
How to preserve wine once the bottle is uncorked
The best way to preserve wine after opening is to recap it and store it in the refrigerator, to limit the wine’s exposure to oxygen.
Recap after each drink instead of leaving the bottle open on the counter for hours.
Put the bottle in the fridge; never leave it on the counter. You can remove the wine from the refrigerator 30 to 40 minutes before drinking it.
If your cork has been destroyed or expanded making it difficult to recap the bottle. Bon Appéttit points out that you can use plastic wrap and a rubber band. “It’s not ideal, but it will help create a seal around the top of the wine to slow oxidation.” Too you can prevent yourself and buy wine stoppers that create an airtight seal.
If you continuously drink a little wine from the bottle at a time, you can also use a Coravin preservative.
Blackwell-Calvert also says that when you plan to purchase a bottle to drink over the course of a week, you can opt for wines that have more preservatives, such as sulfites or sugar. Sulfites are a natural preservative found in grape skins.
To consume slowly, choose wines made from grapes that have thicker skinned grapes. “Grapes that have a thinner skin, like a Grenache or a Pinot Noir, tend to have fewer preservatives and sulfites … they tend to die faster once they are opened,” says Blackwell-Calvert.
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