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Saturday 17th June 2017

How Long Can I Keep My Wine Once It’s Open?

An open bottle is generally an empty bottle in my household, however, on the rare occasion that there is some wine left over I am sure to store it correctly so it stays fresh for as long as possible. When it comes to preserving your wine, it really does depend on what sort of wine you open!


Champagne and Sparkling Wine

How long: 1-3 days

Where? Fridge

Due to the sparkling nature of these wines, it is difficult to say how long it will last once opened. The sooner the cork is reapplied to the bottle the more likely the wine is to keep its fizz. Champagne corks are a different shape and therefore may be difficult to get back into the bottle, a champagne stopper does the same thing and will help keep wine bubbles in.


White Wine

How long: 1-5days

Where? Fridge

How long a white wine lasts after opening depends entirely on its style, a light crisp white will last longer (3-5 days) opposed to a full-bodied white which will last around 1-3 days. These fuller-bodied wines tend to have lower acidity than the lighter, crisper wines and will therefore not keep as long. The acidity is what helps to keep the wine fresh. The flavour profile of the wine may change after a day or two, but this does not mean that the wine is past it.


Red Wine

How long: 3-5 days

Where? Cool, dark place or fridge

In red wine, tannin acts in the same way as acidity and therefore red wine with higher tannin and acidity levels will keep longer after opening than those with lower levels. It is best to keep red wine re-corked in a cool dark place. A wine chiller is the best option as you can set the temperature, however if you don’t have a wine chiller, you can leave it out, try to find the coolest place in your house to store it and make sure it is out of direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations. Alternatively, if temperatures are too high, you can store it in the fridge, just make sure the wine is brought to room temperature before serving!


Fortified Wine

How long: Up to 28 days

Where? Cool, dark place or fridge

Fortified wines tend to last longer once opened due to the addition of alcohol and sugar to the wine. As with red wine, once opened these should be re-corked and stored in a cool, dark place such as a cellar or wine chiller.

Sweeter, dessert wines with higher residual sugar levels will also keep longer. The sweeter it is, the longer it will last.


Wine preservation systems

Wine preservation systems can help keep your wine fresher for longer, the best ways to keep both still and sparkling wine fresh while they are open is to make sure oxygen doesn’t get into the bottle, which oxidised the wine and makes it taste off and bad.


For sparkling wine and champagne you can use a Champagne Stopper. There are different designs on the market, but they pretty much do the same job. Basically the idea is to keep the bubbles in the wine by reducing the loss of carbonation. Some people swear by putting a silver tea spoon into the neck of the bottle, but this might not be that scientific!


For still wines replacing the cork is always a good idea, but to keep the wine really fresh using a vacu-vin is a great idea. This pumps out the air from the bottle to reduce the amount of oxygen left in the open bottle. It also seals the bottle with a rubber stopper to stop more air getting in.


Top Tips to Remember:

• Recork/reseal your bottle of wine after pouring each time. This will reduce the amount of oxygen contact with the wine helping the wine last longer.

• Store in the right conditions. Sparkling and white – store in the fridge, red and fortified,- store in a cool, dark place. 

• Keep the bottle upright – this may sound obvious to stop any leakage happening, however, it also reduces the surface area of the wine which is in contact with oxygen, by lying the wine down, a larger amount of wine is in contact with oxygen.

If you need any further help or advice on storing your wine once opened, please do give me a call in the office on 01325 776446 or email amy@bcfw.co.uk

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