How long do opened bottles of wine last?

June 6, 2023 | 03:00 pm PT
I like to drink wine, but I usually can’t finish a whole bottle in one go, so: How long does an opened bottle of wine last? (Hung, 35, Hanoi)


The expiration date for opened wine bottles depends on the wine. When opened, the wine is more exposed to oxygen, heat, light, yeast, and bacteria – creating chemical reactions that affect the wine’s quality. Overall, lighter wine usually spoils faster than heavy-bodied wine with darker colors.

The following is an estimation of how long wine can be safely drunk after being opened:

  • Sparkling wine lasts for 1-2 days
  • White wine and rose last 4-5 days
  • Fruit wine 3-5 days
  • Red wine 3-6 days
  • Dessert wine 3-7 days
  • Port wine 1-3 weeks

The best way to preserve an opened bottle of wine is to store it in the fridge, as the low temperature will slow down the chemical reactions and keep the wine’s flavor for longer.

You can check if a wine has spoiled by inspecting its color and smell. Dark-colored wines that are red or purple at first will turn brown when spoiled, while white wine will turn yellow or cloudy. This color change happens because the wine has been left to ferment, and has been exposed to the air for too long.

A wine that has been opened for too long will have a harsh smell, almost like vinegar or pickles. A spoiled wine can also smell like chestnut, apple sauce, or burned candy.

It is not recommended to check the wine by taste, even though it might not have any negative effect on your body.

A spoiled wine may develop yeast and bacteria, even though the chances are low. Signs of food poisoning may include stomachache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. As such, when a wine is spoiled, even when it has not been opened, the best solution is to not drink it. Throw it away instead.

Dr. Ta Tung Duy

Vietnam Institute of Applied Medicine

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