Do Bottled, Opened and Unopened Wines Go Bad | Signature Cellars
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Do Bottled, Opened, And Unopened Wines Go Bad?

do bottled, opened and unopened wines go bad

19 May Do Bottled, Opened, And Unopened Wines Go Bad?

If you’ve ever been in a situation where you’re unsure if an old bottle of wine is still safe to drink, you’re not alone. Certain beverages indeed improve with age. This doesn’t always apply to opened wine bottles. The fact is wine, like most consumables, has a finite lifespan.

Here, we’ll talk about wine’s shelf life and how to tell whether a bottle has gone bad. Wine that has never been opened has a longer shelf life than wine that has been opened. Unopened wine has a shelf life that depends on several factors, such as the type of wine and how well it was stored before opening. Proper storage of unopened wine can help extend its shelf life.

However, it’s essential to remember that once opened, wine oxidizes, leading to a loss of flavour and aroma over time. It might be tough to determine if a previously opened bottle of wine is still drinkable, but you can get a sense of its quality by smelling and tasting it.

Duration For Which Unopened Wine Will Last

How long can you store unopened wine? Here are some general guidelines:

  • White Wine – can last up to 2 years beyond the mentioned expiration date
  • Red Wine – can last up to 3 years beyond the mentioned expiration date
  • Cooking Wine – can last up to 5 years beyond the mentioned expiration date
  • Fine Wine–  can last up to 20 years if stored properly in a wine cellar

Remember that the actual storage life of wine may vary based on the specific type and how it is stored. Ideally, wine should be kept in a cool, dark place with the bottle on its side to help prevent oxidation.

Duration For Which Unopened Wine Will Last And What Makes It Go Bad

The time an opened bottle of wine can last depends on its type. Lighter wines spoil faster than darker ones due to increased exposure to oxygen, yeast, bacteria, heat, light, which can trigger chemical reactions that alter the wine’s quality. Storing opened wine in cooler temperatures can slow down these chemical reactions and help keep wine fresher for longer.

Below is an estimate of how long common types of wine last once opened:

  • Sparkling –  1–2 days
  • Light White And Rosé– 4–5 days
  • Rich White– 3–5 days
  • Red Wine– 3–6 days
  • Dessert Wine- 3–7 d ays
  • Port –  1–3 weeks

The most effective way to store opened wine is to seal the bottle tightly and refrigerate it. Still, or non-sparkling wine bottles should always be decanted before storing.

Signs Which Indicate That Your Wines Have Gone Bad

Determining whether wine has gone bad can be tricky. Aside from the expiration date printed on the bottle, there are sure signs to look out for in both opened and unopened bottles.

  • One of the first things to check is the colour of the wine. Generally, dark-coloured wines, like reds and purples, that have turned brownish, and light-coloured wines that have turned golden or opaque should be discarded. A colour change often indicates that the wine has been exposed to too much oxygen.
  • The smell is also an essential factor to consider. Wine left open for too long will often have a sharp, vinegar-like odour. Meanwhile, a wine that has gone stale will have a nutty scent or smell like applesauce or burnt marshmallows. Unopened wine that has gone bad may smell like garlic, cabbage, or burnt rubber.
  • If you want to taste the wine to check if it’s gone bad, a small amount of bad wine is generally safe to taste. Wine that has gone bad will have a sour, sharp or burnt applesauce flavour.
  • Examining the cork can give you an idea of the wine’s quality. A visible wine leak in the cork or a cork that has pushed past the wine bottle rim may indicate heat damage, which can cause the wine to taste and smell dull.

For more information about our wine cellar installations, call Signature Cellars at 1300 570 636. You can also email us through this Contact Us form, and we will revert soon to discuss your requirements and get your project started. We provide customized solutions and work within your budget.

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