Not everybody finishes a bottle of wine immediately after they open it, whether red or white. Some people open a bottle of wine and drink it for days, while others can finish their wine the same day or at dinner with a couple of friends or family.
Different kinds of wines are made with different processes, affecting how long each lasts. White wine tends to last longer than red wine after opening it. In other words, red wine and champagne oxidize more quickly than white wine.
A typical bottle of white wine should last between two to five days after opening the screw top and refrigerating it. Sometimes, it may last longer, especially if you preserve it well. However, the wine will lose its taste and potency after the first four to five days.
Typical Shelf Life of an Opened Bottle of Wine
The advent of screw tops has forever changed the game of storing wine. Before now, you could try to recork your opened bottle of wine, but it never remains the same. Besides oxidizing, cork may taint the wine taste and make carrying it difficult.
The story is different now; you can keep the wine as fresh and great-tasting as possible. Also, you can carry an opened bottle of white wine from place to place without fear of spillage. However, remember that the wine can only last so long, even with a screw-top cover.
Here is how long different wines last after you open, recork and refrigerate them:
- Sparkling wine: 1–2 days
- Fortified wine: 1–3 weeks
- Rosé wine: 3–5 days
- White wine: 3–5 days
- Red wine: 3–6 days
Sometimes, your opened bottle of white wine can last longer than the typical five days. How long it lasts depends on the type of wine, storage at the winery, estimated shelf life, how well you cover it after opening it, and where you store it.
Will White Wine Go Bad After Opening and Replacing the Screw Top?
Wine can stay good for decades when properly corked or screwed tight directly from the winery. We see drinks preserved for a long time. Moreover, wines have been handed down generation after generation as an heirloom. Even so, they still maintain their vigor after you open them.
It is common knowledge that screw tops preserve better than corks, but that does not ensure the longevity of the wine after opening it. If you decide to keep the cork on, then do not store wine right up, there’s a reason why wine racks are designed as they are, to store the wine in a side-lying position or at an angle.
Screw tops or corks help us preserve it a bit longer, but the wine will ultimately go bad over time. Bad wine tastes flat and strange. If the wine tastes too sour for you to enjoy, it has probably gone stale.
Why Does White Wine Go Bad?
The primary reason white wine goes sour after you loosen the screw top is its exposure to heat, oxygen, light, and bacteria. If you do not correctly screw the bottle shut after opening it, bacteria will naturally find their way into the bottle, and oxidation will take place.
This change, in turn, will cause a series of chemical reactions that negatively affect your wine.
How to Preserve White Wine After Opening It
Cover the Wine Well
Carefully screwing on the wine cover after opening it enables the drink to retain its properties and freshness. Note that constantly opening and closing or leaving it open too long will further affect its preservation.
Keep in a Cool, Dry Place
Many products have instructions about exposure to the sun’s rays and how it affects them. The same applies to wine. The rays do not only cause harm to our skin and hair but also to physical products.
Ensure to store your wine away from the sun’s rays and in a cool place.
- Buy a vacuum wine stopper – This helps seal your opened bottle of wine better than your hand will.
- Store in a refrigerator – One of the best places to store your wine is in your refrigerator. Storing it in a refrigerator helps to preserve it long after opening it.
- Use a wine fridge – If you are a wine drinker, you should consider buying a wine fridge rather than using your regular refrigerator to store your wine alongside your produce.
The length of time that an opened bottle of wine lasts depends on a few things.
In other words, you must consume the wine within one week of opening it, although some may last up to weeks. However, those will not taste as good as when you first opened them.
Signs That Your Wine Has Gone Bad
If you are not sure if your bottle of white wine is still good, check the following for signs:
- Color: White wine is bound to change its color when it has lost its potency or if there are bacteria in it. The first thing you should notice when you take the bottle of wine out of the fridge is the color change. If your white wine looks yellowish, dark yellow color, or grayish, you should consider throwing it out.
- Smell: Most, if not all, white wines have a specific smell. This is the second thing you should notice in your bottle of wine after the color change. If it smells like vinegar or any unfamiliar smell or has no smell at all, it has likely gone sour.
- Strange bubbles: If you pour the wine into a glass and notice either excessive or no presence of bubbles, it may be worth thinking twice before consuming it.
- Taste: You must remember what your wine tasted like when you first opened and drank it. If your white wine tastes different, acidic, or muddy, stop drinking it and throw it out. If it tastes like vinegar, it means the presence of bacteria, and you should not drink it.
Dangers of Drinking Bad White Wine
Letting your opened sit for a few days after opening it without proper preservation or storage will turn it into vinegar. Simply put, white wine that has gone sour may not cause severe health.
However, every wine has specific ingredients, although many white wine types look and taste the same.
Therefore, it is best to avoid bad wine, no matter how manageable you think it tastes. For some, there may be allergic reactions, while others may have only a mild to moderately-mild reaction, such as:
We want to point out that bad wine is not typically as dangerous as bad food. You will not get severely sick, although a few people will react badly to it. Do not risk your health just because you feel bad about throwing out the wine.
It is best to get and open a new bottle. Get medical attention if you think you are reacting to bad wine, whether it appears as mild or an allergic reaction.
Expected Shelf Dates of Different Wines
- Chardonnay: Chardonnay may last up to 5-7 days in the fridge after opening it.
- Sauvignon Blanc: This wine will last 5-7 days after it’s opened.
- Riesling: If refrigerated after opening it, Riesling will last 3-5 days.
- Pinot Gris/ Pinot Grigio: As with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, this white wine will last 5-7 days after you open it.
- Chenin Blanc: Chenin Blanc lasts less long than Chardonnay and the others. When refrigerated, this wine can last 1-3 days.
- Moscato: Lasts 3-4 days after opening it.
- Sémillon: Will last 3-4 days after it is open, recorked, and refrigerated.
The shelf life of an opened bottle of white wine with a screw top is only days, but you can prolong its life to one week or ten days. You can keep wine tasting fresh as long as it does not react with oxygen. How well you screw the top and store it will determine how long it lasts.
Also, if you do not leave it unscrewed for too long after opening it, you can further prolong its storage life. However, throw an old bottle of white wine out if the color is off, cloudy, or smells different.