How Long Does Wine Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 2 To 5 Days

Wine is an alcoholic beverage made out of grape juice by the process of fermentation. There are different types of wine depending upon the type of grapes and the type of yeast used in the making process.

Majorly, there are two types of wine, that is, red wine and grape wine. Other types of wine can be a sparkling wine, rose wine, orange wine, and dessert wine.

Grape juice is an ingredient used mainly in wine all over the world. However, many other fruits can also be used to make wine. For example, plum, cherry, pomegranate, currant, and elderberry as well. 

How Long Does Wine Last?

Once opened, a bottle of wine can last from 2 to 5 days. After opening the bottle, that means, uncorking the bottle of wine, one must keep the cork back in the bottle and put it in the refrigerator to make the wine last longer.

Wine can easily lose its taste, and sparkling wine can easily leave its spark if the bottle is left open in the atmosphere. The reason behind that is because the wine has the chance to get oxidized by the oxygen present in the atmosphere. Thus, a cork is used to prevent the interaction between wine and atmospheric oxygen.

Apart from just getting oxidized due to oxygen, many other things can alter the quality of the wine. Heat, light, and bacteria present in the atmosphere can also deteriorate the quality of the wine. It is so because these agents promote wine to undergo chemical reactions.

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The minimum shelf life of opened wine is of sparkling wine and the longest shelf life is of dessert wine. Here’s a quick insight into how long will wine last after the bottle is opened:

Type of wineTime
Red wine3 to 5 days
White wine3 to 6 days
Sparkling wine1 to 2 days
Rose wine4 to 6 days
Dessert wine4 to 7 days
Port wine7 to 14 days

However, the shelf life of unopened wine is over a year. The reason behind that is because unopened bottles of wine are completely sealed and there are no chances of interaction between wine and atmospheric agents. 

When the unopened wine is sealed and preserved in an industrial refrigerator or cellar, it can go anywhere from 1 year to 20 years, depending upon the type of wine.

Why Does Wine Last That Long?

The shelf life of wine depends on many factors like the type of wine, ingredients used, type of yeast used, preparation method, and fermentation process.

Generally, if the bottle of wine is opened and left in exposure to the atmosphere, then the wine goes bad within a day or two only. It is because the bacteria present in the atmosphere react with the wine and cause the wine to undergo chemical reactions.

Moreover, the oxygen present in the atmosphere causes wine to undergo the process of oxidation. This results in a change to the taste of wine and makes it taste vinegary, dusty settlement at the bottom of the bottle of wine, and change in color of wine as well, generally forming a cloudy experience.

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All these changes in wine indicate that the wine has got oxidized and is no longer fit for consumption. Moreover, fruit wine has grapes and other such fruit juices in it. Thus, it is quite obvious that fruits will get rotten after a couple of days and in the same way, the wine will go bad and unfit for consumption too.

However, unopened bottles of wine can go for years. As there is no interaction between wine and atmospheric agents, wine cannot go bad because of oxidation or chemical reactions. Wine has added preservatives in them which can make them last for years. 

Conclusion

Wine is a great alcoholic beverage one can have without worrying about the fact that they are having an alcoholic consumption. As wine has quite low alcoholic content as compared to other alcoholic drinks.

However, it is important to make sure that the wine you are drinking is good. If you open the bottle, make sure to finish it before 4 or 5 days.

Moreover, wine has great health benefits too. It is said that a glass of wine every alternate day is good for heart health. Apart from that, wine is also a good intoxicant that works on detoxifying your body by removing harmful toxins.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168160511006878
  2. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/311/5762/804.abstract
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