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How long does red wine last once opened?

Wondering how long does red wine last once opened? Read our in-depth guide to find out about storing your wines for maximum enjoyment.
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Knowing how to store wine once opened means you can continue to enjoy its taste and flavours for days to come – and that’s a shoo-in for maximising your enjoyment of our RedHeads wines. Whether it’s our Dogs of the Barossa rockstar Shiraz or our unique Coco Rôtie Shiraz/ Viognier there’s no need to scull one of our premium wines.

So, how long does red wine last once opened? It’s a bit like a trending topic on social media; it’s complicated and usually the subject of many different viewpoints. Luckily, we’re here to set the record straight on how long you can keep wine for, the best way to keep it fresh and where to store it for maximum enjoyment – all assuming that you can resist the temptation of drinking it in one sitting.

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How long does red wine last once opened?

You don’t have to finish every drop of a bottle of red wine the evening or day you open it. Red wine can last for up to five days after being opened before going a bit iffy.

Now for the science bit. Wine can change due to oxidation – a chemical reaction that happens when the oxygen in air comes into contact with the alcohol in wine.

Some oxidation can be good for wine. Swirling your wine or letting it breathe helps release flavours quicker and allows you to experience a richer, more intense drop.

However, if a bottle of opened wine is left out for too long, oxidation causes the wine to change its composition, appearance, and taste, making it an unpleasant tasting experience and destined for the bin. Worst case: red wine transformed into a brown, vinegary drink – truly a tragic waste.

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How long does white wine last?

White wine can last anywhere between three to five days once opened.

This can depend on the type of white wine being stored. A full-bodied white wine like Chardonnay, such as our captivating Harmonie Rox, can spoil quicker than lighter white wines due to its low acidity levels.

Once opened, the best bet is to reseal the bottle and keep it chillin’ in the fridge. Depending on the grape variety, you can chill white or rosé wine for up to five days.

When it comes to sparkling wines, it’s best to drink these sooner rather than later. Like a box of ever-so-fancy chocolates, bubbles don’t last very long once a bottle is opened. It’ll lose its carbonation, and the wine ends up being flat.

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Keeping your red wine fresh

Here are some insider tips to help keep your red wine fresh once opened.

Recap it

Simply tighten up the screw cap or stick the cork back into the bottle once done with your wine. While some air may have entered the bottle when opened initially, recapping it and storing your wine somewhere cool and dark can prevent more air from ruining the flavours.

Storing it upright and sideways

Whether you store your wine bottle upright or sideways can depend on the stopper. If it’s a bottle with a cork, store your wine horizontally to keep the cork moist and avoid the wine ageing prematurely. Screw-top wines are a little more flexible – helpful for those without a wine cellar – so you don’t have to keep your wine stored sideways.

Keep wine stored in a cool, dark place. Storing wine at room temperature can lead to wine being spoiled before you’ve even poured a glass. Keeping it cool and in one place helps preserve it for everyone to enjoy later.

Seal it with a vacuum pump

A wine vacuum pump could be a handy investment If you want to preserve your wine. Vacuum pumps remove air that’s entered your bottle since it was opened, effectively resealing the bottle. While it won’t completely stop your wine from oxidising, it can help keep your wine fresh for a few extra days.

Can I refrigerate red wine?

Yes, you can. Storing wine in the fridge can be a quick fix if you’re concerned about how long red wine lasts once opened.

Keeping wine chilled can stop heat from spoiling the flavour and taste, and prevents the wine from oxidising. Some people believe that light red wines taste better once they’ve been chilled. Boffins at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust debunked the myth that wine should never be chilled, so feel free to stash your RedHeads in the fridge.

What to do with leftover wine once opened

If you’re sure about drinking leftover wine, use it in a recipe instead. Red wine, in particular, can make a delicious jus sauce to accompany lamb, beef or other meats. Red wine, such as our Catbird Seat Cabernet Sauvignon, adds depth and richness to a meat casserole, pie or stew.

Use leftover white wine for a sauce for chicken, fish, or pasta dishes. White wine’s expressive and delicate acidity will compliment these dishes. A bottle of our own Harmonie Rox Chardonnay will prove just that.

Remember you should only cook with wines that you’d be happy to drink. Forget using a bottle of plonk from the bottom shelf of a supermarket and let your cooking really shine with one of RedHeads’ premium wines.