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How long does an opened bottle of wine last?

Updated on March 30, 2012

Saving an Opened Bottle of Wine

For those among us that enjoy an occasional glass of wine, we are often faced with the question of just how long we can expect the opened wine to last. The simple answer is that wine can generally last for a day or two once it is opened. There are, however, a few things that can extend the life of that half consumed bottle.

Perhaps the easiest option is to simply refrigerate the wine. Once opened, wines “go off” due to the interaction with oxygen. While this interaction normally results in a superior taste in the short term, those same reactions deteriorate the wine over time. By cooling the wine, those reactions are retarded, and thus, the wine’s life is extended. Of course, a nice red wine is somehow less appealing when cold, but if you plan to finish the bottle during your next sitting, you have the option of allowing the wine to sit for a bit, and still retain the taste.

Another option is to remove the oxygen from the bottle to prevent the reactions. There are a few ways to remove and/or reduce the oxygen levels in the bottle.

1. First, you can simple transfer the wine to a smaller bottle. By reducing the volume of oxygen, you will also reduce the speed of the resulting wine/oxygen reaction.

2. Second, you can remove the oxygen through the use of a vacuum pump. These pumps are available online and places that cater to the wine drinking public.

3. Finally, you can add an inert gas to the bottle. This method actually provides a barrier to the surface of the wine, resulting in a much slower reaction. These kits are also available in places that sell wine accessories, or online.

Clearly, those of us that enjoy a single glass of wine often face the question of spoilage for the remaining bottle. With these simple tips, you can enjoy your glass tonight, and find the remaining wine in great shape for the next few days.


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