Von Tobias Fendt • Zuletzt aktualisiert am 1. Oktober 2023
A glass of wine is refreshing with a good meal, but what do you do once you’ve uncorked the bottle?
The wine doesn’t go bad immediately in the fridge , but once you open the cork, the oxidation affects the wine and dulls the taste and aroma.
Oxidation is when oxygen interacts with the substance molecules in the wine, changing the flavors and chemical composition of the wine from its original compound.
Ultimately, all good wine goes bad once opened, but time is on your side.
What wine can you keep in the fridge?
White and sparkling wine (champagne) is sensitive to light and heat and should be stored in a cool place such as the refrigerator. Red wine should never be refrigerated, but you can store it in the refrigerator after opening .
Any wine should not be stored at temperatures above 12.5 degrees Celsius or below 4.5 degrees.
Storing unopened wine
If you put an unopened bottle of wine in the fridge and chill it, you will prevent it from aging properly. Store unopened white wine in the refrigerator to chill it before drinking.
Never store unopened red wine in the refrigerator as it is typically served at room temperature. An exception is a special wine refrigerator for storing red wine, as you can set the temperature exactly.
Storing the wine on its side and lying down prevents air from entering through the cork, which prevents oxidation and prevents the wine from going bad .
When storing unopened red or white wine, you should usually store it at temperatures not exceeding 14.5 degrees, away from light, vibration and odors to preserve the wine’s natural state.
Storing opened wine
Follow the 3-day rule with opened wine . Wine, like milk and fruit, goes bad once exposed to air, meaning it usually goes bad after three days.
Although you can buy special wine stopper inserts that remove air from the bottle, it’s better if you drink it within the next few days.
As soon as you pull the cork, oxidation begins . Some wines initially improve when exposed to air, but after a day or two they fade and the freshness decreases.
Both red and white wines benefit from refrigeration once opened. Wines that have higher acidity, such as clear white wines or dessert wines, last slightly longer.
Keep the refrigerator temperature constant at around 5-14 degrees Celsius. Store and care for your opened bottle of wine the same way you would your unopened bottle. Keep it away from light, vibration and odors and store it on its side with the cork firmly clamped into the lid of the bottle.
Can wine go bad?
Can wine go bad? Many of us like to drink a glass of wine every now and then, but not everyone knows how long wine lasts, how to store it, or whether it’s already gone bad.
That’s the purpose of this article – it will give you all the important information you need about wine.
How long does wine last?
Many people have heard and still think to this day that wine has an indefinite shelf life, but unfortunately that is not true.
As long as the wine bottle is unopened and stored properly, it can last for years . If your wine is of good quality, you can keep it in the pantry or cellar for many years and it will not go bad, provided you store it properly.
On the other hand, if it’s a regular or even fairly inexpensive wine, it shouldn’t be kept for that long – it’s a good idea to drink it within a year or two.
Few words about storing unopened wine bottles. When wine is stored unopened, it ages. As I mentioned earlier, the better the quality of the wine, the longer the wine can age.
Wine aging is a process that affects the taste of the wine but does not cause it to go bad. That’s why some wines are extremely valuable – they were stored for quite a while and developed a great, unique taste.
If you plan to store an unopened bottle of wine for more than a few weeks, you should store it in a lying position. In this way, the cork is constantly moistened and it does not shrink or develop small holes.
When the cork deteriorates and begins to allow air into the bottle, the wine stops aging and begins to spoil. Eventually he will go bad.
Once you open the bottle, the wine will only be fine for a few days, maybe a week. Therefore, you should drink it fairly quickly because it will start to spoil from then on. A sparkling wine can go bad within two days and only taste bland.
If the wine is opened, you should keep it in the refrigerator. Before doing so, it is recommended to store it in a cool, dark place, such as the pantry.
After opening the wine, you should remember that it should always be tightly closed. To do this, you can use the original cork, a pusher or plastic wrap and a rubber band. Just make sure it’s closed tightly.
At what point does the wine become bad and no longer drinkable?
Although wine can expire at some point, its shelf life depends heavily on its quality.
If it is a quality wine, it can be stored even for a hundred years, and once opened it will be of excellent quality. Cheap wines, on the other hand, should be used within a few years. This applies to white, red and sparkling wine.
Once the bottle of wine is opened, it will go bad fairly quickly, usually within a week.
You now know that wine can go bad. But how do you tell whether the wine is bad or still drinkable? This is pretty simple. You need to examine its appearance, smell and taste. If it has changed color or smell, it is bad and you should throw it away.
If it doesn’t taste like regular wine, you should also throw it away. The main rule you should follow is that it is always better to be safe than sorry after the fact.
The answer to the main question is yes – wine can go bad.
If stored improperly, it can spoil, even if unopened. Once opened, it should be kept in the refrigerator and used within a few days, otherwise it will also go bad.
Quality wines can last for many years, but cheap wines should not be stored for more than a few years.
Tobias ist ein leidenschaftlicher Weinliebhaber und Experte mit umfangreichem Fachwissen und langjähriger Erfahrung. Auf Weinkuehlschrank-Tests.com teilt er nicht nur hilfreiche Informationen zur Wahl des richtigen Weinkühlschranks, sondern auch tiefgreifende Erklärungen zu Weinsorten, Aromen, Geschmacksrichtungen und den besten Bedingungen für Weinlagerung und -genuss.
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