How long does an opened bottle of wine last in the refrigerator?

(Simply plugging the cork back in that is, and not using any vacuum contraption.)

The Life of Wine (after opening)

The short answer is approximately 3-5 days, but it all depends on the type of wine. There are a number of factors at play when it comes to the life of wine, after it has been opened.

These include acetic acid bacteria that consumes the alcohol in wine and metabolizes it into acetic acid and acetaldehyde. This causes the wine to have a sharp, vinegar-like smell. Additionally, the alcohol can oxidize, causing a nutty, bruised fruit taste, that robs the wine of fresh, fruity flavors. These are both chemical reactions, and so the lower the temperature you keep a wine at, the slower this will happen.

Please see link for full reference and detailed breakdown of How long wine lasts after opening: How Long Does an Open Bottle of Wine Last?

  • 2
    Not just last. You will lose some flavor in the first day. – paparazzo Apr 11 '16 at 19:53
  • That is true but not always the case, for some red wines the flavor and body will actually be fuller after a day or so after opening (this is due to the oxidization balance, this is why you let wine breath). This obviously is wine specific, so it doesn't hurt to do some research on the type of wine you are consuming. Wine requires understanding and attention to detail if you want to leverage the most from your wine drinking/tasting experience. – packapaul Apr 11 '16 at 20:51
  • @puu1 More than 24 hrs is a bit of a breath. – paparazzo Apr 11 '16 at 21:30
  • Let me clarify @Paparazzi, you wouldn't want to let wine breath for much longer than a couple hours. But in the same way you let wine breath, there is a similar but much slower effect of oxidization that takes place when storing and sealing wine after opening (hence - a limit on the life of the wine after opening). – packapaul Apr 11 '16 at 21:35
  • Pouring your partial bottle into a clean smaller bottle will reduce the ratio of oxygen and wine and extend the drinking window by a few days. torontosun.com/2014/05/14/… – Ken Graham Apr 16 '16 at 3:16

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