Does Wine Go Bad? And How Do You Store It?

Does Wine Go Bad? And How Do You Store It?

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We’ve all been there. You throw a dinner party, and are left with half-empty bottles of fine wines. The labels may be pretty, but after a few days, an unwelcome sneak peak reveals some cause for concern: Does wine go bad?

The bad news is yes, wine does go bad! It’s all dependent on oxidation, a chemical reaction that occurs when wine is exposed to air. It’s essential for winemaking, and can occur during several stages, like fermentation, aging or corking. The process works to unlock the aroma in the bottle, but begins to break it down after a certain amount of time. Since some bottles contain very little preservatives, they can even turn to vinegar.

So the big question is how long can you actually keep an opened bottle of wine? For reds, whites and rose, you may have anywhere from 3-5 days before the flavor and texture changes. Sparkling wines go even faster, as within 1-3 days it can lose its carbonation.

Not only that, but storing the leftover wine properly is important too. The best way to preserve it is to recork it and put it in a cool, dark place to hinder oxygen, heat and light. Bringing fuller-bodied reds back to room temperature before serving will ensure it still has its flavor and aroma.

In the end, a wine’s shelf life doesn’t need to keep you awake at night. Just pour a glass and check out the color and smell. If it has turned cloudy or opaque, or smells of vinegar, then it’s definitely time to say goodbye and move on. As tough as it may be, “separation anxiety is real, but you gotta let it go”

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