How Long is Red Wine Good for After Opening?

We’re all different. Some of us can finish an entire bottle of wine in one night. Others prefer to savor their wine for another day. The problem is that like everything else, red wine has an expiry date.

With that in mind, is it the smart choice to guzzle that wine down as quickly as possible with a couple of friends, or should you keep it for a few days longer?

No matter what your wine drinking preferences are, it’s important to know how long red wine is good for after you open the bottle. This will help you to make the most of your beverage.

It can often be difficult to give a solid answer about how long your wine will last because it depends on so many different factors, but here are a couple of things that you should know.

What Is Going to Happen to the Red Wine Once It Has Been Opened?

Here’s where science comes in. When a bottle of wine has been opened, a bunch of oxygen makes its way into the beverage.

This can cause it to change and age far quicker than when there was a cork in it. The longer it is exposed to the air, the quicker it will begin to lose its smell and taste. It’s a bummer, but it’s true!

Now, there are a range of different kinds of red wine, so they will all last for different amounts of time. It ultimately all depends on the wine’s body, the tannin levels in it and how much alcohol is in it.

For instance, if you open a bottle of light red wine then it should be suitable to drink for around 2 to 3 days. It’s not going to last as long as darker reds since the alcohol content is a lot lower.

Medium reds such as merlot and shiraz will last for around 3 to 5 days after they have been opened. This is because the alcohol content is higher and they have a higher level of tannins.

Finally, full bodied red wines can last for a whipping 4 to 6 days after they have been opened. Again, these wines contain more alcohol and the tannin levels are higher.

As you can see, it’s very varied.

I’ve Opened My Bottle Of Wine – How Long Do I Have To Drink It?

When you’ve opened your bottle of wine, you have around 3 to 6 days to drink it. Of course, this can depend on a few different factors, such as where it is stored, how it is stored and more.

If you put it in a cool and dark space then it should be okay for you to keep it for 3 to 6 days as long as you put a wine stopper or a cork in it.

Alternatively, it will also last longer if you put it in the refrigerator. Plastic wrap can help to preserve it if you don’t have any corks.

Has My Wine Gone Bad?

Before you drink that wine though, you will first need to check that it hasn’t gone bad. To do this, check if it’s lost color, or if it has gone brown in terms of tinge. It’s a good sign that the wine has gone bad.

In addition to this, wine that has gone bad will lose its usual fruity aroma. It may even smell a little like vinegar. You will need to stay away from wine like this unless you want to put your tastebuds through torture.

The last thing you can do is a taste test. Your tastebuds may be a little shocked if the wine has gone badly.

It won’t harm you to consume wine that is past its use by date, but it’s better safe than sorry.

How To Store Your Wine to Keep It Fresh

If you want to keep your wine for a longer duration of time, you will need to keep it fresh! 

The first thing that you need to do after pouring the wine is put a screw cap, a bottle stopper or just a stopper into the bottle. This will help to ensure that no extra oxygen gets into it, helping it to stay fresh.

In addition to that, you will also make it last longer if you keep it in a cool and dark place rather than sitting out in the sun. Decanting the bottle into a smaller one and then sealing it up can help too. This will help to ensure that less oxygen gets into it.

Is It Possible to Refrigerate Red Wine?

Indeed – you can refrigerate red wine! In fact, this is a very common way that people keep their wine fresh. 

Why is this? Well, it helps to keep your wine at a controlled temperature. Not only that but it’s also dark in the refrigerator. The process of oxygenation will slow down if it’s in a cold and dark space.

Naturally, not everyone has a refrigerator specifically for their wine. Likewise, some people live in hotter climates.

Thankfully, you don’t need to get a wine refrigerator – you can just use your normal refrigerator. Before you drink it though, it’s worth taking it out of the refrigerator one hour before so it’s not too cold.

What about the freezer? You may be surprised to know that you can actually freeze red wine. In fact, it will last for six months if you store it in the freezer. Neat, huh?


Red wine can last for quite a few days if it’s in the right conditions, so don’t panic if you can’t drink it all in one night! You can enjoy that gorgeous red wine for up to 6 days after it has been opened.

Christina Day
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