Where Is The Expiration Date On Wine? (Full Guide)

    Where Is The Expiration Date On Wine? (Full Guide)

    Wine is a mysterious drink in lots of ways, one of which is that it seems to be last forever...but does it?

    Some wine can last for a year or so, other wines can last for decades and decades.

    So how can you tell the expiration date that your bottle of wine has?

    Does Wine Have an Expiration Date?

    All wines will eventually expire but not all wines have an expiration date.

    This can make guessing the expiration date of your wine a bit tricky.

    It's always best to drink your wine sooner rather than later and if you plan on keeping your wine long term it's best to speak to your wine retailer about how long they recommend aging that particular wine for.

    So if your label does have an expiration date whereabouts on the bottle could you find it?

    Where Is The Expiration Date on Wine Bottles?

    If your wine does have an expiration date chances are it’ll either be located on the label or on the cap of the bottle.

    Scan the base of your wine, the label and the neck of the bottle to see if you can spot an expiration code.

    But don’t worry if you can’t find one, unlike most other food and drink packaging, not all wine comes with a set expiration date.

    But why is that?

    Why Do Some Wines Have No Expiration?

    Wine is a magical liquid and its shelf life can actually change depending on lots of factors, which is why not all bottles have a best before date.

    A wine’s shelf life is dictated by the conditions it is kept in as well as the style of wine and the methods used to make it.

    So if you want to make sure your wine lasts you as long as possible it's important to take good care of your bottles.

    But if your wine does have an expiration code, whether that be on the label, the bottle itself or the box it came in, how can you read the code properly?

    How Do You Read The Expiration Code?

    Most wine expiration codes will come in the form of:

    • MMDDYY
    • or even DDMMYYYY
    • with D meaning date, M meaning month and Y meaning year

    Depending on where your wine is from will depend on what form the date will take, but if unsure always use the year as the main indicator as to when your wine will be good until.

    But does this expiration date relate to opened wine or unopened wine?

    Are unopened bottles capable of expiring over time?

    Does Unopened Wine Expire?

    Yes, we are sorry to say that even unopened wine will expire over time. 

    Always check your wine bottle to see if it comes with an expiration date and if not, make sure to keep your wine stored in a cool and calm place, to help it last for as long as possible.


    A wine's expiration date will vary from style to style and bottle to bottle so always ask for advice on the shelf life of a particular bottle if you’re not sure and try to drink your wine sooner rather than later.

    After all, there’s nothing worse than opening a bottle of wine only to find out it's too late!

    philip thompson Author: Philip Thompson
    Philip is the General Manager at Expert Wine Storage, and is very knowledgable about all things relating to wine and wine storage, including wine fridges. He is regularly featured in media outlets sharing his knowledge on wine. Connect on Linkedin

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