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    How Long Does Red Wine Last? (Opened, Unopened & Expiry)

    How Long Does Red Wine Last?

    There’s nothing better on a Friday night than a large glass of red wine and a night in on the sofa.

    But if the week’s been busy and you fall asleep mid-film will the opened bottle of red wine last?

    Listen to this post here:


    How Long Does Red Wine Last Opened?

    There are a lot of factors at play here, but most red wine can last between 3-4 days once opened.

    But what about those unopened bottles you’ve been meaning to crack open?

    How long can unopened red wine keep for?

    How Long Does Red Wine Last Unopened?

    Unlike white wine, which has a slightly shorter shelf life, most red wines can last for up to 10 years if unopened

    The tannins found in red wines aren’t just nice to drink, they also give the wine a lot of structure which helps to ensure they age for a longer period of time. Cool, right?

    So what’s the best way to store red wine to help those tannins out?

    How To Store Opened Red Wine

    The science to remember here is that once a bottle has been opened, oxygen will start to interact with your red wine and diminish its fruity flavours. 

    So to help keep the effects of oxygen at bay for as long as possible, put a stopper or cork in the wine bottle and try to keep the wine in a cool and dark environment. 

    A specialised wine fridge will be great here, but a cupboard or a garage will work well, too.

    But what about unopened bottles of red wine?\

    Related: How To Store Red Wine

    How To Store Unopened Red Wine

    Red wines like lots of peace and quiet, so try and store any unopened bottles you have somewhere cool and dark, with minimal interruptions. 

    Avoid exposure to light, ensure there is a cool and consistent temperature and keep your bottles far away from loud noises and vibrations that may disturb it. 

    So if red wine can last for longer than white wine, does that mean red wine can’t go bad?

    Does Red Wine Go Bad?

    Just like white and sparkling wine, red wine is capable of going bad too, if left unchecked for too long. 

    What should you look out for to see if your red wine has gone bad?

    How Can You Tell Red Wine Has Gone Bad?

    There are a few key signs that a red wine wine has gone bad:

    • What colour is the wine? Is it bright and light or has it gone slightly dull and pale in colour? If it’s looking a little tired, chances are it’ll taste tired, too.
    • How does the red wine smell? If you can’t smell the usual red wine aromas then there’s a chance your wine may have gone bad.
    • Finally, what does the wine taste like? If it tastes unpleasant, or more like a red wine vinegar then perhaps it's time to say goodbye to this particular bottle.

    But could a fridge help to keep red wine at its best for longer?

    Do You Keep Unopened Red Wine In The Fridge?

    This very much depends on the wine and the fridge. 

    A lot of red wines will actually benefit from being slightly chilled, which is where a wine fridge really comes into its own.

    Domestic kitchen fridges run a little too cold for red wine, so either try and store the opened red wine in a cool place, or remember to take it out of the fridge and let it warm up a little before drinking. 

    So if you can chill opened red wine does that mean unopened bottles of red wine can go in the fridge as well?

    Do You Keep Unopened Red Wine In The Fridge? 

    Try to avoid keeping bottles of red wine in the fridge for long periods of time as the conditions aren’t always the best.

    Instead opt for some specialised wine storage or look for somewhere cool with little exposure to light and your red wine should be happy there for years to come. 

    But can you keep your red wine forever? 

    Does Red Wine Expire

    Yes, we’re sorry to say that red wine does expire.

    So grab that bottle you’ve been meaning to open, invite some friends round and drink it before it is too late. 

    Before You Go... 

    We hope this provides you all the information you may need on how long does red wine last?

    Interested to know more about how long wine lasts? Check out our full guide here:

    How Long Does Wine Last

    If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, or email us at info@expertwinestorage.co.uk

    Expert Wine Storage can help you find a luxury wine fridge to store your precious wine collection.

    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