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    How Long Does Wine Last In The Fridge?

    How Long Does Wine Last In The Fridge?

    If you're trying to understand how long your favourite wine lasts in the fridge both unopened and after opening - we're here to help.

    As a general rule, unopened wine will last longer than an opened bottle of wine in the fridge...but unopened wine can still go off and expire too.

    Over time, aromas, flavours and appearances of wine change and the majority of wines benefit from this ageing process but opened AND unopened wines can and do go bad even if they're stored in the fridge.

    How Long Does Wine Last In The Fridge? 

    Once opened a bottle of wine will last between 1-7 days in a regular kitchen fridge depending on the style of wine.

    We've listed the typical length of time different types of wine last in the fridge once opened below:

    • Medium red wines -last 3-5 days
    • Full-bodied red wine - last 5-7 days
    • Rose wines - last 5-7 days
    • Light white wines - last 5-7 days
    • Full-bodied white wines - last 3-5 days
    • Fortified wines - last 28 days
    • Sparkling wines - last 1-3 days 
    • Dessert wines - last 3-5 days 

    Generally an unopened bottle of wine can last between 1-5+ years without expiring and going bad but we recommend that unopened wines are stored in wine fridges rather than regular kitchen fridges as the temperature in a normal fridge is too cold for wine for more than a week.

    On top of this, regular fridges are busy places, the door is opening and closing all day, theres the aromas of food everywhere and the humidity inside a regular fridge is too low (dry).

    All in all, a wine fridge is the only type of fridge that should be used for storing unopened wine in the long term.

    How Long Does Open Wine Last In The Fridge?

    Opened wine lasts significantly less time than unopened wine before going bad. 

    Generally an opened wine will still taste close to it's best within 1-7 days of opening depending on the type of wine and the conditions the opened wine bottle is stored in. 

    You can use the cork, or a vacuum wine stopper to keep the bottle closed as tightly as possible.

    In terms of sparkling wines such as Champagne, the bottle should be immediately sealed as soon as the wine has been poured as the bubbles with vanish rapidly if the bottle is left uncovered. 

    How Long Does Unopened Wine Last In The Fridge?

    We only recommend storing unopened wine in a regular fridge for 1-7 days.

    Fridges are too cold for unopened wines to be stored in the long term and they prevent wines from following the aging process which would take place in a wine fridge or wine cellar.

    If your wines are stored at a stable temperature, with no vibration, in the dark and at the right humidity level, unopened wine can out last most recommended drinking windows and will age perfectly.

    You can add 1-2 years extra to the recommended drinking window for white wines, red wines 2-3 years and cooking wines 3-5 years.

    Fine wine can last decades (even centuries).

    Thankfully, unopened wine is good to drink long after its recommended expiry date just as long as the smell and taste don't cause any concern upon opening.

    If you're looking to invest in and age wine well it's important to understand if a wine has gone bad and the indicators you can use to tell if a wine is spoiled.

    Here's general guidelines on how long unopened wine bottles last past the expiry date:

    • Red wine lasts 2-3 years 
    • White wine lasts 1-2 years
    • Wine boxes lasts 1 year
    • Cooking wine lasts 3-5 years
    • Fine wine lasts 10-20+ years
    • Sparkling wine lasts 3 years 

    Best Temperature For Wine In The Fridge?

    There isn't a best temperature to store wine in a regular fridge as normal kitchen fridges are too cold for wines with most set at between 3-6°C or 37-43°C.

    In the short term, to bring down wines to serving temperature its fine to put your wine in the fridge 1-5 hours before serving depending on how much colder your wine needs to be.

    Red Wine Example

    For example if you're storing a red wine best served at 15°C or 59°F and its been stored long term in a wine fridge at 12°C or 54°F then you shouldn't put it in the kitchen fridge at all as the wine needs to warm up by 3°C or 5°F at room temperature - not cool further.

    White Wine Example

    If you're storing a white wine best served at 10°C or 50°F and its been stored long term in a wine fridge at 12°C or 54°F then you should put it in the kitchen fridge so the wine can cool down by 2°C or 4°F, this would likely only take 1-3 hours.

    Essentially the use of a regular fridge should be reserved for cooling down (not warming) wines to serving temperature in a brief amount of time in a few hours rather than days or weeks.

    How To Store Wine Correctly In The Fridge

    To maximise the life of unopened wine bottles, you should ensure the following 5 tips will help you:

    • Store wine bottles horizontally on their side (labels facing upwards)
    • Located in a dark place
    • No vibration (e.g stored next to a washing machine
    • Stored at a constant temperature 
    • Stored in a humidity controlled environment (no damp)

    How To Store Opened Wine In The Fridge?

    Here are 6 tips to maximise the life of opened wine bottles, you should ensure the following conditions are ticked off:

    • Wine bottle stored upright to minimise exposure to oxygen
    • Store in a dark place
    • No vibration 
    • Stored at a constant temperature
    • Stored in a humidity controlled environment (no damp)
    • Exposure to oxygen is the main cause of wine going bad, so it's important to minimize exposure to air once the wine bottle has been opened.

    Does Wine Go Bad In The Fridge?

    Wine can go bad if it's left unopened or opened and stored in the fridge, but by design the ingredients like the types of grapes and process used to produce wine is designed to help it last. 

    Opened wine, other than fortified varieties, will go off if its kept in the fridge for more than 2-7 days, depending on the variety while unopened wines should not be kept in a regular fridge for longer than 7 days or too bring the bottle down to the right serving temperature ready for you to drink it.

    Due to the low sugar levels in wine, bacteria struggles to grow as there is limited food (bacteria) to feed on. In addition, the alcohol content of wine makes the environment for bacteria to grow even more adverse and the cool temperature of a wine fridge help to manage this process to the benefit of the aging of the wine.

    4 Ways to Tell Your Wine Has Gone Off?

    There's four ways to tell if wine has gone bad, from the appearance, smell and the taste: 

    1. Appearance

    If the wine has gone cloudy rather than clear then it's likely not a good idea to consume it.

    Along with this a change in the colour of the wine can happen, even in unopened bottles and this doesn't signify the wine has gone bad with certainty.

    Finally, if the wine is fizzy and it's not a sparkling wine then this is a tell tale sign the wine has gone bad.

    2. Smell

    If you can smell a chemical undertone in the wines flavour - it's likely past its best. This is an indication that the wine has undergone a second fermentation within the bottle and this changes the wines odour.

    3. Taste

    Another sign that the wine has gone bad is that it tastes vinegary, sweet. If the taste of the wine is resembling a dessert wine or port, then it's likely no longer drinkable.

    4. Bubbles In The Wine

    If you can see small bubbles in a (non sparkling) wine this suggests that the wine has gone through a second fermentation which will have soured the taste of the wine making it undrinkable.

    How Long Does Red Wine Last In The Fridge?

    Unopened bottles of red wine last 2-3 years unopened. Due to red wines high tannin level this type of wine is well suited to age well. Store bottles in cool, dark places and eliminate exposure to sunlight (UV) to maximise shelf life.

    For the best drinking experience red wines should be served at 12˚C - 18˚C or 46°F - 53°F for the best tasting experience. Keep red wines chilled in a wine cabinet or fridge for best storage results.

    How Long Does White Wine Last In The Fridge?

    White wine last 1-2 years when bottles are stored unopened. Due to white wines lower levels of ageing characteristics when compared to red wine.

    Store bottles in cool, dark places and eliminate exposure to sunlight (UV) to maximise shelf life.

    Prior to drinking chill white wines in a wine fridge at 8˚C - 12˚C or 46°F - 53°F for the best tasting experience.

    How Long Does Rose Wine Last In The Fridge?

    When kept in unopened bottles, rose wine lasts for 2-3 years. Due to rose wines' slower ageing rates (which are more like those of white wines) as compared to red wines.

    To extend shelf life, store bottles in cool, dark locations away from sunshine (UV).

    Prior to drinking chill rose wines in a wine fridge at 6˚C - 10˚C or 42°F - 50°F for the best tasting experience. 

    How Long Does Port Last In The Fridge?

    Because port wine contains fortified alcohol and oxidises slower than many other wines, a properly sealed port bottle will keep its contents fresh for over 10 years or multiple decades. To extend the shelf life of port, store bottles in cool, dark locations away from sun light (UV).

    Prior to drinking chill rose wines in a wine fridge at 6˚C - 10˚C or 42°F - 50°F for the best tasting experience.

    How Long Does Dessert Wine Last In The Fridge?

    Dessert wines should be stored unopened at , and will last 3-6 months unopened. To extend the shelf life of dessert wine, store bottles in cool, dark locations away from sun light (UV).

    Prior to drinking chill desert wines in a wine fridge at 5˚C - 7˚C or 50°F - 55°F for the best tasting experience.

    How Long Does Sparkling Wine Last In The Fridge?

    Sparkling wines can be consumed within 2-3 years of their stated expiry date and have a comparable shelf life to red wines. 

    Sparkling wines of high quality such as Champagne and even prosecco, can be stored for 3-4 years (10+ years is also possible with fine quality bottles) without the quality being diminished. 

    Prior to drinking chill sparking wines in a wine fridge at 5˚C - 7˚C or 50°F - 55°F for the best tasting experience. 

    Final Thoughts On How Long Wine Lasts In The Fridge

      If you're looking to store your wine collection to see it fulfil its full potential you're best to invest in a wine fridge as wine can last 5+ years stored correctly.

      A regular fridge is too cold for storing wine for any longer than a few hours when you need it to bring wine to the correct serving temperature.

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

      You can browse more posts on Wine Storage here.

      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