» Does Wine Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

Does Wine Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

Does Wine Go Bad How Long Does Wine Last

Wine is one of the most popular and luxurious products that have been around for centuries. Due to its versatility and great variety, the number of people who enjoy wine increase every year.

Wine isn’t only a great product to have around at home for a drink, but it also makes a beautiful gift. Seeing that so many of us adore wine, it’s only natural to wonder whether wine goes bad.

Does Wine Go Bad?

Unfortunately, wine doesn’t have an eternal shelf life. Just how long the shelf life of a bottle of wine is, however, will depend on the kind of wine it is and how it is stored.

Unopened wine has an impressively long shelf life since there hasn’t been any oxidation yet. Therefore, all types of wine will last longer than the expiration date stated on the bottle, but of course, this only applies if the bottle is stored in proper conditions.

How Long Does Wine Last?

How Long Does Wine Last

Whether a bottle of wine has been opened or not makes a significant difference in how long it will last. The minute a bottle of wine is opened, the time you have to enjoy it decreases massively.

Wines that remain unopened, however, can last for years past the expiration date printed on the bottle. White wines can last up to two years. Red wines can be kept for up to three years. Wines mainly meant for cooking purposes can be kept for up to five years, and lastly, fine or specialty wines can be stored for up to twenty years.

When you have opened your bottle of wine, regardless of the kind of wine, you will have less than a week to enjoy it. The only exception is port and cooking wine. Opened port that is stored correctly can last for up to three weeks.

Opened sparkling wine loses its fizz and freshness after a day. White wines and rosé can last up to five days. Red and dessert wines will be fresh and tasty for up to seven days.

How Long Does Wine Last?

Opened Unopened
White wine 5 days 2 years past the expiration date
Red wine 7 days 3 years  past the expiration date


Dessert wine 7 days 5 years  past the expiration date


Sparkling wine 1 day 2 years  past the expiration date


Cooking wine 3 weeks 5 years  past the expiration date


Fine wine 7 days 20 years  past the expiration date


Port 3 weeks 15 years past the expiration date


5 Tips to Tell if Wine has Gone Bad

Most wine drinkers will be able to recall at least once that they had the unfortunate experience of trying a glass of wine that wasn’t at its best. Fortunately, there are ways to tell whether your wine is still fresh and suitable for consumption without tasting it.

Here are the ways you can tell if your wine is still tasty and fresh:

  • The wine looks different

Wine that has gone past its best most often shows a color change. Therefore, if you notice that your wine has gone a few shades darker, it is probably best to consider getting a new bottle.

Similarly, wine that appears to be cloudy or grainy isn’t fresh anymore and shouldn’t be consumed. When you are examining your wine for freshness, also pay attention to the bottle. If the bottle shows signs of crystallization or mold contamination, it is best to avoid drinking the wine.

  • The wine no longer smells good

It isn’t uncommon for wine to go through a slight change in smell as the bottle matures. However, if you find that your bottle of wine smells overly sour or rancid, it is best not to drink it.

Wine that has lost its smell might not necessarily be bad, but it is a clear indication that the wine has lost its quality and won’t be as enjoyable.

  • The cork has lifted

As wine matures, pressure might build up in the bottle. If this pressure is enough to alter the position of the cork, the wine has gone past its best. It is advised never to drink wine that comes from a bottle where the cork has lifted significantly.

  • The wine seems to be fizzy

If you pour yourself a glass of wine and it appears to be fizzy, even though it isn’t a sparkling wine, you shouldn’t drink it.

  • The wine tastes unusual

Suppose you have had an open bottle of wine in your fridge for a few days. If you take a sip and taste intense chemical flavors, it is best to throw the rest of it out. Similarly, if you taste a difference in the wine, for example, sweet wine has become bitter or red wine has become overly sweet, don’t consume any more of it.

4 Tips to Store Wine

Although the best storage conditions will depend on the kind of wine, there are tips that we can follow to ensure we get the most out of all wines. By keeping these tips in mind, you can extend your wine’s shelf life and have great-tasting wine.

  • Store your wine away from heat elements and direct sunlight

As with most products meant for consumption, wine doesn’t last well when it is exposed to heat or sunlight. Therefore, if you hope to get the most out of your wine, you must avoid storing it in a place where it will receive direct sunlight or be exposed to heat elements.

If you have a dark and dry place in your pantry, that will be perfect for storing wine. However, if you don’t have a spot that doesn’t receive direct sunlight or isn’t exposed to heat elements, you can consider storing your wine in a box or wrapping the bottle in a cloth.

  • Keep your wine at a constant temperature

Constantly heating and cooling your wine isn’t ideal. Therefore, it is best to keep your wine in an area that isn’t too hot or too cold. For this reason, it is best to keep your wine out of the fridge until you are planning to enjoy it. Keeping your wine in the refrigerator for long periods isn’t advised as it will significantly decrease your wine’s quality.

  • Store corked wine on its side

If you enjoy corked wine, you must remember that these bottles need to be stored on their sides. Keeping corked wine upright will also decrease the quality of the wine and shorten the shelf life.

  • Keep your wine away from strong odors

Most people don’t realize this, but potent odors can penetrate your wine’s cork and taint your wine as a result. Therefore, keeping your wine close to your trash cans is never advised.

Likewise, if you have areas in your home with strong fragrances, like a candle collection, for example, it is recommended that you keep your wine away from that area.

The Risk of Consuming Expired Wine

The Risk of Consuming Expired Wine

Fortunately, bad wine won’t make most people sick. It will most likely just leave a bad taste in your mouth. However, people who have allergies or sensitivities should never consume expired wine because they might experience some discomfort as a result.

People sensitive to alcohol should especially avoid drinking expired wine because they might experience significant abdominal cramping, a headache, and break out in hives in extreme cases.

Can You Freeze Wine?

It is possible to freeze wine, but it isn’t recommended. Freezing and thawing dramatically decrease the quality of the wine. However, if you have accidentally frozen a bottle of wine, try it and see if you are still satisfied with the taste. If not, use it as cooking wine.

There is no need to throw away a bottle of wine that you have forgotten in the freezer because it is still perfectly suitable for cooking or even making wine mixes. Surprisingly a vast selection of white wines can keep their flavor after being frozen and thawed.

Although wine’s alcohol content isn’t altered by freezing wines, most people agree that the wine loses some of its depth and aroma. This is especially true when it comes to red wine.

In order to avoid frozen wine, it is best to store your wine at room temperature until a few hours before you plan to enjoy it. Then simply place the bottle in the fridge for a few hours so that it is nice and crisp when you are ready to drink it. But, of course, if you enjoy drinking your wine at room temperature, there is no need to put it in the refrigerator at all.


Wine is a product that brings people together. People love joining wine clubs, going to wine farms, and sharing a bottle of their favorite wine with their friends and family. With so many different kinds of wine available, there is a wine out there for everyone to enjoy.

By keeping the storing tips in mind, you will never have to worry about whether your favorite bottle of wine has gone bad.


  1. How Long Does Wine Actually Last After It’s Opened?
  2. How Long Does an Open Bottle of Wine Last?
  3. How Long Does Wine Last?
  4. How Long Does Wine Last? (Opened or Unopened, Red & White)
  5. How Long Does That Open Bottle of Wine Last, Really?


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