An opened bottle of wine: how long does it last and how can we store it?

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We often open a bottle of wine without finishing it. What should we do when that happens? If an opened bottle of wine is left over, how long does it last? What is the best way to store it?

Wine is a perishable product with one of the longest shelf lives: if well sealed and of good quality, it can even last for decades. However, once a bottle has been opened, the wine only lasts for a short time. When the liquid comes into contact with oxygen, the tannins (substances present in grape skins and seeds) are stimulated, giving rise to the oxidisation process that causes the quality of the wine to deteriorate over time, turning it into acetic acid. It is important to know how to store opened wine and how long it lasts depending on its various characteristics.

How long does opened wine last? How do we store a bottle?

First of all, the first rule for storing an opened bottle for as long as possible is to close it again carefully. The best solution would be to use its original cork. Otherwise, there are specific corks for opened bottles of wine, that prevent contact with air and help to maintain the taste for as long as possible.

The container used to store the wine is just as important. In fact, the emptier the bottle, the more air will be contained inside it and the less time the wine will last. You can replace the bottle with a smaller glass container, to slow down oxidisation.

One of the factors that most affects the storage of opened wine is temperature: do not expose it, therefore, to sources of light and heat. The ideal temperature is 10-12°C for white wines and 12-15°C for red wines.

The types of wine: If opened, how long does it last?

Storage temperatures for wine change depending on the type, quality and above all the alcohol content.  Here are the main varieties and how long they last if opened and stored correctly:

  • Spumante and sparkling wine cannot be stored for a long time, from 1 to 3 days at most, in the fridge and with a metal cap.
  • Light, Rosé and sweet white wine manage to last in the fridge for 5 to 7 days if closed well with a cork.
  • Full-bodied, white and red wine can be stored in a cool, dry place, for 3 to 5 days, better if in the dark and with a cork.

As well as the refrigerator, the ideal place to store wine longer is the wine cooler, that guarantees perfect temperature and humidity for your bottles, protecting them from light, odours and harmful vibrations. For examples, Hoover connected coolers can be linked to the hOn app, offering you extra functions and personalised advice based on your favourite wines.

What not to do: drink wine that has been opened for a month

The taste of wine is, however, extremely subjective: it could lose a part of its fragrance and no longer have the same characteristics as before, but still have a good taste.  The important thing is to pay attention to the colour and opaqueness of the liquid, to avoid drinking wine that tastes unpleasant.

To avoid drinking wine that is too old, you can use it in cooking to flavour your dishes and add richness to some fish or meat-based recipes.

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