Did you know that the oldest traces of wine discovered thus far are more than 8,000 years old? Today, we have all sorts of technology that allows us to cultivate and produce various types of wine that we can enjoy. But how long does wine last and are there any factors that might affect the lifespan of a bottle of wine?
There are many things that can determine the lifespan of wine such as the type of wine, whether or not the bottle is open, and so on. Keep reading and learn more about the question, “How long is wine good for?” and what you can do to keep your wine fresher for longer.
How Long Does Wine Last?
Many people think that as long as you don’t open a bottle of wine that it can last years and years. After all, there are very expensive wines for sale that are hundreds of years old and waiting to be consumed. But not all wines can last hundreds of years.
Instead, many types of wines will go bad within 10 years even if the bottle has never been opened. Why might that be, you ask? Isn’t wine only supposed to get better with age without the risk of spoiling?
Only fine wine gets better with age and fine wine tends to last much longer than ordinary types of wine. That’s because fine wine is made from higher quality grapes but it also has to do with the unique storage methods that fine wines go through. For example, a normal bottle of red wine will only last about 3 years after its expiration date before it goes bad.
A bottle of white wine will only last 2 years after its expiration date. If you keep it any longer than that, it may no longer be safe to drink. On the other hand, fine wine doesn’t usually have an expiration date and it can last decades as long as you keep it in a safe place.
For fine wine to last as long as possible, you will need to store it in a cellar. A cellar is a controlled environment with a temperature that does not change. It keeps the wine cool but not cold and the wine will never have a chance to warm up, regardless of the weather outside.
The bottles also need to be sideways so the corks remain moist. The wine bottles will need to be in the dark since sunlight can damage the wine.
How Do You Know When Wine Is Bad?
How do you know when a wine is bad, you ask? There are several ways in which you can distinguish this. First, you will want to check the wine expiration date. If the wine has not been opened and the wine is several years past the expiration date, it has likely gone bad.
But how long does open wine last and how do you know if it has gone bad? Opened wine has a very short lifespan because once it is exposed to oxygen, the wine will quickly break down. Red wine is one of the longest-lasting wines once opened and if you store it properly, it can last as long as a week.
White wine, on the other hand, may only last 4 or 5 days. Sparkling wine only lasts 1 or 2 days before it goes flat. Port wine, which is a dessert wine, is unique because it can last as long as 3 weeks once opened.
If you don’t store your opened wine properly, the wine may not last as long as the numbers listed. On the other hand, if you store your wine in a cool, dark location, it may last much longer even if it is open. But when it comes to bad wine, you will be able to tell if the wine has gone bad if its color has changed.
Dark red wines tend to turn brown after being open for too long. White wines turn golden instead. This change of color is due to the wine being exposed to too much oxygen. The change of smell is also important to consider.
A bad wine will smell somewhat like vinegar. If your wine is stale, it might have a flat, burnt smell instead. If your wine has a bad smell, throw it out.
How to Make Your Wine Last Longer
Now you know the answer to the question, “Does wine go bad?” but is there a way to make your wine last longer? As mentioned before, storing your wine in the right fashion is very important. The goal is to keep air from reaching the wine and ruining it.
You can do this by keeping your wine in the refrigerator where it is cold and dark. But keep in mind that exposing the wine to air isn’t always a bad thing. Once it’s time to drink your favorite wine, aerating it can give it a great flavor (find more information here).
But you should avoid aerating the whole bottle of wine because then the wine will go bad faster. Try aerating individual cups of wine instead. Once it’s time to put the wine away, don’t forget to turn the bottle sideways.
This will ensure that the cork doesn’t dry out and, as a result, the wine will last longer.
Everything You Need to Know about the Lifespan of Wine
How long does wine last? It all depends on what kind of wine you have, whether the bottle is open or unopened, and how you store the bottle. As long as you store the bottle properly, the wine should last a very long time.
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