Once open, oxygen can be both a friend and enemy to wine. Although it initially improves the flavour, over a long period of time it can ruin a good bottle of wine. Here is all you need to know about saving those last few glasses for another night.
1. How long can you store wine?
How long wine can be kept for depends on the type of wine and how well it is stored. Fortified wines such as port and sherry, along with box wines, last the longest.
Light white wines and rosé, stored correctly in the fridge, can last for up to a week, but full bodies white wines will only last up to five days.
Red wines have a similar shelf life once opened. Stored in a cool, dark place, they can be kept up to five days.
Sparkling wine does not last well once opened, largely due to the fact they lose carbonation quickly once opened. They can be stored up to three days when stored correctly.
2. Storing wine correctly
One of the most important things about storing wine is to reduce the surface area exposed to oxygen – the more wine that comes into contact with oxygen, the more quickly it will spoil. To avoid this, one of the best methods to preserve it is to transfer the remaining wine into a smaller container and seal tightly.
If transferring seems like too much effort, simply re-cork the bottle (with the original cork, clean side up). This will prevent more oxygen reaching the wine. If there is no cork or stopper available, secure a piece of plastic over the top.
Regardless of whether wine is transferred or simply re-corked, it is best stored upright as this reduces the area exposed to oxygen.
Where to store opened wine is equally important as how to store it. A cool, dark place (ideally the fridge) is the best place to keep an open bottle. Wine stored in cooler temperatures will deteriorate slower than those left at room temperature will.
3. What to do with leftover wine
Once a bottle has been opened, the fresh, fruity flavours quickly spoil. Opened wine is better suited to cooking than drinking and various wines can easily be mixed in with a number of dishes.