How Long Will That Holiday Wine Last?
Is there anything better than popping the cork of your favorite holiday wine? Quick answer: No. However, before you do, it’s important to understand that the average bottle of wine doesn’t have a long shelf life.
If you have holiday wine leftover from last year or are planning on storing bottles for the future, knowing how to identify spoiled wine will help you avoid taking an unpleasant drink. If you’re trying to detect if a wine is past its prime, you will notice changes in appearance, taste, and smell when it goes bad. Let’s take a look at the average shelf life of holiday wine and how to avoid it.
Typical Shelf Life of Holiday Wine
The shelf life of wine depends on numerous factors like the label, vintage, preparation method, and storage. However, more than 90% of wines purchased from a ‘shelf’ are not meant for storing or extended amounts of time. Consume these holiday wines fresh and fairly soon after purchase.
Fine wines, when stored and cellared, can last decades. These wines will include a cellaring time on the label to help you determine the wine’s aging potential. Once opened, exposure to the air forces any kind of wine to lose its aroma and flavor, which shortens its expiration date drastically.
A light white, sweet white, and rosè wine will last in the refrigerator for 5-7 days with a cork. However, after a day, you’ll notice the flavor is slightly altered as the wine oxidizes. The full-bodied white wines will stay fresh for 3-5 days corked in the refrigerator. Unopened, bottled white wine lasts for 1-2 years past the printed date.
Store red wines in a chiller or dark place with a cork after opening them. If you don’t have access to a chiller, using your refrigerator is more effective than letting it sit out in a room. In the right conditions, red holiday wine will last 3-5 days when opened. The more tannin and acidity the wine has, the longer it will last. Bottled red wine will last 2-3 years past the cellared date when unopened.
5 Ways to Spot Spoiled Wine
Why does wine spoil? The acetic acid bacteria takes over the alcohol and metabolizes it into acetaldehyde and results in a vinegary smell. Additionally, the alcohol can oxidize which causes a bruised, nutty fruit taste. You can keep wine at a lower temperature to prevent this from happening.
Over time, you may notice your wine has spoiled. Look for these signs before drinking:
- The red wine looks brownish or the white wine appears yellow.
- There are fizz bubbles similar to sparkling wine or champagne.
- The wine has overheated and the cork is out of the bottle.
- A musty or moldy smell is coming from the wine due to it being ‘corked’.
- The wine smells or tastes like vinegar.
Find Your Holiday Drink at Festival Wine & Spirits
Looking to pop open your newest holiday wine or stock your wine collection? Be sure to follow shelf life best practices to ensure you’re drinking fresh wine.
Located in Annapolis, Maryland, Festival Wine & Spirits is a family-owned beer, wine, and liquor store. With a wide selection of alcohol that fits any need, Festival strives to provide quality beverages and service to every customer. Ready to find your next holiday wine? Stop by the store Monday-Saturday, 9 AM-9 PM, and Sunday, 10 AM-6 PM. And, join our Email Club to receive exclusive monthly coupons!