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The Art of Wine Storage: How Long Does White and Red Wine Last in the Fridge?

Allow us to paint you a picture for a moment - you’ve gathered all your closest ones for a night of fine dining paired with a selection of excellent wine. The event goes off without a hitch, but you end up with a couple of unfinished bottles, not knowing what to do next. The first question that pops to mind is how long does white and red wine last in the fridge, and without any knowledge, you squeeze the cork back in, hoping that nothing will go bad. However, over a few days, you open the wine again for your next meal, only to find it as acidic as vinegar. Ultimately, you have nothing to do but throw it away.

It’s easy to find yourself in this scenario, right? Because the British throw away almost 50 litres of wine per year, we figure this is pretty much true. However, you don’t have yourself to blame. The main issue at hand is that a lot of people simply don’t know how long white and red wine lasts in the fridge.  They either throw it away too early in fear that it’s gone bad, or they open it much later to find that it’s indeed gone bad. With that, it’s of utmost importance you learn the optimal wine refrigerator lifespan - and we will show it to you!

To ensure you know how to properly take care of opened wine, we’ve rounded up a few wine storage tips that will surely come in handy. By following this guide, the question of how long white and red wine last in the fridge will be a thing of the past!

Does Wine Go Bad?

Sadly, as most of you know, wine does indeed have a lifespan, which is especially short when it’s opened, and it main reason for this is oxidation.

Air is an essential part of wine-making, but too much of it surely makes a difference. Basically, once the wine has been exposed to too much air, it starts changing its content and the air triggers various chemical reactions. Aside from activating the flavours and aromas, air exposure causes the ethanol to turn into acetaldehyde, thus making the wine more acidic, or what most people like to call - vinegary.

Knowing this, a lot of wine-makers opt for preserving wine quality by adding sulfur preservatives as a method to prolong its lifespan, so those who have less of it are known to turn bad rather quickly. In addition, the wine can also come in contact with bacteria which also cause spoilage and flavour change.

In most cases, when people are storing wine in the fridge, they most likely stick the cork back in or opt for special wine gadgets, and hope for the best. However, without knowing how long des red and white wine lasts in the fridge, this typically results in grave disappointment. Luckily, our wine storage tips are bound to change that!

How Long Does An Opened Wine Last?

As previously mentioned, wine does indeed have a lifespan, and it’s much shorter if the bottle has been opened. With that, if you store an opened bottle of wine at room temperature, it will last for about three days. Additionally, if you place it in a refrigerator, it would be good for two additional days, rounding up five in total. However, this number is susceptible to changes, especially because not all wine is made the same.

In other words, alcohol content is another key element you need to pay attention to when it comes to storing wine in the fridge. Namely, light-bodied wines, or those that have an alcohol content of 12,5% or less, are known to spoil much quicker and should be consumed 2-3 days after they’ve been uncorked. Moreover, they prefer colder environments, so storing them at room temperature is out of the question.

In contrast, full-bodied wines have a slightly longer lifespan when uncorked, totalling up to five days. Also, some wine connoisseurs find leaving these types of wine open and out in the air quite beneficial, as the air is known to “awaken” its flavours and aromas! Still, you have to check the alcohol content for full-bodied wines. If it goes above the 13,5% mark, you’re free to let it breathe, but only for a while!

Still, this doesn’t fully answer the question of how long red and white wine is in the fridge, as their production, as well as their content, plays an important role. In other words, it calls for the need for us to be more specific so you can ensure optimal wine lifespan.

How Long Does An Opened Red Wine Last?

When it comes to red wine storage, consider yourself lucky, because reds have a pretty long lifespan, one that lasts even past the expiration date.

That is, unopened red wines can be consumed even after their “official” life has passed, meaning that you can enjoy a glass even if it's opened 2-3 years past its shelf life. However, it’s important to note that you should provide the optimal conditions for red wine storage, preferably in a cold and dark environment, without any traces of vibration. 

On the other hand, when it comes to opened reds, you’ll have to pay attention to the wine’s body. As you already know, light-bodied wines will remain fine after 2-3 days after they’re opened, but you still need to place them in the fridge. Furthermore, full-bodied red wines can be drunk for five days after they’ve been opened, and maybe even longer, but you’ll need to do a taste test first. If the wine has changed colour, or has a more acidic taste, then it’s time to toss it down the drain.

How Long Does White Wine Last?

White wine storage is quite similar to the red counterpart, though in this case, you don’t have to act as quickly.

When opened, white wine has a slightly longer shelf life compared to red. More specifically, they can be consumed 5-7 days after air exposure, and maybe even longer, but you’ll have to double-check their taste and fruitfulness. As you already know, direct air contact changes the wine’s body, and storing wine in the fridge will significantly lower said changes.

Moreover, unopened whites can stay in perfect condition for 1-3 years past their production, but similarly to red wine, you’ll have to provide it with optimal conditions - a dark room with a cold temperature.

However, there’s one common mistake people make when it comes to white wine storage. After it’s been opened, they usually proceed to drink it right away, but that isn’t the most correct approach. While the cold keeps the wine intact and safe to drink, it surely affects its flavour. With that in mind, instead of making this mistake, let your white wine sit at room temperature for 1-2 days after you’ve pulled it from the fridge, as this will enhance its quality and taste.

Wine Storage Tips

With the question of how long white and red wine lasts in the fridge being answered, the final step of our wine storage tips is to ensure its optimal lifespan.

While most people turn to wine gadgets due to their convenience, the cork is actually your best bet! The upper covering of the bottle seals it shut, meaning that air exposure is severely minimal. With that, instead of throwing it away, make sure you save the cork as it’s an essential part of storing wine in the fridge. Still, putting it back in may not be the easiest thing to do, but there are a lot of tutorials online that show how to do it properly.

Once you’ve put the cork back on, the wine is ready to be placed in the fridge. Keep in mind that it can still go bad no matter how powerful your fridge might be, but the coolness that comes from it will slow down the breaking down of wine properties. Once you’re ready to drink it again, pour reds immediately after you pull it out, while white wines should be left at room temperature for a while so they can regain their original taste.

We hope that this article has helped with the question of how long white and red wine lasts in the fridge. Again, the shelf life for both of them once opened is pretty short, so you should finish it as soon as you open it. Additionally, to ensure the ultimate taste and your satisfaction, stock up on your favourite Tikves wines and provide them with optimal storage conditions.

Curious to find out more tips on your favourite drink? Read the rest of our blogs to find all sorts of useful information.

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