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Ever open a bottle of fine wine and fill a glass expecting a rich, flavorful splash of flavor only to discover it has gone bad?  It tastes stale and regretfully has to be poured down the drain. Can wine spoil? Why does this happen and are there ways to avoid it from happening to you? Figuring out how long wine will last after opening can be easy with a few tips. 

Red Wine

How long does wine last in the refrigerator after opening?

Most types of reds usually last around 3 to 5 days after opening. Keeping them in the fridge slows down the breakdown process. A tight seal in a container with as little air as possible keeps the freshness in. Also, the darker a wine is, caused from Tannins in the case of reds, the less light can penetrate and begin to break things down if stored in a bottle.

Keeping it in a box helps hold a red wine’s freshness a lot longer. These can usually stay fresh between 2 and 3 weeks in the fridge.

White Wine


Sparkling wines have the shortest freshness life at around 1 to 2 days. Whites taste good for around 3 to 4 days after opening as well. It is much lighter and can spoil faster so keep an eye on it when storing in the fridge.

Boxed Wine


Boxed wine can store longer than others due to the way it is packaged. It isn’t exposed to light and oxygen unlike a bottle wine.

Boxed wines can remain a few weeks in the fridge if needed.

Does Wine Last Unopened?


This depends on how you store it. If it’s not kept in a cool, dry place chemical reactions can begin to break down its components and start turning it bad. If the wine is bottled, it should be stored on its side so that the cork doesn’t dry up.

Properly stored unopened red or white wine can keep anywhere from 1 to 3 years and still taste great when opened. Fortified wines can keep for decades since they have additional preservatives in them.  Stored improperly it can become rotten quickly, especially in humid climates.

Check out our how long does wine last after opening infographic below to learn more.


wine freshness

How Do You Know if Wine Has Gone Bad?


There are three main indicators for spoiled wine.

Smelling the wine can also indicate if it has spoiled. It may have a musty or vinegar smell. These are quick indicators of bad wine.

Although we don’t recommend tasting wine if it is bad, a small amount shouldn’t hurt. This method can let you know without a doubt if it is rotten. It may have a sour or, in some cases, a chemical-like taste to it. If it is spoiled, don’t drink any more. Drinking a large amount of rotten wine can in rare instances lead to food poisoning.

In addition to smell and taste, looking at color can also tell you things about its freshness. If the wine looks a different color from when you first opened it, that can be an indication it has gone bad. Usually its darker in color and there may be bubbles in it. Bubbles mean it has begun fermenting and breaking down.




when is wine bad


Fresh Wine Solution


Ideally to keep wine fresh it needs to be free from oxidation or contamination. Tap4Wine.com has the first patented wine storage mini keg solution available for United States use.

Our Tap4Wine home mini wine kegs

  • hold as much wine as four regular 750 milliliter wine bottles
  • stay fresh for up to 60 days after opening
  • store easily in your kitchen or fridge
  • are small, light-weight and portable
  • are environmentally friendly
  • easy to tap and untap



There are ways to prevent a lousy wine experience if you take a few simple precautions and know what to look for. Don’t waste money pouring your wine down the drain. Enjoy it when you want and as fresh as when you first opened it.