You might not think about it all that much, but surprisingly, many drinks can go bad. From juices, to alcoholic drinks, there are plenty of ways that your drinks can become less than appetizing. No matter if you are keeping your red wine on the shelf for a drink every now and then, or you plan on using it in recipes, it is always a good idea to know how long it will last. Thankfully, most wine can last a very long time when it is properly cared for, so you won’t have to worry too much about replacing your red wine soon.
So How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Red wine actually lasts considerably longer than other types of wine. The only kind of wine that can outlast red wine is fine wine stored in a wine cellar. With that being said, unopened red wine can eventually go bad. This will take about two to three years to happen, so there is absolutely no rush to get through your wine quite yet. This is a different story when the bottle of wine has been opened though. By comparison, white wine only lasts for about two years at the most when it is unopened, and wine juice boxes tend to last only a year.
As with many food and drink products, once it is opened, you only have a limited amount of time to use it before it begins to go bad, even if you take all the proper measures to store it. Once you open the bottle of red wine, you can expect it to last for about one to two weeks when you keep it in the fridge. Keeping the wine in the fridge will ensure that you get the most out of it after it is opened, which means that you should make sure that you have the space in the fridge. Likewise, white wine only lasts about three days once it has been opened, while cooking wine can last for a couple months and juice boxes can last for about a year when they have been opened.
Ultimately, you don’t have to worry too much about your red wine going bad, as long as you only open it when you know that you are going to use it. Red wine can generally last a fairly long time when it is stored in the right conditions, so you should make sure that you know how to store wine properly, so that you can make the most out of your bottle of red wine.
How Do You Store Wine?
When it comes to storing red wine, the process is similar to storing just about all wine. The best thing that you can do is put the red wine in a wine cellar. Wine cellars are spectacular for storing wine because of the cooler temperatures, angled shelves, and the neighboring bottles of wine. However, not everyone has a wine cellar, and not everyone wants a wine cellar. This means that you have to create your own similar conditions if you want to make sure that your red wine lasts a long time.
First things first, you will want to keep your wine in a cool place that has a constant temperature. You should aim for around 50°F to 55°F, which is about 13°C. More often than not, keeping your wine in a fridge will meet these temperature requirements, or be close enough to them that your wine will be fine. If it is possible, you should keep the wine at an angle. If you do not have angled shelves in your fridge, then keeping it horizontal should get the job done.
You will want to keep your wine at an angle because it keeps the cork from the bottle moist. A moist cork preserves the seal on the bottle, which keeps air from seeping into the bottle. A moist cork also isn’t going to dry out any time soon, which means that you don’t have to worry about it crumbling by the time you decide to crack open the wine.
If you want to have a special shelf for your wine, but you don’t know where to start, there are many places that show you how to build small wine shelves yourself. There are also many places that sell small, compact wine shelves for easy wine storage. Getting one of these is one of the best things you can do to store your wine before you open it, and if you use wine regularly, you might want to consider making the investment.
Many people choose to keep their wine on top of the fridge, but this is one of the worst places that you can keep it. On top of the fridge, under the stove, or next to the dishwasher are the few places that you should absolutely never keep your wine if you want to keep it in good condition. This is because the heat from these appliances will also affect the wine, and letting your wine become heated only reduces its quality and speeds up the spoiling process. Believe it or not, wine does, in a way, spoil.
What Does Spoiled Wine Look Like?
Before your wine begins to spoil, the taste will begin to change as the drink loses its flavor. After about two weeks have passed since you uncorked the bottle of red wine, the taste will shift to something more sour and almost bitter, becoming close to vinegar in a sense. If the wine is beginning to taste a little bit off, but you are still in the mood to drink it, you can always let it sit out in the open air. Unlike many other kinds of foods and drinks, air brings out the flavor of wine a little bit more, even as it begins to age.
When your wine reaches the point where it has spoiled, there will be a few obvious signs. The cork will usually be leaky, which should be one of the first signs that you probably shouldn’t drink the wine. Additionally, the wine itself will change color, becoming cloudier in appearance. Sometimes, it will look as if there is a dust settled in the bottom of the bottle. If you notice that your wine has these traits, you probably shouldn’t drink it. If you do, however, want to give it a taste test, you can expect it to be a little bit rancid.
What Else Should You Know About Wine?
Red wine is one type of wine that tends to last longer than other wines. Even when it comes to the fine wine that people keep in wine cellars for decades at a time, some of those are red wines. Because of how fast wine can degrade once it has been opened, you should make sure that you either only get quantities of wine that you know you will go through within two weeks, or you should make sure that you only open the wine when you are ready to use it. This will help preserve the quality of it, as well as make sure that you do not waste the wine because you wanted to smell it before you had it to drink later that week.
Something else to consider is using red wine to cook with. If you typically use it to drink, but you realize that you probably can’t finish it all before it goes bad, you might want to think about using it in recipes. There are many, many recipes out there that use red wine as a vital ingredient for cooking, more often than not adding flavor to a dish. This is an excellent way to go through your red wine before it expires so that you don’t have to worry about wasting any of it.