How long does white wine last after opening?

drinking white wine

I know what you’re thinking; it’s not often that you have white wine leftover. But all jokes aside, occasionally, we all find ourselves with vino at the bottom of a bottle. But is it worth keeping? And how long will it last before it goes off? It isn’t actually as straightforward as you might think. Here, we explain.

How long does white wine last when opened?

White wine can last anywhere from a few days to a week or more, depending on how it’s stored and how fresh it was when you opened it.

When a bottle of wine is opened, all of the tastes change. White wines, being as susceptible to temperature as they are, can alter dramatically in terms of taste after just a few days. There are methods to keep whites after opening them and consume them a few days later, but understanding the white you’re attempting to retain and following the instructions are crucial.

Here are the guidelines for how long white wines will keep. However, you need to keep in mind that light, temperature and other factors can all affect the style.

  • Sparkling whites: 1-3 days in the fridge with a sparkling wine stopper 
  • Light whites: 5-7 days in the fridge when recorked.
  • Full-bodied whites: 3-5 days in the fridge when recorked.
  • Wine in a bag in a box: 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

How can I extend the life of my wine after it has been opened?

Although nothing will be able to extend the life of your wine indefinitely, or even longer than a few days, there are two products that can help you keep an opened bottle for longer. One is called a vacuum stopper, such as the VacuVin Winesaver.

This gadget is a tiny pump with a bottle stopper, that allows you to pull the air out of the bottle after putting the bottle stopper on, resulting in a vacuum. Oxidation results from this air. So, the less air there is in your bottle after you seal it, the quicker it will oxidize. It’s a small device that every wine lover should have. .

The second instrument, which is referred to as a Coravin, is a tool for extracting wine without uncorking the bottle. The Coravin device uses a thin, hollow needle and argon. When the needle is removed, the cork naturally expands, as if to say that the wine was never opened.

Unless you finish a bottle each time you open one (there’s no need to be embarrassed about that), these gadgets will help keep your wine for longer rather than forcing you to sniff and throw it the next day or two. 

How long does white wine last unopened?

White wine can be kept for a long time if kept properly. You should store it in a cold, dark place. Bottled whites tend to last one-two years, whilst juice boxes last one year.

How do I know if my wine has gone bad?

Fortunately, there are methods for detecting whether or not your wine has gone bad without tasting it.

Visual clues

  • Oxidised wines generally turn brown. For a white wine, look for one that hasn’t turned an orangey yellow, or a straw colour. A change in colour is usually a good indicator of something being wrong, but you may also smell or taste the wine to confirm
  • If the cork has been pushed out of the bottle, this is a warning that the bottle has been excessively heated. Normally, this happens in transit, but it could also happen in areas where the bottles have not been properly stored

Clues through smell

  • Smells like vinegar. This is a telltale indication that your wine has gone bad. Wines with an unpleasant vinegar or sour odors should be thrown away
  • Smells musty. Throw this away too. You don’t want to consume bad wine 
  • Smells sweet. It’s not good if a dry white has a pleasant fragrance, so it’s best to pour it away

Clues through taste

  • Tastes like vinegar. If you detect a vinegar smell, it’s a sign that they’ve oxidised
  • Does taste fizzy. If it doesn’t fizz and it should, it is an indication that the wine is bad. 
  • Tastes flat. The bottle is bad if there are few fruit tastes and a general lack of enjoyment in wine

White wine tips

If you’re looking for a way to make white wine last longer after opening, there are gadgets available that will help. You should also make sure you store the wine in a cool, dark place. 

There are visual and olfactory clues that can help you determine whether or not white wine has gone bad and if you’re ever unsure, always side with caution.