Had a party or just opened a bottle in the week without finishing it? Don’t be tempted to throw it away, it will probably last longer than you think…
How long should you keep wine open? – Ask Decanter
According to a study from Laithwaite’s Wine, the average UK household throws away an average of two glasses of wine a week, mainly due to thinking that the wine is no longer fit to drink.
Once a wine has been opened, it generally stays fresh for a few days – depending on what style it is.
Laithwaite’s recommend that most still wines stay fresh for around 3-5 days – much longer than that, and oxygen will interact with the wine and impact on the flavours.
‘Conventional wines generally last a couple of days open maximum,’ said Christelle Guibert, Decanter’s tasting director.
‘After that they tend to deteriorate very quickly.’
Wines made using a more natural approach can last up to a week in the fridge, said Guibert.
‘It really depends on the style of winemaking, rather than the colour.’
There are now various gadgets on the market that claim to preserve your wine long after it has been opened, although some question how effective these are in practise.
Sparkling wines generally need to be finished a bit sooner, before they go flat.
However, Champagne expert Tyson Stelzer said that many people would be surprised that an open bottle will ‘still keep some fizz in the fridge for some days.’
But don’t be fooled by the myth that putting a spoon in the neck of your open Champagne bottle will keep it sparkling.
The most reliable way of keeping them fresh ‘to use a Champagne stopper that provides a tight seal, and to keep the bottle as cold as possible,’ said Stelzer.
Fortified wines can last for weeks once opened.
In the case of Tawny Port, Sarah Jane Evans says it can be stoppered back up, put in the fridge and it will keep for a few months.
‘It carries you through Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years’… family birthdays – so it’s really a great investment.’
More questions answered:
Don't fall for the old myth...
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Tawny port — to decant or not? And when is it best enjoyed?
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Does it keep Champagne sparkling...?