Medically reviewed by Adrienne Seitz, MS, RD, LDN, Nutrition — created by Adam Rowden on might 11, 2021

Wine is a popular alcoholic beverage, but if a human does not store it effectively or drink the promptly, it might spoil. Once open, wine typically lasts for a few days. If the goes bad, the may change in taste, smell, and also consistency. In rarely cases, spoiled wine have the right to make a person sick.

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Many adult of drinking period consume wine, and also evidence says that moderate consumption may have actually health benefits. For example, part research suggests that a light-to-moderate entry of alcohol may defend heart health.

However, too much alcohol consumption can damage a who health. The Centers for an illness Control and also Prevention (CDC) recommend either refraining from drink altogether or only drinking in moderation.

The CDC specifies moderate drinking as a preferably of one or 2 drinks every day for females and also males, respectively. One drink amounts to a 5-ounce glass of wine with an alcohol content of 12%.

By utilizing the exactly storage techniques and also knowing the indicators that suggest wine spoilage, human being can prevent drinking wine that has actually gone bad.

In this article, we discuss around how long different wines last. We also list possible signs that spoilage and also explain the risks connected with drinking spoiled wine.


How long does unopened wine last? 

Unopened wine has actually a much longer shelf life than opened up wine. Therefore, as lengthy as a person stores your wine properly, it have the right to last a relatively long time. Storing wine correctly may involve maintaining it in a cool, dark place and also placing the party on its next to stop the cork from dry out.

Below is an calculation of exactly how long specific wines will certainly last previous the printed expiry day if a human being stores castle correctly and also leaves castle unopened:

Bottled white wine: 1–2 yearsBottled rosé: 1–2 yearsBottled red wine: 2–3 yearsNon-vintage sparkling wine: 3–4 yearsVintage sparkling wine: 5–10 yearsFortified wine: decades
How lengthy does open up wine last?

Opened wine does no last as lengthy as unopened wine due to the fact that once a person has opened a party of wine, it starts to oxidize. Once a bottle is open, the wine within encounters air, which begins the oxidation process. Oxidation can reason wine to walk bad and may turn it into vinegar.

Bacteria and also other microbes can additionally cause wine to spoil. If bacteria come into contact with open wine, lock can change its flavor and consistency.

If a human being does not intend to complete a party of wine, they should minimize just how much oxygen and bacteria communicate with the alcohol to do it critical longer.

They can do this by place the cork or screw-top back on the bottle and also storing it in a place perfect for the type of wine. For example, civilization can location white wine in the fridge and also red wine in a cool, dark place.

Below is an calculation of how long specific wines might last if a human stores castle correctly when they space open:

Sparkling wine: 1–2 daysWhite wine: 3–5 daysRosé wine: 3–5 daysRed wine: 3–6 daysFortified wine: 1–3 weeks

Several indications may suggest that a bottle of wine has gone bad. These include:

Changes in color

The very first thing that a person can observe is the color of the wine. If the color shows up to have adjusted since opened the bottle, this may show spoilage.

For example, a red wine that has actually gone bad might have actually a brownish tint, conversely, a white wine might darken or have actually a deep yellow or brownish straw shade when that goes bad.

Changes in smell

A human being may be able to smell details aromas if wine has gone bad. This can incorporate a sharp, vinegar-like odor, a damp smell, or one odor comparable to the of a barnyard.

If the wine has gone stale, this can also adjust its smell. Some human being may describe stale alcohol as having actually a nut-like odor or say that it smells similar to scorched marshmallows or applesauce.

Some wine may go negative before a human opens it, which is often because of the wine gift faulty. Faulty wine can have a garlic smell or smell similar to cabbage or burnt rubber.

Changes in taste

A person should no drink alcohol that has actually gone bad. However, in part instances, tasting a little amount is a good way to recognize whether the wine is still okay to drink.

If wine has actually gone bad, it might have changed in flavor. Bad wine regularly has a sharp and also sour taste resembling the of vinegar. The may also slightly burn a person’s sleep passage due to the solid odor and flavor.

In some cases, if wine has gone bad, the may have actually a solid chemical taste, similar to paint thinner.

Unwanted bubbles in the wine

If bubbles are existing in a quiet wine, this argues that the wine is refermenting. This process usually occurs due to a absence of sterilization and also indicates that yeasts may still be active in the wine.

Loose cork or leakage

If the cork is loose, visible over the rim, or noticeably leaking, this might suggest warmth damage. This damages may cause subtle alters to the smell and also flavor that the wine, making it look and also taste duller.


Although a person deserve to drink a small amount of spoiled wine without fearing the consequences, they must avoid drinking large amounts of it.

Typically, wine spoilage occurs because of oxidation, definition that the wine might turn come vinegar. Although it may taste unpleasant, the is i can not qualify to reason harm.

However, spoilage due to microbes may an outcome in food poisoning. This kind of spoilage is rare but possible.

The symptom of food poisoning frequently include:

stomach cramps

If a human believes the wine has gone bad, lock should simply dispose of it, together it will taste unpleasant and could make them sick.


People should consider the complying with points as soon as storing wine:

Choose a cool and dark place

It is advisable to keep wine in a cool location with a relatively consistent temperature. Temperature alters can affect the quality of the wine.

It is also important to safeguard the wine from light, so a dark place is the finest place to save it.

Store corked bottles horizontally

Storing a party on that side permits the alcohol to continue to be in consistent contact v the cork, preventing it from drying out. If the cork does dry out, the may enable oxygen come pass into the bottle, which have the right to spoil the wine.

This kind of spoilage deserve to only impact wines in corked bottles, for this reason a person can store bottles with a screw-top upright.

The ideal humidity is important

Extremely high or short humidity can additionally ruin a wine. Anecdotal evidence says that a family member humidity of around 60% is appropriate for wine storage.

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If the humidity is also low, the cork may dry out, potentially permitting oxygen to gain into the bottle and also spoil the wine. If the humidity is too high, it might encourage the expansion of mold, as well as degrading any type of labels on the wine.

Consider a alcohol fridge

If a human being does not have a practically storage room that is dark and cool with perfect humidity, they might wish to think about purchasing a alcohol fridge.

These fridges, i beg your pardon some world may refer to as alcohol coolers, are not together cold together a typical refrigerator and assist maintain the optimal temperature and humidity for wine storage.