Does white wine go off?
If you’re saving a nice bottle of white wine for a special occasion, you might be wondering how long the wine will last before it starts to deteriorate in quality. There can be a few factors that influence whether fine white wine will go off and the length of time before that happens. That’s why in this guide we’ll be answering the question ‘does white wine go off?’ and the steps you can take to ensure your wine is kept fresh for as long as possible.
Can white wine go bad?
Yes, white wine can go bad before or after it has been opened, if it’s been exposed to oxygen. This exposure causes wine to break down and decay, which is why when it is packaged and stored correctly, unopened wine bottles can last for decades without deterioration.
How long does white wine last unopened?
Most ready to drink white wines are at their best quality within 3 to 5 years, but they can maintain that quality indefinitely if they are properly stored. White wines contain hardly any tannin which means they oxidise a lot quicker than other types of wine. Again, this means proper storage is essential to ensure any white wine that is built for aging can do so without compromise.
Storing unopened white wine bottles
You can learn more about storing your white wine in more detail in our other blog ‘How to store fine wine’. However, generally it needs to be kept in a temperature regulated, dark area that is away from any vibrations or natural light. It needs to be kept on its side to keep the cork from drying out and to stop oxygen getting in. Unless you’re planning on drinking the wine within a few days it’s not advised to store it in your fridge.
How long does white wine last once opened?
Once you have opened your white wine, you can replace the cork and keep it in the fridge. The life expectancy of the wine after it has been opened is between 3 and 7 days. If stored properly a full-bodied white wine will last up to 5 days and a lighter white will last up to 7. As soon as the wine has been opened the flavours can start to change and eventually lose its key aromas and body.
It’s important to note that screw top bottles typically last longer than corked wine. When storing, make sure the top is tightly screwed on before putting the fridge and be aware of any vinegary tastes or other unpleasant flavours as it means your wine has gone off.
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