Shelf Life of
Wine

How Long Does Wine Last?

How long does wine last?

How Long Does Wine Last?

How long does wine last? Wine is the result of fermenting different varieties of grapes. The shelf life of wine depends on a variety of factors, such as the vintage, label, the preparation method and how it is stored. Although there is no definite answer, 99% (typically all of the budget shelf wines) of wine is not meant for “cellaring” or storing and is intended to be consumed while it is fresh and young in the bottle soon after purchase. Because of its relatively low cost for an alcoholic beverage and the health benefits (yes, a glass of red wine a day is actually good for your heart!), it is one of the oldest and most popular drinks in the world. It is used for many occasions, including religious ceremonies. So, how long does wine last? Does wine go bad? When properly stored, the shelf life of wine past its label year is approximately …

(Unopened) Pantry
Past Printed Date
Bottled White Wine lasts for 1-2 Years
Bottled Red Wine lasts for 2-3 Years
Wine juice box lasts for 1 Year
Fine Wine lasts for Decades in a wine cellar
(Opened) Refrigerator
White Wine lasts for 1-3 Days
Red Wine lasts for 1-2 Weeks
Cooking Wine lasts for 1-2 Months
Wine juice box lasts for 6-12 Months




Of course, all food and drink lasts for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. It generally won’t have a use by date, but it will have the year that the wine was sealed into the bottle with a cork.

How Long is Wine Good For After Opening or un-Corking?

Once un-corking and opening reds should be used within 2 weeks and whites should be used within 3 days. That’s typically how long the flavor lasts after opening before it begins to taste sour or “vinegary”. Be sure to bring red wine to room temperature for best quality before drinking. Reds should also be allowed to “breathe” or sit open for awhile before they are consumed, air further brings out the flavor of reds (unlike most other food and drink). This is true regardless of the quality.
Wine boxes, although they generally hold cheaper product, last longer once opened because they are in aseptic packaging that does not allow air to get in and further ferment the product. Boxes contain a bag within a box so the liquid is dispensed and then re-sealed automatically after each use.

How to tell if wine is bad, rotten or spoiled?

You can usually tell before you open the bottle if your wine has gone bad. Some common traits of bad wine are a leaky cork, a change in the color of the liquid (usually a cloudy appearance) or a “dusty” settlement in the bottom of the bottle. If these things are going on in the bottle, the it has most likely gone bad and the taste will be a bit rancid. There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled food and drink, so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your wine prior to the eat by date. If your wine has gone bad, check our substitution page for alternatives.

How to store wine to extend its shelf life?

Proper storage is the key to extending the expiration date. The perfect conditions for proper storage exist in a wine cellar – a cool, dark place kept at a constant temperature of 50-55° F (13°C) with slightly angled shelves and only other wines as neighbors. Since most of us can’t do this, just remember that the best storage is under cool, dark, and somewhat humid conditions. Storing it above the fridge, under the stove, or next to the dishwasher are the worst storage choices because the product will be heated whenever an appliance is on. Storing wine horizontally keeps the cork moist, which preserves the seal and prevents air from seeping into the bottle along with keeping the cork from drying out and crumbling upon opening. So, corked wine (vino) should always be kept on its side until opened.
Once opened, all wines may be refrigerated to keep them fresh for a longer period of time. Some benefits of proper storage include saving money and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Which Wines Can Be Stored Longer Than A Year?

The shelf life of wine in your cellar, when properly stored can be many years. The 1% of wines that are able to be stored are the sturdy red ones, which range from the Rhones and French Bordeaux to the high-end Cabernet Sauvignons from California and Australia. Also some of the finest wines come from Spain and Italy.

How long is wine good for when prepared in a dish?

How long does wine last? That depends. How long does pasta last? In general, it lasts only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the recipe. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or search below!

Search the Shelf Life Guide!

What are our shelf life resources?

Our does wine go bad content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of wine.

*An important note about expiration dates …

Although the shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary because conditions are so variable and our advice should only be taken as an opinion. Please drink responsibly!