How To Know When A Wine Is No Longer Drinkable?

Wine lovers everywhere will agree that there’s nothing better than enjoying a nice glass of good quality wine, especially with a meal with friends and family, at home, or on a special evening out. If you’re passionate about wine, you may have discovered your favourite types of wine, wineries, and the right place to buy them.

If you enjoy selecting your bottles online for home delivery, which is often the case if you enjoy wines from other countries or particular wine regions, you can save money through a Vivino coupon code. In the meantime, check our list of ways to be sure if a particular wine is still drinkable or not.


How To Know When A Wine Is No Longer Drinkable?
  • Firstly, the expiry dates of wine depend on the type of wine. Some bottles are designed to be drunk within a period of about a year, while others are produced specifically to be stored away for up to 10 years, as their taste will only improve over time, which is great news if you have a wine cellar.
  • In general, most mid-range bottles have a life expectancy of 2 or 3 years from the date of release.

Unopened Bottles

How To Know When A Wine Is No Longer Drinkable?
  • Storage is key when it comes to maintaining the quality of unopened bottles.
  • Top tips include storage in a cool environment, lower than the average room temperature, and away from direct sunlight which can have seriously damaging effects on your wine.
  • Another trick is to store your bottles in the correct position. A sideways position will make sure the wine stays up to the cork which is important to prevent the wine from drying out or from any oxygen being able to enter.
  • If you don’t have the wine cellar of your dreams or space in your garage, it could be worth investing in a small wine refrigerator to ensure that those special bottles are still good when you open them for a special occasion. 

Opened Bottles (White Wines)

How To Know When A Wine Is No Longer Drinkable?
  • To understand the time frames for consuming opened bottles of wine, this will vary according to the type and the way in which you choose to conserve opened bottles.
  • Opened bottles of white wine can be happily stored in the fridge with a cork or standard bottle stopper and it will still be good for up to a week.
  • You’ll know immediately when you open it to pour the next glass, simply by the taste.
  • Over time, especially with exposition to too much oxygen, white wine can turn to vinegar.

Opened Bottles (Red Wines)

How To Know When A Wine Is No Longer Drinkable?
  • It’s slightly more complicated when it comes to red wine. Certain types are more sensitive to exposure to oxygen than others.
  • How long they remain drinkable will depend on the quality of the wine and also the year it was produced.
  • As a general rule of thumb, you can consider a 3-day window for finishing the opened red.
  • Remember that you will be able to taste the difference easily, which may be simply a less intense taste than when it was first opened, or in more serious cases, an unpleasant, acidic, or vinegary taste.
  • Use your other senses too, to avoid any unnecessary tasting, a change in smell or colour will give you a hint that it’s too late.

If you want to learn more about wine in general, then you should check out TimeOut magazine where you can discover fascinating wine bars (some even have takeaway options) and many of the best wine shops in London have recently introduced home delivery services.

You can also find out about upcoming wine-related events, including wine tasting courses, festivals, and other events in and around London as well as throughout the UK further afield within Europe.