Medically the evaluation by Adrienne Seitz, MS, RD, LDN, Nutrition — written by Adam Rowden on might 11, 2021

Wine is a well-known alcoholic beverage, however if a human being does not store it correctly or drink it promptly, it might spoil. Once open, wine commonly lasts for a few days. If that goes bad, it may alter in taste, smell, and also consistency. In rare cases, spoiled wine have the right to make a human being sick.

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Many adults of drinking age consume wine, and evidence says that moderate intake may have actually health benefits. Because that example, part research suggests that a light-to-moderate input of alcohol may safeguard heart health.

However, extreme alcohol usage can harm a who health. The Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend one of two people refraining from drink altogether or only drinking in moderation.

The CDC specifies moderate drinking together a best of one or two drinks per day because that females and males, respectively. One drink equals a 5-ounce glass of wine with an alcohol content of 12%.

By utilizing the correct storage techniques and knowing the indications that indicate wine spoilage, civilization can prevent drinking alcohol that has gone bad.

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


How lengthy does unopened alcohol last? 

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

Below is an estimate of how long particular wines will certainly last past the printed expiry date if a human stores castle correctly and 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 long as unopened wine because once a person has actually opened a bottle of wine, it starts to oxidize. Once a party is open, the wine within encounters air, which begins the oxidation process. Oxidation can cause wine to go bad and also may rotate it right into vinegar.

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

If a person does not intend to finish a bottle of wine, they need to minimize how much oxygen and bacteria connect with the wine to do it last longer.

They deserve to do this by put the cork or screw-top back on the bottle and also storing it in a place an ideal for the form of wine. Because that example, world can ar white wine in the fridge and red alcohol in a cool, dark place.

Below is an calculation of exactly how long specific wines might last if a person stores them correctly as soon as they room open:

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

Several signs may show that a party of wine has actually gone bad. These include:

Changes in color

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

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

Changes in smell

A person may be able to smell specific aromas if wine has actually gone bad. These can encompass a sharp, vinegar-like odor, a damp smell, or an odor comparable to the of a barnyard.

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

Some wine might go bad before a human being opens it, i m sorry is often due to the wine gift faulty. Faulty wine have the right to have a garlic odor or smell similar to cabbage or burned rubber.

Changes in taste

A person should not drink alcohol that has gone bad. However, in some instances, tasting a tiny amount is a great way to recognize whether the wine is still it s okay to drink.

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

In part cases, if wine has gone bad, it may have actually a strong chemical taste, similar to repaint thinner.

Unwanted balloon in the wine

If balloon are existing in a tho wine, this says that the alcohol is refermenting. This procedure usually occurs as result of a absence of sterilization and also indicates that yeasts may still be energetic in the wine.

Loose cork or leakage

If the cork is loose, visible above the rim, or remarkable leaking, this may suggest heat damage. This damages may cause subtle changes to the smell and also flavor the the wine, making that look and taste duller.


Although a person have the right to drink a small amount the spoiled wine without fearing the consequences, they should avoid drinking big amounts the it.

Typically, wine spoilage occurs due to oxidation, definition that the wine may turn come vinegar. Return it may taste unpleasant, the is unlikely to reason harm.

However, spoilage because of microbes may result in food poisoning. This kind of spoilage is rare but possible.

The symptoms of food poisoning typically include:

stomach cramps

If a human being believes that wine has gone bad, lock should merely dispose the it, together it will taste unpleasant and also could do them sick.


People should think about the following points as soon as storing wine:

Choose a cool and also dark place

It is recipient to store wine in a cool ar with a fairly consistent temperature. Temperature alters can affect the high quality of the wine.

It is also important to defend the alcohol from light, therefore a dark location is the best place to store it.

Store corked party horizontally

Storing a bottle on its side enables the alcohol to remain in constant contact v the cork, staying clear of it from drying out. If the cork does dried out, that may allow oxygen to pass right into the bottle, which deserve to spoil the wine.

This type of spoilage can only affect wines in corked bottles, therefore a person can store bottles v a screw-top upright.

The appropriate humidity is important

Extremely high or short humidity can likewise ruin a wine. Anecdotal evidence says that a relative humidity of about 60% is best for wine storage.

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

Consider a alcohol fridge

If a human does not have a practically storage an are that is dark and also cool with perfect humidity, they may wish to take into consideration purchasing a alcohol fridge.

These fridges, i beg your pardon some world may describe as wine coolers, room not as cold as a traditional refrigerator and assist maintain the optimal temperature and humidity because that wine storage.