Most wines get more delicious and expensive with age, but many people are unaware that wine has an expiration date. A bottle of fine wine can last up to 25 years or more if it has the right properties, but most regular wines will go bad long before that.
What Makes Wine Lose Quality?
Many factors can make your wine lose quality, apart from age. These are the most important aspects that can make wine lose quality:
- Humidity levels
- Shaking the bottle
Storage position is another important factor to consider. If the bottle is stored vertically, there’s a bigger chance that the cork will dry and shrink. Dry corks allow air to get inside the bottle and start the oxidation process of wine.
How Long Does Wine Last After Opening It?
When you open a bottle of drinking wine, it can remain open for a day or even weeks before it inevitably loses its flavor. After that time, your wine might taste like vinegar or lose all of its alcoholic properties, making it taste more like grape juice.
However, that will ultimately depend on the type of wine you have:
- Sparkling wine: It is the least durable of all the wines, lasting only a couple of days after being opened.
- Red wine: Red wine has better durability and can endure up to six days once the cork is removed.
- Fortified wine: Port or fortified wine is one of the most durable wines available and can last three weeks.
- White wine: Red and white wine have similar durability. However, white wine lasts only five days instead of six.
How Long Does Wine Last Unopened?
Unopened bottles of wine can last beyond their expiration date if stored properly. Usually, the lifespan of an unopened bottle of wine is determined by the winemakers’ practices when creating the wine.
If you’ve bought a bottle of fine wine, then it should last many years. However, the aging process is essential when expanding the lifespan of your fine wine. So, ensure you have suitable space for storage.
How to Tell if Wine Has Gone Bad
There are different ways you can tell whether an unopened or opened bottle from your wine collection has gone bad. The following tips can help you determine if they are still drinkable or if it is better to throw them away:
- Check the wine cork: The best way to determine if your wine has gone bad is to check the cork. If you notice the cork has shrunken, chances are the wine has soured.
- Pay attention to the color: Wines also change color after contact with oxygen because they are made out of fruit. The wine might have gone bad already if it looks more brown than usual.
- Smell the wine: Wine will have a different smell once it has gone bad. Instead of its usual smell, it will have a more medicinal scent. Sometimes it might smell like vinegar or sweets.
- Do a tasting before drinking: You can taste the wine if you cannot tell by appearance or smell alone. Sharp, sour, sherried, or horseradish-like tastes are indicators of ruined wine.
What Are the Health Concerns of Expired Wine?
Drinking wine that has gone bad won’t kill you, but it won’t be a pleasant experience. You might feel nauseous until the wine has left your system. However, it can also lead to cramps and other stomach-related problems because of wine’s acidic properties.
Remember that wine that has gone bad will develop yeast and other bacteria. The taste itself will be too strong to even swallow, so it would be better to avoid it.
How to Keep Your Wine from Going Bad
At Wine Racks America, we understand that keeping your wine stored to age properly is essential. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best tips for keeping your wine safe and sound while it ages and increases its value:
- Think about the temperature before creating your wine cellar. Pick a place that protects the wine from heat or intense cold.
- Store your wine horizontally so that the wine can keep the cork from drying out. Dry corks are the enemies of proper aging.
- Avoid areas with too much or too little humidity. Humidity affects the properties of the cork, which is what keeps your wine from oxidizing.
- You should always avoid direct sunlight. When exposed to sunlight, wine can speed up its aging process, meaning it will reduce its lifespan.
Cellar Rack Designs
Wine Racks America has got you covered for proper storage. We have the ideal cellar racks and designs for every type of wine collection. Our experts are constantly innovating in different ways to help you keep your wine in perfect condition while it ages.
Choose Wine Racks America to Help Your Wine Age Properly
When creating your wine cellar, you’ll need the proper temperature and humidity levels. If your area has unsuitable climate conditions, you can still have a wine collection. However, you’ll need to use a cooling system or humidifier.
At Wine Racks America, we have suitable models for you, whether you need a system for a small space or a powerful cooling system for a bigger cellar. Check out our website for more information about our products and cellar design services, or contact us at 888-373-6057.