How long does red wine last once you open the screw top?

We frequently ask ourselves, “How long does red wine last once opened screw top?” when we drink a glass of wine. In this essay, we dig into the topic of red wine storage and examine the factors that affect red wine’s shelf life after being opened. 

We will walk you through the effects of oxygen exposure to find out about storage conditions and recommended practices. You will have the information you need from this article to decide on the best wine preservation methods. So let’s get started and learn the truth about how long red wine actually keeps after being opened with a screw top.

1. How long does red wine last once you open the screw top?

The red wine bottle will be exposed to an overwhelming amount of air once you pop the cork. Your opened bottle of red wine naturally changes and ages more quickly after opening. Your wine will begin to lose its tastes and aromas considerably more quickly at that point after being opened. However, red wines can usually be drunk between 03 and 05 days after being uncorked if they are stored in a cool, dark location.

How long does red wine last once you open the screw top
In general, red wines can usually last between 3 and 5 days after opening. (Source: Internet)

Different varieties of red wines will have varying amounts of time remaining after opening – obviously when kept in a cool, dark area away from direct sunlight (or stored in a wine cooler).

  • Light Reds: The shortest period before “spoiling” is usually found with open lighter reds. Light red wine (such as Barbera, Grenache, and Pinot Noir) keeps well after opening for two to three days. Light reds have fewer tannins and a lower alcohol concentration (12.5% or less). Therefore, compared to a medium- or full-bodied red wine, the wine’s flavor and fragrance won’t last as long.
  • Medium Reds: Open medium-bodied reds have a longer shelf life compared to light Reds. Medium reds, such as Merlot, Nebbiolo, and Shiraz, have a bigger tannin concentration and an alcohol concentration ranging from 12.5% to 13.5%. They will probably last three to five days after opening the screw top.
  • Full-bodied Reds: Open, full-bodied red wines generally survive the longest. Open full-bodied red wines, such as Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah/Shiraz, may preserve their taste and stay fresh for 4 to 6 days. This is a result of the wine’s tannins and high alcohol content (13.5% or higher). 
Types of red wines Example Tannins – Alcohol content

Remaining time after opening

Light Reds Pinot Noir,… ≤12.5% 2 – 3 days
Medium Reds Merlot, Shiraz,… 12.5 – 13.5% 3 – 5 days
Full-bodied Reds Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon,… ≥13.5% 4 – 6 days

2. An Overview of Red Wine Storage and Shelf Life

2.1. Unopened red wine

Unopened red wine bottles often remain sealed for two to three years after the suggested drinking period. Their strong tannin content enables their natural preservation for a long time. Store in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight to extend shelf life.

2.2. Basic principles of red wine storage

Understanding the basic principles of red wine storage, whether you’re an expert or just a casual drinker, can help you maintain your bottles and guarantee a pleasurable drinking experience. 

  • Temperature: Wine storage requires careful temperature management. In order to protect red wines from deterioration due to temperature variations, they should be stored at an average temperature of around 55°F and 65°F. Extreme heat and cold can have an impact on age and flavor.
  • Humidity: To avoid mold development or cork drying out, a sufficient humidity level of 50% to 70% must be maintained. Avoid exposing red wine to light, particularly ultraviolet radiation, which might speed up aging. 
  • Vibrations and Storing Position: To keep the cork wet and avoid air entry, store wine bottles horizontally. Reduce vibrations to preserve perception and flavor.
how long does red wine last once opened screw top
How long red wine last will depend on temperature, humidity, vibration and storing position. (Source: Internet)

Editor’s note: Consider temperature-controlled wine cellars, wine coolers, or wine refrigerators as storage choices. Find a cool, stable place in your home if one isn’t already there. Having wine properly stored improves the drinking experience.

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3. Can You Still Drink Red Wine 7 Days After Opening?

Yes, it can still be drunk. However, the quality will not be the same as usual. Red wine comes in a wide range of varieties. Red wines can be consumed for up to five days once they have been opened if they are corked and kept in a cold, dark area. Red wine’s tannins and inherent acidity shield it from oxidation. 

The refrigerator is the ideal storage location for open wine bottles. Sparkling wine is an exception since carbonation diminishes with time. The typical shelf life of table red wines and lighter-bodied wines is three to five days. White and rose wines, on the other hand, may age much longer. Red wine should always be stored in the fridge once it has been opened to increase shelf life.

4. How Do You Store Red Wine After Opening Screw Top?

After each pour, re-cork the wine. Wine bottles should be stored at normal temperature and kept away from light. Generally speaking, a refrigerator helps store wine, even red wine, for longer. The oxidation process that occurs when oxygen comes in contact with wine slows down when it is kept at cooler temperatures. For up to three days, the wine kept in the refrigerator with a cork will remain largely fresh.

Here are some precautions for appropriate wine storage:

  • Avoid keeping it on its side since doing so exposes more surface area to oxygen.
  • Avoid placing items near a window because of fading from sunlight.
  • Avoid storing above 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celcius; instead, keep open wine in the refrigerator!

If you don’t want to invest in wine preservation equipment, think about rebottling the wine in a more compact bottle to minimize the wine’s contact with air.

5. Tips to Maximize the Shelf Life of a Bottle of Red Wine with a Screw-Top Closure

There are a few recommendations you may make to extend the lifespan of a screw-top bottle of red wine:

  • Keep it upright: Screw-top wine bottles do not require horizontal storage, unlike those with conventional corks. They may avoid any potential leaks or oxidation via the closure by being stored upright.
  • Keep it in a cold, dark place: Wines with screw-top closures need to be kept at a constant temperature, much as cork-sealed bottles. To keep the wine’s taste and quality, store it in a cool place away from heat sources.
  • Avoid temperature changes: they might have a detrimental effect on the wine’s quality and aging process. Wine with a screw top closure should ideally be stored in a setting with little temperature variation.
  • Reduce oxygen exposure: Even though screw top closures offer a strong seal, it’s still crucial to reduce oxygen exposure. Retighten the bottle’s lid after opening to reduce oxygen interaction. To lessen oxidation, think about shifting the rest of the wine to a smaller jar with less space.
  • Drink within a reasonable amount of time: Screw top closures provide a solid seal but do not age wine as well as cork closures over an extended period of time. To experience their best tastes, red wines with screw-top closures should normally be consumed within a few years of their release.
how long does red wine last after opening
There are a ways you can make to extend the lifespan of a screw-top bottle of red wine. (Source: Internet)

These recommendations will help you get the most out of your bottle in terms of quality and shelf life. It’s important to keep in mind that each wine may have unique storage requirements, so it’s always a good idea to ask the winemaker or other experts for guidance on your individual bottle.

6. How Would You Know If An Open Red Wine Has Gone Bad?

  • Cork taint: 

Cork taint is among the most typical indicators of red wine deterioration. When a contaminated cork comes into touch with the wine, a damp or moldy smell results. 

TCA, also known as 2,4,6-trichloroanisole, is the main cause of cork taint and may be found in natural corks or in the winemaking environment. Look for a scent of wet cardboard or newspaper to spot cork taint. It is recommended to stay away from the wine if you notice these scents.

  • Strange smells: 

Vinegar, damp cardboard, or repulsive odors like rotten eggs can all be signs that a wine is flawed or has spoiled. It’s advisable to stay away from the wine if you detect these odors.

  • Changes in color: 

If the color of your wine has changed, it has probably been overexposed to air or light and will taste worse as a result. When red wines become bad, they may lose their rich, bright color. Watch out for wine that seems brown or dimmer than when it was originally opened.

7. Factors That Affect How Long Red Wine Stays Good After Opening

  • Oxidation: One of the main factors that might impair the flavor and fragrance of red wine is oxidation. The oxidation process, in which oxygen combines with the components of wine to make it deteriorate, might result from exposure to air. 
  • Temperature: Red wine preservation requires careful attention to temperature as well. The quality of the wine may be harmed by fluctuating or too-high temperatures. 
  • Vibrations: Although they might not be a noticeable factor, vibrations can significantly affect the flavor of red wine. Vibrations that are too strong, such as those brought on by adjacent machinery or frequent movement, could affect the wine’s sediment and stop the aging process. This disruption may cause the wine to have an unpleasant texture.
  • Light: Red wine’s quality can be negatively impacted by exposure to light. Wine components can be harmed by ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or other artificial light sources, which can result in the development of off-tastes. 

8. Some Concerns About Drinking Bad Wine

Even if a tiny amount of terrible wine won’t kill you, that doesn’t imply you should definitely consume it.

In addition to excessive air exposure, yeast, and bacterial development can also cause the wine to spoil.

Due to wine’s minimal chance of supporting microbial development, the likelihood of drinking substandard wine is that it will only be extremely unpleasant. As a result, dangerous foodborne pathogens like B. cereus and E. coli, two different species of bacteria that can result in food poisoning, are not frequently an issue. Though, the possibility of bacterial development yet remains.

Therefore, the best choice for you is to throw away spoiled wine if you notice it, whether or not it has been opened.

9. What to Do If You Have an Opened Bottle of Red Wine That Has Been Opened?

  • Making vinegar:

Vinegar may be made from leftover wine. The simplest method is as follows:

  1. Purchase vinegar that already contains vinegar mother—a biofilm that is used to ferment alcohol-based liquids and produce vinegar.
  2. Combine three parts wine with one part vinegar in a mason jar.
  3. After that, keep the jar somewhere cool and dark for a month.
  • Using it as a cooking wine:

Cooking with leftover wine is a fantastic way to utilize it. It will give sauces and desserts a ton of flavor when used as a cooking wine. Here are some steps to turn your leftover wine into special cooking wine:

  1. Wine may be preserved in a terrific way by pouring it into ice cube trays and freezing them. 
  2. Then just add one or two cubes the following time you’re cooking! 

10. FAQs

Does red wine with a screw top spoil?

From three to five days is the shelf life. After the bottle is opened, the acidity and tannins that give red wines their structure and body begin to deteriorate over time. And most of the time, this is okay.

Can you swallow red wine seven days after the screw-top opening?

Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec can survive for about four days if they are sealed and kept in a cold, dark area or a refrigerator; thus, it is not recommended to keep them for a week. Red wines with more tannin and acidity generally keep better after opening.

What occurs if red wine is consumed seven days after opening?

A bottle of wine that has already been opened won’t make you queasy. The wine normally doesn’t start to taste different for a minimum of a few days.

Can wine be stored in a screw top?

They can, yes. Maintaining the proper temperature is still crucial when preserving a wine bottle with a screw cover. As there is no stopper to moisten, the bottle does not need to be stored on its side.

How do you tell if a wine with a screw top is bad?

Reduction is the issue that occurs when there is not enough oxygen exposure for the wine to create sulphuric chemicals, which give the wine a strong sulfuric scent (like a lit match). Compared to natural corks, screw cap bottles are more likely to have this.

Can you still drink wine with a screw top after a week?

Always store wine out of direct sunlight and heat, preferably in a cool, dark location, or even better, in the refrigerator! The ideal location to store your opened wine is in the refrigerator. Your refrigerated wine bottle of Riesling or Sancerre will remain OK for at least 2–5 days if the lid is securely screwed on.

How long does wine with a screw top remain fresh?

Once they are open, cover them with a cork or securely screw on the cap, and store them in the refrigerator. They’ll stay fresh for about 5 days, but during that time you’ll notice that the robust, fruity flavors common to most rosés become a little softer and more delicate.

What occurs if wine isn’t chilled after opening?

A bottle of wine’s quality can quickly deteriorate after opening, though. When a wine bottle is opened, the wine within is exposed to the environment, which oxidizes it. The chemical changes that follow lead to a decline in flavor.

Is a screw top or cork better for wine?

Cork bark, a naturally occurring material, is used to make corks. Due to its extreme malleability, it is ideal for sealing wine bottles until you are ready to drink them. It has been demonstrated to withstand protracted age without losing wine quality.

11. Conclusion

We have looked at a number of variables that may affect how long red wine kept with a screw top closure lasts in this article. We now understand how temperature, oxygen exposure, and upright bottle storage affect the bottle. Red wine is often advised to drink within a few days. Keep in mind that every wine is different. However, screw-top closures allow you to securely enjoy your preferred red wines on multiple occasions without bothering about spoiling. So go ahead and pop open the cork, grab yourself a sip, and savor the pleasures of a fine red wine experience. 

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