As wine lovers, we all want to know how long our wine will last after opening. It can be a waste to throw out wine that has gone bad, especially if it’s an expensive bottle. However, many factors affect how long a wine will last once it’s been opened. Here are six factors that you should keep in mind.
First, I’ll briefly discuss why people need wine preservers and how they work.
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Why do people use wine preservers?
Wine preservation tools are great for people who want to limit their alcohol intake. It allows them to drink the same bottle of wine throughout the week.
For wine industry folks, wine preservation tools are par for the course.
Wineries use them at tasting bars. Wine merchants carry them in their briefcase.
Moreover, wine preservers are indispensable tools for wine students. It allows them to blind taste wines over and over again to prepare for examinations.
How wine preservation systems work?
Exposure to oxygen is what makes wines lose their freshness and spoil.
Therefore, most wine preservers use some type of gas that acts like a blanket protecting the wine from air (gas cannisters like Private Preserve, or Coravin, Repour). Yet, other systems simply pump oxygen out of the bottle (Vacu Vin).
On a good note, products will list the maximum length of time that a wine can stay fresh after using their system.
But not all wines keep as well as others. Furthermore, the length of time your wine will keep doesn’t just depend on the system you use.
For this reason, here are 6 factors that will effect how long the wine lasts after using a wine preservation tool.
[Check out my review and buying guide on 4 Preservation Tools: Vacu Vin, Coravin, Wine Preserve and Repour]
Don’t pay for a wine course until you read my review of the major wine schools out there in Your One-Stop Guide to Wine Courses.]
[Check out my indispensable guide about the 3 Best Free Wine Apps for Tasting Notes]
[ Wanna know the 5 Best Ways to Order Wine Online]
6 Factors that Affect How Long the Wine Lasts
How much wine is left in the bottle affects how long your wine lasts
If you only have 1/4 of the wine left, no matter what you do, the wine will not preserve long. So, drink up!
You should know that the time the manufacturers claim your wine will keep are the absolute maximum under the ultimate conditions and only when only one glass or less is removed. For example, Coravin – the most expensive product out there and the one that allows opened bottles to last the longest – claims wines will last 2+ years after opening with their system. I doubt it.
Because in my experience, once you empty that bottle half-way, pop the cork! The wine won’t last long if there’s less than half the wine left.
Which wine preserver product do you use?
How long will a wine stay fresh after its use?
Tell us in the comments below!
After using a wine preservation tool, you must store the bottle upright in standing position. This lowers the surface area that can be exposed to oxygen keeping your wine fresh longer.
How long the wine has been cellared is one factor that affects how long your wine lasts after using a wine preserver
The longer a wine has been cellared, the less time it has left after it’s been opened. If you’ve been storing a bottle for many years, you’ll want to drink it within a day or two of opening it.
To that end, recently released wines – especially young wines meant for ageing – will probably last the full time a wine preserver company states.
All other wines – wines meant to be drunk right away, wines that are already aged – will not last as long as a wine preserver company states.
Wines with higher tannin levels will last longer than wines with low tannin
Tannin is a structural component in wine that allows wines to age.
Therefore, wines with high tannin levels, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, can last longer than wines with lower tannin levels, such as Pinot Noir and Merlot. Tannins are natural preservatives that help to slow down the oxidation process that causes wine to spoil.
Storing your opened bottles in the fridge will make your wines last longer too!
Red wines will last longer than white wines
Red wines have more tannins and other natural preservatives than white wines. This means that red wines can last longer than white wines once they’ve been opened. However, this can vary depending on the specific wine.
Tales from working the restaurant floor...
I used the Coravin wine preservation system (the best on the market) on some 1976 red Burgundy to sell by the glass. The wine was beautiful for the first glass that I poured. But if the next glass didn’t sell within the week, the wine would already slip past its drinking window. If I sold two glasses, the second half of the wine wouldn’t last even a few days.
Pinot Noir is a red grape variety known for low tannin. So see tip #3 below.
Still, the wine merchants I spoke with (who sell only the most recent vintages of wine and not the most delicate aged wines) agreed…
No matter how great or expensive the wine preservation tool you use – after the bottle gets halfway down, pop the cork and drink it. It’s not going to last.
If you have used a wine preserver on an aged wine, I’d love to hear your comments below on how long the wine lasted!
Wine preservation tools that use gas will make wines last longer than those that only remove oxygen from the bottle
There are many wine preservation tools that pump air out of the bottle. However, there will always be some oxygen in that will remain in contact with the wine.
As a result, wine preservation tools that use gas and blanket the wine are best. The gas keeps the oxygen away from the wine.
Expensive wines will last longer than inexpensive wines
Expensive wines tend to have more natural preservatives, such as tannins, than cheaper wines. This means that expensive wines can last longer once they’ve been opened. However, this doesn’t mean that you should keep an expensive bottle of wine open for weeks on end. Even the most expensive wines will eventually spoil if they’re not stored properly.
There are several factors that affect how long a wine will last once it’s been opened. By keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure that your wine stays fresh for as long as possible.
Remember to store your wine properly (standing upright and in a cool, dark place like a fridge), and consider using a gas-based tool to keep it fresh. And of course, enjoy your wine while it lasts!