How many times has it happened to you that the wine bottle which you opened at the house party, tastes a little funny or weird the day after? If the answer to this question is yes, this article is for you! Be it red, white, sweet wine or bubbly, once the bottle is open, it will only be good for a day at max. Depending on its type, the wine can get bad. Why? Read more to find out about it. (Images courtesy: Canva)
As soon as you open a bottle, oxygen enters it and comes into contact with the wine, causing it to oxidise (a chemical reaction). This influences the wine, although the length of the process is different from one wine to the next. On opening the bottle, a person will not be able to see the changes with the naked eye but from colour to its fruity characteristics, the wine changes a lot. Oxidation can also lead to the loss of sulphur dioxide, which preserves the wine and thus the changes. People believe that if they put the cork or a wine stopper back in, the wine will not go bad. However, contrary to this claim, the process continues, since no closure is airtight and oxygen has already been introduced to the wine. Here’s how oxygen interacts with different wine types.
White wine usually tastes best on the day you’ve opened the bottle. Even as little as a day later, you can already notice the flavour becomes a little weaker. That’s why you can keep an open bottle for only one day. Although, high-acid wines (like a Riesling) will last a little longer- about two to three days. Generally speaking, you can keep wines from cooler climates longer than wines from warmer areas. In any case, it’s always important to put the cork onto the bottle before putting it in the fridge.
It’s always said that ‘the older the red wine, the better it will be’. Well, this holds true in cases, where the wine is more acidic and has more tannins. Light red wines are best consumed within a day or two. More robust red wines will last slightly longer; about three to four days. In some cases, the wine even tastes better when you drink it a few days after opening it! Tip: keeping opened bottles of red wine in the fridge will make them last longer.
When it comes to bubbly wines, a little bit of haste is necessary. The wine will be most bubbly directly after popping the cork. Here, too, there are slight differences, though. Champagne or cava will last a little bit longer than prosecco, for example. This is because of the way the bubbles are made.
Sweet wines will often last for a couple of days before losing their flavour and smell. There are also fortified wines like Port, Sherry and Madeira. These wines will last a little longer after opening the bottle. Do make sure you keep them in a cool, dry spot.