How to Store Red Wine After Opening?

Now that you have opened that delicious bottle of red wine, do you just throw it all away? Of course not. You can store it and drink it some other time. If you are wondering how to store red wine after opening, then you are just on time. Here, shall be sharing all the secrets with you.  

However, before we go get right to it, let’s look at why opened are wine goes bad.

Reasons Why Opened Red Wine Go Bad

When red wine is opened, it is exposed to oxygen from the atmosphere, this converts the red wine into vinegar. Hence, to preserve the freshness and wholesomeness of red wine, oxygen must be prevented from entering the bottle or minimized at best. There are some methods that can be used to elongate the shelf life of wines, and this is all centered around minimizing your drink’s exposure to oxygen either by removing, replacing, or reducing the wine’s surface area. When all is right, and opened wine can last up to one week before going bad.

How to Store Red Wine After Opening?

1. Re-cork

After every glass of wine, re-cork the bottle correctly and keep it out of sunlight. Although the clean side may seem more ideal to fit in, do not take that route. The ‘clean’ side of the bottle may not be as clean as you think it is, this can alter the taste of the wine you hope to drink in a day or two.

2. Proper Storage

Store the wine under ambient temperature (room temperature) and keep it out of light.

3. Refrigerate Unfinished Wine:

Oftentimes, the good wine coolers also plays a vital role in preserving the freshness and wholesomeness of wines, including red wines.

This is because when wines are stored at a cold temperature, the whole chemical process is reduced including the oxidation reaction that occurs when the wine comes in contact with air. Hence, cork the unfinished wine and place it in a chiller, this will elongate its lifespan for up to three to five days.

4. Use Small Bottles

When red wines are exposed to the atmosphere, the flavor and aroma are minimized over time. To prevent this from happening, pour unfinished wine into a small bottle. Although there may be little air in the bottle, it cannot be compared to that of a full-sized bottle.

5. Avoid Opening the Bottle

Why open a special bottle of wine if you aren’t going to finish it? You can share that bottle of wine with friends and family rather than open and not finish it. This way, you get to enjoy the wine at its best while also having a bonding session with family or friends.

Wine Preservation Tool

There are tools that can be used to preserve the freshness of wines, while some of these tools aren’t efficient, some others serve their purpose. Here are some of the most effective tools on the market:

Vacuum Pump

A vacuum pump is a must-have for those that don’t finish their red wines at once. It can preserve wines for up to two weeks and is ideal for everyday wine enthusiasts.

Inert Wine Gas Preservative System

This tool is meant for wine connoisseurs or those with a deep love for wine. Although it has a high price tag, the value it gives you is worth the money spent. It features a needle that pierces through the wine’s cork and then extracts the wine while replacing it with argon gas. Experts have tested this tool for up to ten months (in various enclosed conditions) and found the wine to be fresh even after several months.

Tips on Keeping Red Wines Fresh

The following tips will help ensure your opened bottle of red wine remains fresh for a longer period:

  • Always store red wines in an upright position. This minimizes the wine’s exposure to oxygen.
  • Avoid drastic temperature change as this can wreak havoc on your wine. For instance, avoid wines going from very cold to hot.
  • Red wines can be warmed in lukewarm water but never hot water. The water to use should be slightly warmer than room temperature.

Things to Avoid When Storing Red Wine

To ensure your red wine lasts longer after opening it, avoid the following:

  • Avoid storing wine on its side as this increases its surface area and in turn, increases its exposure to oxygen
  • Avoid storing wines by the window. Doing this brings the wine under the full glare of the light which can discolor and damage the wine.
  • Avoid storing wine at high temperatures (such as 70oF and above. Unfinished red wines are best stored in the refrigerator.

Which Red Wines go Bad Fast?

The rate of spoilage of red wine differs from one type of wine to the other. Generally, the red wines that go bad fast are in this order:

Pinot Noir: This wine is very sensitive to oxygen; hence it goes bad very fast when exposed to air. To preserve its freshness, it’s best to transfer the content to a smaller bottle after opening it, this will help preserve the aroma and taste of the wine. Once opened, consume within one to three days.

Old Wines: Wines older than eight or ten years can go bad in less than four hours once exposed to air. But who doesn’t finish a ten-year-old wine at a sitting though?

Organic Wine: Sulphite-free or organic wines are typically very fragile and so goes bad real fast when exposed to air.

Light-Bodied Red Wine: Various light red wines including Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Grenache, and so on go bad quickly when opened. Therefore, it is important to store them right to preserve them for a longer time.

How to Store Sparkling Red Wine?

Dark lights are known to have an adverse effect on wines. They alter the flavor, taste, and aroma of the drink and also leads to discoloration. Sparkling drinks are more tender and susceptible to damage from the sun, this is why Champagne drinks will always come in a dark bottle.

While wine preservation systems such as Vacuum pump and inert gas preservation system works for most wines, they are not suitable for sparkling wines. To preserve sparkling drinks and get them to last longer, a champagne stopper is needed. It is affordable and can effectively keep the bubbles going for as long as five days.

How to Know if a Wine is Still Good for Consumption after Opening It?

  • Observe the color of the wine: Opened red wines start to turn brick or brown after a while.
  • Sniff the Wine: Observe if the aroma is still as sharp as the first time you drank it. If it’s not then do not consume.
  • Observe the smell to see if it’s as appealing as the last time you had it


Before now, many had had to thrash good, expensive, delicious wines because they couldn’t finish it in one sitting and it went bad. This is because they never knew how to store the wines properly.

But now that we have shared the knowledge on how to store red wine after opening, you can confidently open a bottle of wine and drink it all at once or store it for later. So, a bottle of good wine doesn’t have to go to waste anymore.

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