How Long Does Red Wine Last After Opening? (Screw Top)

Are you pondering the shelf life of your favourite red wine after you’ve twisted open that screw top? If you find yourself frequently leaving red wine unfinished, knowing how to best preserve its flavour and freshness is essential. This guide will provide you with all the necessary details to ensure you can enjoy your red wine to the fullest, even days after opening.

How Long Does Red Wine Last After Opening? (Screw Top)

Understanding Red Wine Oxidation

Once opened, red wine begins to oxidize. This process involves the wine reacting with oxygen in the air, which gradually alters its flavour and aroma. While some wines may benefit from a bit of aeration initially, prolonged exposure to oxygen is generally detrimental.

Factors Influencing the Longevity of Open Red Wine

  1. Wine Variety: The type and style of the red wine play significant roles in its post-opening longevity. Fuller-bodied wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz tend to last longer than lighter-bodied wines such as Pinot Noir because of their higher tannin and acidity levels which act as natural preservatives.
  2. Storage Conditions: Temperature, light, and humidity affect how wine ages. To prolong the life of an opened bottle, store it in a cool, dark place and keep the bottle upright to minimize the surface area exposed to oxygen.
  3. Use of Screw Tops: Screw tops are excellent for sealing in freshness as they provide an airtight seal that corks sometimes cannot match. This can help to slow down the oxidation process.

How Long Will Your Open Red Wine Last?

Typically, a red wine with a screw top can last between 3 to 5 days after opening if stored correctly. Here are some tips to extend the freshness of your opened wine:

  • Refrigeration: Contrary to common practice, storing red wine in the fridge after opening can help preserve its quality. The cooler temperature slows down oxidation rates.
  • Wine Stoppers: Invest in a good quality wine stopper to create an even tighter seal after opening.
  • Minimize Air Exposure: The less air in the bottle, the slower the oxidation. If possible, transfer the wine to a smaller bottle or use a wine preservation tool that can remove air from the bottle.

Signs Your Red Wine Has Gone Off

Identifying whether your wine has spoiled is quite straightforward. Here are a few indicators:

  • Change in Colour: If your red wine starts to look a bit brownish or duller, it’s a sign of oxidation.
  • Off Flavours and Aromas: If the wine starts to taste sour or has a vinegar-like sharpness, or if it smells a bit nutty or like burnt fruit, it’s time to discard it.
  • Fizziness: Any unexpected fizziness indicates fermentation, suggesting that your wine has begun to turn into vinegar.


Enjoying red wine in its prime is crucial for a full appreciation of its flavours and subtleties. By understanding the factors affecting the longevity of opened red wine and following the best storage practices, you can ensure that your wine remains delicious for days. Always remember, the key to extending the life of your opened red wine is minimal exposure to air and proper storage. So next time you uncork that bottle, consider these tips to make the most out of your wine experience. Cheers to many more delightful sips of your cherished reds!