A few weeks ago I received a "Dear Party" from DearSugar! Apparently one of her readers, a certain Wino Wendy had written to her inquiring about the shelf life of an opened bottle of wine. Here's what I told her: first consider the type of wine. White wines you store in lower temperature (max of 13c.), whereas red ones you should keep in room temperature (max 18c.). However once opened, all wine begins to change. The oxygen in the air starts this process of change that can only be slowed down if the wine is chilled (it is advised to put even a bottle of opened red wine in the fridge). When you want to drink it, take it out about a half an hour before to allow the wine to come to room temperature. Red will stay drinkable for up to 3 days and white will for another day or so. Whichever wine it is, you need to make sure you seal the bottle tightly, leaving no air inside. There are special corks for it, which should be available at your local wine shop. How long they last will depend on who tastes them - the longer you keep a wine open, the stronger the alcoholic flavor. My best tip - once you've opened a bottle of wine - is to simply drink it all, that way you don't have to worry about leaving it open. To check out my at home science experiment, in which I sample one super old bottle of white wine compared to a just uncorked one, read more
When I last spent the weekend at the vacation house, I was making cassoulet in which white wine was one of the ingredients. I asked my dad to open the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc I had purchased and he pointed out that there were several bottles of opened white wine in the fridge. Now I had not been to the vacation house since November, and neither my mother nor father drink white wine. It could have been leftover from my sister, but the last time she was there was in January. My dad didn't believe that one could notice a serious difference between the tastes of an old and new bottle, so I set up an impromptu blind taste test. In the end, we all could taste a huge difference between the wines, my dad included. The old had a very stale, overly sweet flavor while the new was light and crisp.
Have you ever experimented with variously aged bottles of wine? Please share your stories below!