How Long Does Wine Stay Fresh After Opening It?

How Long Does Wine Stay Fresh After Opening It?

It’s one of the questions O'Brien's Wine Director, Lynne Coyle, Master of Wine is asked most often: how long does wine stay fresh after opening it? "It depends on two things," she explains. "Mainly age and style. But, being wine, there’s always exceptions to the rule."

Here are Lynne’s top tips for storing all sorts of wine and you'll find out what *not* to do with wine in the video below too.

Champagne and sparkling wine

One of the trickiest wines to keep fresh after it's been opened is sparkling wine. The absolute best thing that you can do is buy an inexpensive stopper to pop back into your bottle of Champagne

Once resealed, it can most definitely live in your fridge for a couple of days. It may not be quite as fizzy as it was when you first opened it, but it certainly won't be missing bubbles. The same rule applies to Cava, a fully sparkling Prosecco or other sparkling wine. 

White wines

White wine can also be stored for another two to three days in the fridge once you re-stop it. My advice would be to buy one with a screw cap because it very easily goes back onto the top of the bottle. It used to be the case that screws caps were equated with cheaper bottles of wine.

These days, if you take a quick look around the shelves in O’Briens you'll see that quite expensive bottles of wine are using screw caps. It’s about determining the quality and the aroma profile. Often the winemaker will use a screw cap on a wine when he's very keen to keep the fruit quality similar to how it was when he bottled it. So a screw cap is definitely nothing to be scared of!

Light red wines

On to lighter reds - again, this can be stored for two to three days. Sometimes a lighter red can benefit from going into (or back into) the fridge for two or three days. It can really help preserve the fruit flavours and aromas in a lighter red.

Fuller red wines

As long as you keep the cork and re-close it, a fuller red can live at room temperature for a little longer. It doesn't need to go into the fridge because a more robust red will have higher tannins which will protect a wine.

Port and fortified wines

There’s higher alcohol in port and other fortified wines and these can quite often be kept for two to three weeks. The most important thing is to keep the cork, pop it back in and store the bottle. 

The wine to drink straight away

The exception to the rule across the board would be older wines, which should really be drunk when you open them. They won't keep for very long. Once the oxygen gets into the bottle, it starts to deplete the fruit and the other structures within the wine. So if you're going to open an old bottle sit down and enjoy it…


Make sure to follow the O'Briens channel on YouTube for more top tips and advice from Lynne and the team. 

READ MORE: The 5 Best Wines To Try This Month
READ MORE: How to Tell if Wine is Corked – O'Briens Wine