White wine is a popular choice for many drinkers because it is light and refreshing. However, if not stored properly, white wine can lose its flavor and aroma. How often have you opened a bottle of white wine, only to drink half and then let the rest go bad because you didn’t know how to store it? Here are some tips on how to store your white wine so that it stays fresh for longer.

What is the shelf life of white wine?

Some food and drinks do not last forever. White wine has a different shelf life depending on the wine and its storage. White wine has a shorter shelf life than other kinds of wine. Unopened wine can last for three years, but once it is opened, it only lasts for one to three days.

Types of wineOpened
White wine1 to 3 days
Sparkling whites1-3 days
Full-bodied whites3-5 days
Light-bodied whites5-7 days
Boxed wine in a bag2-3 weeks
Close up of white wine being poured in a cellar with an oak barrel in background.

Drinking white wine all at once is the most convenient method to appreciate it. Light wines decay more quickly than dark wines. When a wine bottle is opened, it exposes the contents to additional air, heat, light, yeast, and bacteria, all of which can produce chemical reactions that degrade the wine’s quality.

White wine has a short shelf life since it does not ferment on grape skins. White wine also has less acidity, which helps to prevent the chemical reactions that cause the wine to taste sour.

Does the white wine affect the wine’s longevity?

On this one, we’ve already pulled off the band-aid. Because white wine isn’t fermented in the skins of the grapes, it doesn’t survive as long as other varieties of wine. White wine also contains less acidity, which helps to slow down the chemical reactions that cause wines to spoil.

However, if you have a wine cellar, a few varieties of white wine age well and even improve with age. These are the things to monitor:


Chardonnay’s potential to age results from a combination of increased acidity and oak aging, which adds tannin. Semillon is noted for its ability to age beautifully and even develop nutty characteristics.


Riesling develops a creamy golden hue as it ages, and it is renowned for improving with age.

How long does a bottle of white wine last if it isn’t open?

Unopened bottles of white wine can keep for 1-2 years after the expiration date. Red wines generally have a shelf life of 2-3 years before becoming vinegary. Don’t be concerned about the quality of your cooking wine! You have 3 to 5 years before the wine’s listed expiration date to consume it.

Check out the instructions below for further information on what to do if you’re unsure how long a bottle of wine has been sitting out.

  • Check the expiration date: Most wine bottles have a date on them. White wine will hold for a few years after the expiration date on the label, although it may not be as tasty later on.
  • Vintage year: Check the year the grapes were picked if there is no expiration date on the label. It is usually projected on the label of most wine bottles. The expiration date of the bottle may be easily determined using this information.
  • Wine type: Fine wine, as previously said, lasts longer than white wine. Even within the category of white wine, different varieties of white wine last for varying amounts of time. Although it is impossible to predict how long each sort of wine will last, certain crucial aspects must be remembered. For one thing, sparkling wine has the shortest shelf life. Sparkling whites survive longer than full-bodied whites. Finally, lighter-bodied whites have a longer shelf life than full-bodied whites.
  • Testing: Even after examining the expiration date, vintage year, and kind of wine, it is impossible to know whether it is drinkable or should be discarded without testing. Continue reading to learn how to assess wine properly.
Wine. Glass of white wine in wine cellar. Old white wine on wood.

Why does white wine last for such a long time?

Because white wine has a low sugar content, bacteria have no food to consume for such a long period, making the shelf life of an unopened bottle of white wine that lengthy. Sulfur is a powerful preservative in white wine as well.

When it combines with oxygen, bacteria and other microorganisms lose oxygen, and enzyme activity decreases. It’s applied after the wine has finished fermenting and immediately before packing.

The weight of a wine’s extract is the most important factor in determining how long it will last. Extracts have a limited yield—the more extracts of a single fruit, the greater the wine’s quality and the easier it is to preserve.

The circumstances in which a bottle of wine is stored significantly impact how long it lasts. Store wine bottles on their sides in cool, dark settings to prevent the cork from drying. These chemical processes will be slowed by keeping the wine at a lower temperature, which will keep the wine fresher for longer after it has been opened. A wine that has been opened should be carefully sealed and kept in the refrigerator.

What are the signs that my wine has gone bad?

Fortunately, there are techniques to detect and smell whether your wine has gone bad, so you don’t have to taste it all the time.


  • Wines that have been oxidized usually become brown. You should avoid white wines that have become a strong yellow or straw color for white wine. A change in hue can indicate that something’s up, but you can also smell or taste the wine to be sure.
  • The wine is spoiled if the cork has been forced out of the bottle. This means that the bottle was overheated at some point. This usually happens when the bottles are being transported, but it could also happen if the bottles are stored in a warm place and not taken care of properly.
  • If you see bubbles in your wine, it’s not supposed to be there. You might also hear a sound when you open the bottle. If the cork makes a particular sound, the wine has gone bad.


  • It has a vinegary odor to it. This is a telltale fragrance of a wine that has passed its peak. Vinegar and wines with a sour odor should be discarded.
  • Anything that smells like mildew or has been moist and sitting for a long time is most certainly “corked” and not drinkable. While corked bottles are uncommon, musty-smelling wines, for whatever reason, are not to be consumed.
  • It has a sweet smell. It’s awful if a dried white smells sweet.


  • It has a vinegar flavor to it. While some wines have a vinegary aroma, a vinegary taste indicates that the wine has oxidized.
  • It has a bubbly flavor. Still, whites should never fizz, so if you notice a few bubbles, it’s time to throw them out.
  • It has a bland flavor. A lack of fruit tastes and an overall lack of vibrancy in the wine might show that the bottle is poor.

How to store unopened wine

Concept of celebration, party, wine drinking outdoors, champagne tasting at winery

Did you know that how you store your unopened red wine bottles might affect how long they survive after they’re opened? Here’s how to properly store your unopened wine:

  • Heat and light should be avoided. This will extend the life of the wine. The wine will decay and rot more quickly as a result of both heat and light.
  • Do not store it in the refrigerator. The wine may degrade as a result of the chilly weather. Even white and light wines should not be kept in the refrigerator. Keep all of your wines in a cold, dry area until you’re ready to taste them.
  • Maintain a constant temperature. Sudden temperature changes can harm the wine, causing it to degrade. Slowly cool. Do not put the wine in the freezer to speed up the process.
  • Keep the vibrations to a minimum. The sediment in the wine can be shifted by vibration, keeping it from settling and giving it a rough character. Be careful not to drop the wine or move the containers or shelves too quickly. If you’re storing pricey wines in an earthquake-prone area, take precautions to preserve the bottles.

If you’re clever, you can keep your wine bottles in wonderful shape for much longer, both opened and unopened!

How to store opened wine

Here are some suggestions for storing opened wine to keep it from spoiling:

  • After each glass, re-cork the bottle. This reduces oxygenation by limiting the quantity of oxygen that enters the bottle. Replace the cork between each glass rather than wait until you’ve finished drinking.
  • Wine should be kept in a cool, dry area. Refrigerate whites and light wines, and store reds and fortified wines in a cold, dark location. As much as possible, limit your exposure to light and heat. The wine can be degraded by exposure to the sun and heat.
  • Keep the bottles upright while not in use. The more liquid surface area comes into touch with the oxygen in the bottle when the wine is placed on its side. It’s best to keep it upright, so just a limited amount of surface area is exposed to oxygen.
  • Invest in a wine preserver. Consider investing in a wine preserver if you consume a lot of wine. The wine preserver “sucks” all the air out of the bottle, lowering oxygen levels and increasing the life of your wine. Another preserver involves squirting inert gas into an opening bottle before closing it, with the concept that the heavier inert gas will rest on top of the wine, preventing oxygen interaction.
  • A Coravin wine system is an option for individuals with a larger budget. This ingenious mechanism pulls the wine from the bottle through the cork without opening it and replaces any air with argon gas. You may savor your high-end wines one glass at a time for months or even years!


There’s no denying that white wine is a versatile drink. It can be enjoyed on its own or with food, making it the perfect drink at any time. Whether you’re looking for something to sip on while you cook dinner or want a refreshing drink to enjoy on a hot day, white wine is a great option. Plus, there are so many types of white wine to choose from, so you’re sure to find one you love.

Wine has an indefinite shelf life. Drinking your wine immediately is the simplest way to appreciate it as soon as possible after purchase.

Depending on the kind of wine, unopened wines can last up to 3 years, whereas opened wines can last up to 3 days. You may also prolong the life of your wine by properly storing it. Check whether any leftover or old wine in the kitchen has gone bad before tossing it away or consuming it.