About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

How long to keep a bottle of wine open?

There are lots of variables; the wine type, method of production, age and so on. There are all those considerations and exceptions but for 95% of the wine that people drink every day, the answer is pretty simple.
Three (3) days. At home, I can keep wines up to 3 days after the bottle has been opened. (This doesn't happen very often). Once a bottle of wine is opened, the oxygen in the air starts a process that softens the flavours and opens up the aromas. As this process (oxidation) continues over hours and days, the wine is ultimately made undrinkable; the trick is to drink the wine before this point.


You can (and usually should) refrigerate re-closed (open) bottles. You can buy wine-gadgets to create a slight vacuum in the bottle. You can get systems that put a layer of inert gas in the bottle. All these efforts are aimed at slowing the oxidation that will eventually destroy the wine. What makes the whole thing tricky is that wine will not immediately go from good to bad. Each person has a different point at which they identify the wine as having gone bad.
If you want to play it safe (and who doesn't), use the 3 day rule. Re-close and refrigerate the bottle for up to 3 days. With red wines, pull the bottle out from the fridge at least 1 hour before you want to use it so it will warm up to a temperature of around 18°C. With white wines or roses, depending upon the room temperature/ time of year, give the wine 10-15 minutes or so to get to about 8-9°C.
If you keep a wine for more than 3 days, you will be serving a wine that has lost most of the characteristics that are prized. The aroma will start to change and much of the fresh fruit smells and tastes will subside. At worst, you'll be serving a wine that has oxidized too much and has gone bad.
Dessert wines, Ports and Sherries can last longer but those are special cases (due to the methode of production, increased sugar levels and the higher alcohol content, which can act as a preservative and slow the process). Play it safe with the 3 day rule.

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