How Long Does White Wine Last And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 5th, 2022

Exact answer: one to three days

White wine is a wine that has not been in contact with the skins throughout the fermentation process. Pale yellow, pea green, and golden yellow are all options. The non-colored grape pulp of any skin color is then fermented with it.

three people having a toast using three clear crystal wine glasses

 White wine is prepared from “white” grapes and is often green or light yellow. Because the juice is unadulterated and the color is derived from the skins.

White wine may be made from a variety of red grapes. The peel is decolorized before it is decolorized.

The berries have been crushed and compressed. On the other hand, white wine may be made from practically any non-toxic and uncolored foodstuff. Apples, pears, peaches, lemons, dandelion blossoms, locust flowers, etc.

White wine can be served as an appetizer before dinner, as a dessert, or as a light drink between meals. White wine is said to be more calming and lighter than red wine. Its acidity, fragrance, and capacity to soften meat and stir-fry make it useful in the kitchen.

What Is the Shelf Life of White Wine?

Food and drink will not endure indefinitely. White wine has an unpredictable shelf life. The shelf life of white wine is determined by the kind of wine and the manner of storage. White wine has a lower shelf life than other varieties of wine (such as red wine). Unopened wine has a shelf life of up to three years, but opened wine has a shelf life of one to three days.

Types of wineOpenedUnopened
White wine1 to 3 days1 to 3 years
Red wine3 to 6 days2 to 3 years
Types of wineOpened
White wine1 to 3 days
Sparkling whites1-3 days
Full-bodied whites3-5 days
Light-bodied whites5-7 days
Wine in a Bag in a Box2-3 weeks

The most convenient method to enjoy white wine is to consume it all at once. Light wines degrade quicker than dark wines. When a wine bottle is opened, it exposes the wine to additional air, heat, light, yeast, and bacteria, all of which can produce chemical reactions that influence the wine’s quality.

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

Does the kind of white wine affect the wine’s longevity?

Okay, we’ve already taken the band-aid off this one. Because white wine is not fermented in the grape skins, it does not last as long as other varieties of wine. White wine also contains reduced acidity, which inhibits the chemical reactions that cause the wine to spoil.

However, a few varieties of white wine age well, and some even improve with age if you have a wine cellar. These are the ones to keep an eye out for:

  • Chardonnay’s ability to age is due to a combination of increased acidity and oak-aging, which adds tannin.
  • Semillon: This wine is recognized for aging beautifully and producing nutty notes over time.
  • Riesling: As Riesling matures, it becomes a creamy golden tint that improves with age.

How Long Does a Bottle of White Wine Last If It Isn’t Opened?

An unopened bottle of white wine will often last for 2-3 years after the expiry date on the label. Look below for additional measures you might take if you are unclear about how long the bottle of wine has been sitting out.

  • Check the expiration date: Most wine bottles carry an expiration date. White wine will remain excellent for a few years after the label’s expiry date, but it may not be as tasty later on.
  • Year of vintage: Check the year the grapes were picked if there is no expiry date on the label. Most bottles of wine have it projected on the label. The expiry date of the bottle might be calculated using that information.
  • Wine classification: Fine wine, as previously said, lasts longer than white wine. Even within white wine, different varieties of white wine have variable shelf lives. Although it is impossible to predict how long each sort of wine will last, there are several crucial elements to remember that will assist you. Sparkling wine, for example, has the shortest shelf life. Full-bodied whites have a longer shelf life than dazzling whites. Finally, light-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!

Why does white wine keep for so long?

Because white wine has a low sugar content, bacteria have no food to consume for a long time. Hence the shelf life of an unopened bottle of white wine is that lengthy. White wine contains sulfur, which is a highly powerful preservative.

It can react with oxygen, causing bacteria and other microbes to lose oxygen and limit enzyme function. It is added after the wine has matured and again just before packing.

The weight of a wine’s extract is the most important factor in determining its lifespan. Extracts are vulnerable to restricted yield: the more extracts of a single fruit, the greater the quality of the wine, and the simpler it is to preserve.

The storage conditions of a bottle of wine significantly impact how long it lasts. Store wine in cool, dark places with bottles on their sides to keep the cork from drying out. These chemical processes will be decreased if the wine is stored at a lower temperature, which will keep the opened wine fresher for longer. A wine that has been opened should be carefully sealed and refrigerated.

How can I tell if my wine has gone bad?

Fortunately, there are methods to see and smell whether or not your wine has gone bad, so you don’t always have to taste it.

Visual Hints

  • Wines that have been oxidized usually become brown. Avoid white wines that have become a strong yellow or straw tint for white wine. A change in hue is a good indicator that something is wrong, but you can also smell or taste the wine to check.
  • If the cork has been forced out of the bottle, you have spoiled wine. This indicates that the bottle has been overheated. This generally occurs during transportation. However, it may occur in warm locations if the bottles are not adequately kept.
  • If you notice bubbles but the wine is still, it’s a terrible sign! You can also hear this hint: when you open a still bottle of wine, you should not hear a deeper pop as you would with champagne. While it won’t be as loud, a unique sound is produced when the cork is pulled from a bubbly wine.

Smell Provides Clues

  • It has a vinegar-like odor. This is a telltale fragrance that your wine has passed its peak. Vinegar and sour-smelling wines should be disposed of.
  • Musty odor. Basementy? Wet and cardboardy? Anything that smells like it’s been moist and sitting, like mildew, is most certainly “corked” and not drinkable. While corked bottles are uncommon, musty-smelling wines are not, and you don’t want to drink rotten wine for any reason.
  • It smells nice. It’s a negative sign if a dried white smells sweet.

Taste Provides Clues

  • It has a vinegar flavor. While some wines have a vinegar aroma, a vinegar taste indicates that the wine has oxidized.
  • The flavor is effervescent. Still, whites should never fizz, so if you notice a few bubbles, it’s a sign that it’s gone bad.
  • Tastes like cardboard. A lack of fruit tastes and an overall dullness to wine are typically indicators that the bottle is poor.

How to Store a Bottle of Wine That Hasn’t Been Opened

Did you know that the way you store your unopened bottles of red wine affects how long they last once opened? Here’s how to properly store your unopened wine:

  • Keep away from direct sunlight and heat. This will significantly extend the life of the wine. Heat and light will cause the wine to rot and spoil (turn to vinegar) faster.
  • Do not keep it in the refrigerator. Cold temperatures can cause the wine to deteriorate. Even whites and light wines should not be kept in the fridge. Keep all of your wines in a cold, dry area until ready to enjoy.
  • Maintain a consistent temperature. Sudden temperature fluctuations can be harmful to wine, causing it to degrade. Chill carefully (do not store the wine in the freezer to speed up the cooling process).
  • Reduce vibration. Vibration can cause sediment in wine to move, preventing it from settling and giving it a gritty feel. Avoid dropping the wine or abruptly shifting the containers or shelves. If you are storing pricey wines in an earthquake-prone area, take precautions to preserve the bottles.

If you’re clever, you can keep your open and unopened wine bottles in perfect condition for much longer!

How to Keep Opened Wine

Here are some suggestions for storing opened wine to prevent spoilage:

  • 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 waiting until you’ve finished drinking.
  • Store wine in the proper location. Refrigerate whites and light wines, and store reds and fortified wines in a cool, dark spot. Limit your exposure to light and heat as much as possible. The sun and heat may both damage wine.
  • Bottles should be stored upright. When wine is kept on its side, the more liquid surface area comes into touch with the oxygen in the bottle. It is preferable to keep it vertically, where only a tiny portion of the surface area gets oxygenated.
  • Purchase a wine preserver. Consider purchasing a wine preserver if you consume a lot of wine. The wine preserver “sucks” all the air out of the bottle, lowering oxygenation and prolonging the life of your wine. Another preserver form employs inert gas, squirting into the opening bottle before closing. The heavier inert gas lies on top of the wine, preventing oxygen interaction.
  • A Coravin wine system is an option for individuals with a larger budget. This ingenious gadget takes the wine from the bottle through the cork and replaces any air in the bottle with argon gas. You may drink your pricey wines one glass at a time for months or years!

As soon as you’ve finished drinking, follow these guidelines!


Wine has an unpredictable shelf life. The simplest approach to enjoying your wine as soon as possible after purchasing it is to drink it immediately. 

Unopened wines can be stored for up to three years and opened wines for up to three days, depending on the kind of wine. 

You may also extend the life of your wine by carefully storing it. Check whether leftover or old wine in the kitchen has gone bad before tossing it out or drinking it.


Editorial Staff

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