Last Updated on March 3, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Wines get better over time, but it does not apply in all cases. Although it’s designed to last long, an unopened bottle of wine might deteriorate after many years.
But, really, how long does wine last unopened?
Keep reading to know how long unopened wine lasts based on its expiration date, storage, and type of wine.
How Long Does Unopened Wine Last?
When properly stored, unopened white and rose wines can last for about 1-2 years, red and sparkling wines by 2-3 years, while fine wines last up to decades.
Wine expiration may vary depending mainly on its type and how it is stored. But unopened bottles of wine last longer than opened ones.
Factors To Consider
Type of Wine
Red wine can last for around 2-3 years when unopened and stored properly, but it can only last for 3-5 days if opened.
Unopened white wines have a shorter life span of 1-2 years compared to red wine. These wines don’t age as long as red wines, which reduces the amount of tannin in white wine.
Like white wine, rose wine has a recommended drinking window of around 1-2 years. These light-colored wines go bad faster than dark color wine variants.
Compared with regular wines, cooking wines contain higher amounts of alcohol and have salt and preservatives that increase their shelf life.
Sparkling wines, like other bubbly wines, have a similar life span of 2-3 years to red wines. Although it’s light-colored, the bubbles last longer than white wines.
A well-sealed and properly stored bottle of fortified wine can last up to two decades—special thanks to its unique fermentation and aging process that preserves it longer.
Dessert wines and other sweet wines made from the highest quality grapes with a longer aging process results in long shelf life that could last between 5-10 years.
Proper storage can prolong the shelf life of wine.
You don’t need a wine cellar to do it; you just need to ensure it is away from heat and sunlight.
Every type of wine has a unique expiration. Always check your wine bottle for its ‘best by’ or ‘best before’ date to track its shelf life.
“A bottle of wine begs to be shared…”– Clifton Fadiman, Author
For reference, you can check the wine shelf life chart below.
Can Unopened Wine Get Bad?
Yes, unopened wine can get bad, and there are two possible reasons why. First, the bottle of wine might be past due to its expiration dates, or second, it is not properly stored.
How To Tell If Unopened Wine Has Gone Bad
An unopened wine that has gone bad might result in a change in appearance, such as:
- color alteration,
- cloudy apperance, and
- unnecessary bubbles.
If it doesn’t have any changes in appearance, unopened wine that has gone bad might have unusual changes in taste like sour, tart, sharp flavors, or horseradish-like taste.
A foul smell can indicate a wine that has gone bad. It usually results in a tangy, ‘acetic acid’ aroma and an unusual nutty scent due to oxidation.
Wine Shelf Life Chart
|Fine Wine||10-20years||Up to 1 month|
Tips & Tricks When Storing Wine
- Store your wine in a dark place away from sunlight.
- Keep it at an ideal temperature of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Store wine bottles vertically in an upright position to minimize exposure to oxygen.
Can I drink an opened wine after 2 years?
How can you tell if wine is bad without opening it?
Can bacteria grow in old wine?
Does wine get better with age?
What can I do with old unopened wine?
Does unopened wine go bad if not refrigerated?
How long does unopened wine last at room temperature?
Unopened wine bottles last longer, especially when stored properly in a dark, cool place and away from sunlight.
Wines can have different expiration depending on their type. Red and white wines normally last about two years, while fine wines can last up to 20 years.
Proper storage can maximize wine bottle longevity, but you should always be aware knowing each of its helps you enjoy it better.
Lisa is a freelance lifestyle writer specializing in nightlife, leisure, and celebration. She has been in the field for eight years and has written articles featured in various local blogs and lifestyle magazines.
For Lisa, there’s nothing better than an ice-cold drink after a rough day (she’s not fussy). But she also likes to get a bit fancy every now and then. She believes you can never go wrong with a Moscow Mule or a classic Daiquiri anywhere you go. Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.