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Where Is The Expiration Date On Wine? Complete Guide (2023)

Last Updated on January 18, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Wines do improve with age, but surely it doesn’t last a lifetime—maybe you’re starting to wonder if the old bottles in your cellar are still drinkable.

So, where is the expiration date on wine? Let’s find out.

Where Can You Find The Expiration Date On Wines?

hand holding a bottle of wine

You may not always find an expiration date on wines, but if you do, it can be printed on their bottles, typically at the front or back bottom.

If you can’t find it in its bottle, you can also look for its packaging. The wine’s expiration dates are sometimes printed on the box.

How To Read Its Date Codes

Wine bottles usually have open date code ’dd/mmm/yy’ or the all-numerical code ’MMDDYY’ format.

In some instances, manufacturers use letters instead of the actual month’s name.

These letters are assigned to months, from A to L, equivalent to January to December.

Examples:

01 JAN 23 (January 1, 2023)

010123 (January 1, 2023)

A0123 (January 1, 2023)

Is There Always An Expiration Date On Wine? 

pouring red wine on a glass

No, not all wines have expiration dates. Some brands don’t include expiration dates but instead, put a “best by” or “best before” date, which means the best time to consume it. [1]

But even though wine’s shelf life has an expiration or best-before-date range, it can still gradually change depending on how you store it.

Why Some Wines Have No Expiration Dates 

Some manufacturers don’t include expiration dates simply because they don’t know when the bottles might expire, and usually, you will see sealed and vintage dates on these wine bottles.

Does Wine Expire?

Yes, wine does expire. But it may vary depending on its type, if the bottle is open and how you store it.

“Wine cheers the sad, revives the old, inspires the young, and makes weariness forget his toil.”

Lord Byron, Poet

Any bottle of wine that has contact with heat and light, especially an open bottle, expires faster and would last from a day up to three weeks if not sealed properly.

How Do You Know If It’s Expired?

Melbury Wine Bottles

Aside from looking at its expiration date, you can notice a change in color and unwanted tiny bubbles in an expired wine.

Also, wine has gone bad if it has a sharp, tart scent, garlic aroma, and sour and burnt taste.

Anything unusual from its original sweet, fruity notes and flavors can signify that it has expired.

How Long Can You Keep It?

Wine shelf life depends on the wine type and how you properly store it.

White wine could last up to 1-2 years, while red wines could last from 2-3 years.

Generally, all wines should be stored in a dark, cool place and away from sunlight.

But fine wines might take 10-20 years to spoil if stored properly in the wine cellar. 

Will An Expired Wine Make You Ill?

wine cellar

Yes, an expired wine can make you ill, especially if you have a sensitive stomach and consume a large amount of it. 

In a worst-case scenario, drinking spoiled and expired wine may cause diarrhea and stomach cramps and might lead to possible food poisoning.

FAQs 

Does red wine last longer than white wine?

Yes, red wine lasts longer than white wine. Red wines contain tannins, which come from grapes and are primarily a factor in the prolonged shelf life of red wines. [2]

Where is the expiration date on barefoot wine?

The expiration date on barefoot wine is usually printed on the neck’s bottle or bottle’s back label.

But if it has packaging, the expiration date might also be printed on the box of the wine bottle.

Final Thoughts

Not all bottles of wine have expiration dates, but if they do, expiration dates can be found on the back or front bottom part of the bottle or, if not, in its box packaging.

You can also look for the “best by” or “best before” date labels or the sealed or vintage date as an indicator.

But if you still can’t find the expiration date and notice a color alteration, sharp, tart aroma, and change in taste to sour-like vinegar, it is a sign that your wine is expired.

References:

  1. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/food-product-dating 
  2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2021/07/16/what-are-tannins-wine/

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