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How long does a bottle last once opened?

How long can you expect the wine to hold in an opened bottle? It often depends on the style of wine. We decant wines to expose it to air and oxygen which softens the flavours and opens the aromas. However, in a long term, the wine will become undrinkable if it is exposed to air for a long time. Take a look at our simple “wine preserving” guide, to see when it’s time to use the opened bottle of wine for cooking and not drinking!

Playing it safe – the 3 days rule

The simplest rule for playing it safe is that you drink the wine within 3 days from opening the bottle. The opened bottle should be refrigerated and recorked.

Although the temperature, the amount of wine left in the bottle and many other factors affect the expiration date once opened. The deciding factor is the quality of the wine. Large volume and mass production wines will lose their freshness, aromas and start to oxidise much quicker, making the wine tasteless. The best advice is to drink the wine as soon as possible, optimal within two days.

Once opened, sparkling wine quickly looses the fizz
Once opened, sparkling wine quickly looses the fizz

Sparkling wines can be opened up to three days with the sparkling wine stopper

If you’d like to keep a bottle of sparkling opened, you have to be aware that you will quickly loose the fizz if you don’t use a sparkling wine stopper. If you don’t have one, it is the safest to drink the whole bottle after it’s been opened.

With sparkling wine stopper, the wine can last for up to 3 days, keeping the bubbles in the bottle. 

White and rose wine will last from 3 to 5 days

Light bodied white wines and refreshing roses can last up to five days, when refrigerated and recorked. The more simple wines should be drunk within the 3 days and if you have a structured, layered and more complex white wine, like Enjingi Venje, you can have an opened bottle for up to 5 days.

The taste will change slowly, but more subtly with the quality wines. Some complex wines even taste better after some time in the bottle, so you can start exploring!

Depending on the complexity, red wines will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator, recorked
Depending on the complexity, red wines will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator, recorked

Red wines from 3 to 5 days

Light bodied reds, that are fresher and easier to drink like Sansigot, Rudežuša or Lasina will last for 3 days, once opened and recorked in the fridge. The more robust and complex the red wine, with more tannins, the longer it lasts in the fridge. Red wines like Plavac Mali and Cabernet blends can hold up to 5 days in the fridge.


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Interested in learning more about Croatian wine? “Cracking Croatian Wine” guide will save you time and money in researching. Get your copy here!

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