There’s a controversy that is often debated amongst wine enthusiasts and casual wine drinkers alike. Does wine go bad? How quickly does wine go bad after it’s opened?
Most would agree that eventually, all wine will go bad. There are numerous ways that even an unopened bottle can go bad before you purchase it. Assuming nothing has happened to your unopened bottle, when does wine go bad? Is there anything you can do to prolong it’s life if you’re not going to finish an open bottle?
In this buying guide, you will learn:
- Why does wine go bad?
- How does wine go bad?
- Where does wine go bad?
- Options for storing an open bottle of wine
- What wine savers are, and do they work?
- Comprehensive product reviews for the best wine savers
Does Wine Go Bad?
The short answer is yes. How does wine go bad? The moment you uncork a bottle a powerful chemical process begins. Oxygen, wine’s mortal enemy, enters the bottle and the sulfur dioxide used as a preservative quickly escapes. In the short term oxygen enhances the flavor of your wine. That’s why correctly served wine is aerated (exposed to oxygen). Leave an open bottle unfinished for more than a couple of hours, however, and oxidation starts to occur. The countdown begins on your expensive bottle of wine. When does wine go bad? Where does wine go bad? Can the oxidation process be slowed down or stopped? Environment plays a big factor when answering these questions.
Regardless of what method you choose for storing an open bottle of wine, experts generally agree that cooler temperatures help keep wine from deteriorating. At what temperature does wine go bad? Exact recommended temperatures depend on the type of wine, but a wine cooler or refrigerator is a must, even for reds. Colder temperatures help slow down the chemical processes, including oxidation. Whether you have a wine cooler or are just using the refrigerator, it is generally recommended you store your open wine bottle vertically. This leaves less surface area of the wine exposed to oxygen and slows down the oxidation process helping to keep your wine fresh.
Wine Preservation Options
Now that you know an open bottle of wine should be stored vertically in the refrigerator for maximum life, what are the options for closing the bottle? Does wine go bad faster without an airtight seal? This is where the controversy begins. The old standard, and something some wine aficionados still swear by is merely replacing the cork. Enjoy a glass, replace the cork, pop the bottle into the fridge, and your wine will last for another day or two. If you’ve purchased a bottle with a screw cap, the process is even more straightforward.
Wine savers have also become quite popular — most deal in some way with the oxygen problem. In basic terms, the wine saver pumps the air out of the empty portion of the bottle and then caps the bottle with an airtight seal. Sounds great in theory, right? But does wine go bad less quickly with these products? There is no correct answer. Amongst wine drinkers, you will find an equal number of people who swear by a particular wine saver, as you will those who stand by the cork method.
The fantastic news is, you can try any number of wine saver devices for under $20! Run your own “does wine go bad” experiment and see what works for you without breaking the bank.
Top Wine Saver Reviews
Search for wine savers online, and you’ll quickly come across the Vacu Vin. Making its debut over 30 years ago, Vacu Vin is still one of the most popular and widely known wine savers. mockins All in One Wine Accessory Set is another good choice in the vacuum seal category, and the ERHIRY Wine Bottle Stopper may be the choice for you if simplicity is your preference.
Vacu Vin Wine Saver Server
Vacu Vin touts its product as the first in the industry to help answer the question, how does wine go bad? According to the family-owned company, over 35 million households in 80 countries use their product. The newest version of the Vacu Vin still extracts the air from an open bottle of wine and seals it using a rubber stopper but also allows you to pour another glass without any drips.
Vacu Vin comes with two rubber stoppers. Place one stopper in the neck of the open bottle, insert the pump, and the air is hand pumped out via a small hole in the stopper. The vacuum pump will “click” indicating enough air has been pumped out to leave a sufficiently oxygen-free environment. The air-tight sealed stopper remains inserted to keep your wine from going bad. Simply pull the tab on the stopper to break the air-tight seal when you’re ready to enjoy another glass and pour without removing the stopper for a drip-free serving. According to Vacu Vin, if properly hand-washed and taken care of, the rubber stoppers can be used over and over for years. Most Vacu Vin models come with two stoppers, but additional stoppers can be purchased separately if you commonly have more than two bottles of wine open at one time.
- Best-selling wine saver online
- Easy to use
- Keeps wine fresh up to one week
- Emits a “click” to let you know when to stop pumping
- Only comes with two rubber stoppers
- Can take quite a bit of pumping to get all of the air out
- Included Components: Wine Saver And 2 Stoppers
- Material Type: Plastic
Mockins All in One Wine Accessories Set
Another vacuum seal product, the mockins All in One Wine Accessories Set is an excellent alternative to the Vacu Vin. The saver portion of the product works in precisely the same way as the Vacu Vin to keep your wine from going bad. For approximately the same price, the mockins set also gives you a corkscrew bottle opener, the vacuum, and six resealable rubber stoppers all presented nicely in a sturdy giftable box. Getting more for the same price makes this a budget-friendly option, particularly if you’re the type of wine drinker who needs more than two rubber stoppers at a time. If you’re concerned about quality and think you’ve got to pay more for the best product, mockins has you covered with a lifetime replacement or refund guarantee. The biggest downside to this particular product is a lack of “click” or any sort of indication that the appropriate amount of air has been removed from your wine bottle. Most vacuum seal wine savers need quite a few pumps, and if you stop too soon, you will quickly discover when does wine go bad.
- Keeps wine fresh up to one week
- Comes with six rubber stoppers and a corkscrew opener
- Arrives in an elegant and sturdy box making it perfect for gifting
- Lifetime replacement or refund guarantee
- No “click” or indication of when all of the air has been pumped out
- Extra un-necessary accessories if you don’t require the set
ERHIRY Wine Bottle Stopper
Even if you believe that removing the oxygen from an open bottle of wine is unnecessary, does wine go bad without an airtight seal? The ERHIRY stopper is an easy way to create an airtight seal. This stainless steel stopper is quite elegant and modern. Simply place the stopper in the top of the bottle and press the lever. Store the bottle vertically in the wine cooler or refrigerator, and ERHIRY claims your wine will still be fresh for up to ten days. A package of two will cost you about the same as the Vacu Vin or mockins set and makes for an elegant host or hostess gift. Unlike the vacuum seal products, the ERHIRY stopper will work for sparkling wine and champagne because it doesn’t remove all of the bubbles. Something to keep in mind if you indulge in those frequently.
- Keeps wine fresh up to ten days
- Beautiful gift
- Works on sparkling wine and champagne
- Doesn’t remove the oxygen from the opened bottle before sealing
- May have difficulty sealing on odd shaped/sized bottles
- The ERHIRY Wine Stopper is the only wine stopper with a superior food grade...
- Keep It Fresh: 100% seal with the silicone gasket. Keeps wine tasting fresh for...
- Easy To Use: Just insert the stopper into the bottle and press the lever down...
- Versatile: Suitable for nearly all 750ml red and white wine bottles, Not for...
- Durable: Stainless steel shaft and moving parts for a life time of memories.
Whether you prefer to stick with a cork and refrigerator, or you believe the concept behind wine savers and want to try out a vacuum seal product, you’ll want to give all of these products a try. Your experiment determining when does wine go bad will be worth your time. None of them are overly expensive, and if you find one that works for you the benefits will be long-lasting. Even if you decide nothing works better than a good old-fashion cork, you’ll be able to discuss how does wine go bad intelligently when it inevitably comes up in the future.