Does Riesling Go Bad? The Surprising Truth About This Wine

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

Reader Disclosure Disclosure: We may earn commissions for purchases made through links on our site. Learn more on our about us page.

Who doesn’t love enjoying a great bottle of wine throughout the workweek? Unfortunately, many wines turn dull within a few days after opening. 

However, some wines hold up better than others and even become more delicious after being left out. One wine that can still taste great if left out is Riesling. 

All wines will eventually lose their taste over time. This is because when you open a bottle of wine, it contacts oxygen in the air. Oxygen will slowly affect the color, smell, taste, and alcohol of the wine. People in the wine world call this process oxidation.

Some parts of wine help to slow down oxygen’s adverse effects. Sugar, sulfite content, alcohol, tannins, and acidity all help protect an open bottle of wine from spoiling.

Therefore an open bottle of Port, which is high in alcohol and sugar, will outlast an open bottle of Pinot Noir. 

A wine glass in a hand of a person - Does Riesling Go Bad?

Does Riesling go bad After Opening?

Riesling has a lot of acidity. Some are also sweet. These two characteristics help extend an open bottle of Riesling a few days after it’s opened. 

Few Rieslings last longer than German ones. This is because German Rieslings have racy acidity and are ‌generally a little on the sweeter side. 

Age also plays a role in preserving wine. A young wine will last longer than an older one once opened. For example, in an aged Riesling, all the acidity and sugar that helped preserve the wine is now less concentrated. As a result, when opened, the aged wine will lose its flavor quickly. 


Does Riesling go bad in the Fridge?

Putting your wine in the fridge will make it last longer. This fact is because the process of oxidation slows down in lower temperatures. 

An open bottle of Riesling in the fridge can last several weeks, especially a sweet German one. In addition, make sure to cork the wine too. This will help extend your open wine life, especially in the fridge. 


What if I Left my Riesling in the car on a hot day (After I Opened it)?

Heat will essentially cook out the wine’s flavors and aromas. As opposed to refrigeration, heated wine will oxidize faster, and all those wonderful qualities will be destroyed. 

Wine doesn’t do well with temperature changes. So if you leave an open bottle of Riesling in a hot car for even an hour, you may notice some big changes in how it tastes and smells.


What if I Left my Riesling in the car on a cold day and it Froze (After I Opened it)?

Frozen wine is perfectly safe to drink once it’s been thawed. However, just like when you heat wine, freezing it will alter its taste.

The fruity flavors and balance of the wine may taste a little dull. Freezer burn and oxidation happen, and even a tough, sweet Riesling will taste a bit off. 

However, once you thaw it, don’t pour it out. Once frozen, wine may not be at its peak freshness and flavor but will make the perfect base for Sangria. A Riesling Sangria made with apples and a little soda water may just be what the doctor ordered. 

Final Thoughts on Riesling Going Bad

All wine changes once opened. Rieslings hold up to time and oxygen really well because of their acidity and occasional sweetness. 

However, make sure to keep them in the refrigerator after opening. Any wine left out in a hot car or frozen will lose its quality.