How Long Can You Drink Red Wine After Opening?

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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When stored in the refrigerator, red wine still tastes great anywhere from 1 to 7 days after opening it, depending on the kind of red. Sparkling wines last the shortest amount of time and ideally should be consumed the same day. Rose wines and full-bodied reds with higher alcohol percentages can last 5 to 7 days after opening. You can also store red wine in the freezer to enjoy up to 6 months after opening it.

Can you drink red wine after it’s been open for a while?

Yes, it’s safe to drink red wine after it’s been open for a while. If it hasn’t been stored properly, it’s unlikely to be harmful, but it might taste sour or like vinegar. This is especially true if the bottle was forgotten about on the kitchen counter for days or weeks. It will still go sour in the fridge, but the cooler temperatures slow down this process.

Red wine being poured into a glass on a wooden table - how long can you drink it after opening?

Estimated Max Fridge Time

  • Sparkling Red Wine 0 to 1 Day
  • Pinot Noir 2 to 3 Days
  • Merlot 2 to 3 Days
  • Shiraz 3 to 6 Days
  • Cabernet Sauvignon 4 to 6 Days
  • Rosé Wine 5 to 7 Days

There’s also another type of wine that has a distilled spirit added. It’s called fortified wine and lasts up to 1 month in the fridge after opening.

If you’re unsure how long a red wine has been open, give it a sniff. Does it smell sour? You can also pour some in a glass and examine the color. Is it about the same color it was when you first opened it or darker and browner? If it passes the sniff test and looks fine, give it a sip.

Is it bad to drink red wine a week after opening?

Any red wine that’s high in tannin and alcohol will last longer in general. But stale or spoiled wine isn’t harmful to anyone. Modern wine is highly processed and never becomes poisonous. Worst-case scenario, it turns into vinegar, but not a tasty vinegar you’d want to add to salad.

So whether it’s “bad” to drink a red wine a week after opening it depends on whether you think it’s bad. Wine police are self-designated, and their powers are limited to judging others for things that don’t affect their lives. But we’re not telling them if you don’t.

Can you drink red wine 6 months after opening?

You can safely keep red wine in the freezer for up to 6 months after opening it. It might not taste exactly the same after six months of storage, but whether it’s still drinkable depends on your personal tastes. It’s definitely safe to consume. 

Some people freeze leftover red wine to use in cooking recipes, which is a great way to use extra wine and give your favorite dishes some extra oomph.

No matter what you’re freezing the wine for, make sure there’s enough room in the bottle for the wine to expand as it freezes. An ice cube tray also works in a pinch.


You can drink red wine up to one week after opening the bottle, but it’s also safe to drink after a week, just not as fresh. The counter is fine when you’re still considering the next glass. The refrigerator is a good place for a week. And the freezer is great for long-term storage. These rules apply to regular wines; fortified wine is not so delicate due to its higher alcohol content.