How Long Can You Leave Wine In A Decanter?

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Godinger Wine Decanter Carafe

Godinger Wine Decanter Carafe


Wines that are younger – under 15 years of age – can be stored in a decanter for up to three days. Any longer than that is not recommended. If opened wine is stored for too long, the aroma of your wine will result in something very unpleasant. If it smells unpleasant, the taste will be just as bad. 

However, when it comes to storing older wines in the decanter, another process is recommended to follow. This is because older wines – older than 15 years of age – are far more delicate. A decanted older wine should not be stored in the decanter. Instead, it is recommended they be stored back in their cleaned original bottle. There’s a device on the market specifically made to vacuum seal your wine back into the bottle. This will keep your older wines in better condition for longer periods of time.

Wine in a decanter in front of flowers - How Long Can You Leave Wine In A Decanter?

Does wine go bad in a decanter?

Wine can go bad in a decanter. Because of this, it’s important to choose an ideal decanter when shopping for one. Decanters without airtight lids will increase the likelihood of your wine decaying at a faster rate. In addition, wine that is exposed to oxygen for far too long will begin to oxidize. This will cause a significant decrease in the wine’s quality, including flavor and color. 

When determining if your wine has gone bad, there are multiple factors to consider when determining if your wine has gone bad. First, if the wine has an odor of mold, cardboard, or even vinegar – it’s time to toss it. If your red wine looks more brown, and your white wine looks yellow – it’s time to toss it. Finally, if your wine tastes like paint-thinner would – please throw it out. All of these are signs that your wine has gone bad.

How long should you optimally let wine breathe in a decanter?

For most wines, it’s often recommended that you allow your wine to breathe in the decanter for at least 30 minutes to 2 hours before serving. Any longer, however, would ultimately be up to your taste. Therefore, while time goes by and your wine breathes more, it’s recommended to taste the wine after every hour. This will give you an idea of how oxidation can change the flavor of your wine. 

It’sHowever it’s important to note, ,if you are decanting a chilled wine. You might want to consider also chilling the decanter of choice before decanting your wine. Due to the fact that the temperature also changes the flavors and aromas of wine, chilling your decanter will allow you and your guests to experience a major change of flavors in the wine.

Can you put decanted wine back into the bottle?

Yes! It is actually recommended to put your decanted wine back into the bottle to store it over storing it in the decanter. But what! Before you pour your wine back into its original bottle, there’s one more step: rinse out the original wine bottle before you pour it back into it. This will rid the bottle of any extra sediments, which will help prevent the wine from coming back into contact with them.

Another benefit to storing your decanted wine back in its original bottle? This is called a ‘double decanting’ process. It’s a simple process if you accidentally allow some sediments to flow from the bottle into the decanter. A double decanting process will allow you to remove that sediment once again. What’s better than storing a perfectly decanted wine back into its original bottle?

Can you leave wine in a decanter overnight?

If your decanter had an airtight lid, the answer is yes. Decanters with airtight lids can hold a wine overnight and for up to 3 days. Yet, even a decanter with an airtight lid is not the perfect fix. Even though your wine is in an airtight container, it has already been opened and will continue to oxidize over time. An airtight seal will do nothing but slightly slow that process. 

However, a vacuum device on the market is specifically made to help give your wine a more airtight seal. This device is not meant to be used with a decanter. It is more made for wine being stored back into its original wine bottle. It’s still a great investment for those who can never finish the bottle in one sitting and end up tossing more wine than savoring it.

Can wine breathe too long in a decanter?

Yes, wine can absolutely breathe for too long in a decanter, especially if the decanter fails to have an airtight seal. What’s too long? Consuming your wine within a few hours of decanting is perfectly fine. However, wine that’s been stored in the decanter for three days without a decanter will most likely have gone bad. There’s nothing worse than accidentally consuming a wine that has gone bad, and because of that, it’s important to look for signs in a wine that has gone bad. 

  • Smell – if your wine smells like it’s not wine, it’s gone bad.
  • Color – If your red wine looks brown and your white wine looks yellow, it’s gone bad.
  • Taste – If your wine lacks its fruity notes, it’s gone bad.

Does a wine decanter need a seal?

Technically no, a wine decanter doesn’t ‘need’ a seal, but it would be silly to purchase one without it. A regular seal for a decanter has many improvements that I’ve mentioned. Improvements are anything to help your wine’s preservation after being opened. 

However, airtight seals differ from a regular seals. A regular seal will only preserve your wine for up to 3-4 days after decanting. An airtight seal will greatly slow down oxidation by removing as much as possible from the bottle. This can preserve your wine anywhere between 7-14 days! 


Younger wines can be left in a decanter for a longer period of time than older wines. Wine does indeed go bad in the decanter. The signs listed above help you determine when your wine has gone bad. Before serving, it’s recommended to let your wine breathe for an absolute minimum of 30 minutes. However, 2 hours would result in a better-tasting wine for your guests. You can store your decanted wine back into a rinsed wine bottle. If your decanter has a lid with a seal, you can store it overnight. It is better to store it back into the bottle with an airtight seal. This will greatly decrease your wine decay by about a week!

Godinger Wine Decanter Carafe

Godinger Wine Decanter Carafe