Short-term Wine Storage Guide

For midweek wines, I always get asked the same question and a different answer dependent on who you ask … Here’s the easy answer.

From working in wine bars for years and years, the general rule of thumb by every bar person (consenting sink pour) goes:

RED WINE = 3-4 days

WHITE WINE = 2-3 days

Now there is variation among wines and if you drink a 5 day old red wine you’re not going to dye. Nor is it definitely completely dead – although it should taste dissimilar to when you first opened it and not fit for guests. If you’re not a big drinker and have a low tolerance I wouldn’t risk it. If you have company I’d stick to two days for both red and white max.

  • Bio dynamic wines are becoming more abundant – these guys should last less and 2 days max if a safe bet.
  • Always try before you serve if unsure.
  • Smell is a good precursor.
  • For cooking with wine – the same rules apply. Give a day or two.

Who goes there?


  1. If you drink frequently midweek and forget when you opened which; buy a permanent marker next time you’re in the drug store, and simply write the date opened on the bottle when you go re-cap for the fridge or on the shelf.
  2. Stash your leftover red wine in the fridge. The cooler temperature will help slow down the oxidation process and keep the red wine fresher for longer. About an hour before you’re ready to drink it, take the wine out the fridge to bring it back to room temperature.
  3. You can freeze it for cooking – This may sound ridiculous but frozen wine lasts up to 6 months in the freezer. Use for ice cubes in bolognaise, stews and sauces.