How long can you keep wine once the bottle is opened?

How long can you keep wine once that much-needed bottle is uncorked? Sadly, nothing lasts forever, not even my crush on Harrison Ford.

In my ramblings last time I suggested you should finish a bottle of amontillado sherry within seven days of opening; a couple of days later a friend asked me how long she could keep an opened bottle of wine.

This isn’t a dilemma I usually have. I raised an eyebrow (and a glass).

Once wine is opened it immediately starts to interact with the air and its flavours and aromas change. If you have wine that smells of vinegar, it’s not worth drinking. In fact the word vinegar stems from the French, vinaigre which means “sour wine”.

As a rule of thumb, pop gentle whites and rosé wines into the fridge, with the cork or screwcap back in place. They can keep up to five days. Fuller bodied whites last a little less, maybe up to three days.

As soon as wine is opened it starts to interact with air
As soon as wine is opened it starts to interact with air

Red wines, kept away from bright light and heat (that’s important) can be fine up to five days.

I tried a glass of châteauneuf-du-pape last night, opened for seven days. I ran a “sniff/taste” first before I was confident to pour a full glass.

To be honest, if you’re not a big drinker but you enjoy a small glass of something in the evening then I suggest you buy a half bottle of wine, or those 25cl-ish bottles.

A small bottle of prosecco can be a perfect pick-me-up on a school night.

In my glass…

 

Root 1 Carmenere
Root 1 Carmenere

First up, a bottle of red. Root 1 Carménère (RRP £7.99, Morrisons) from Chilean producer Viña Ventisquero.

Chile, by default of its geography, was unaffected by phylloxera, a louse (ugh) which decimated much of Europe’s vines in the 19th century. Carménère, an original Bordeaux variety, was thought to have been lost at that point; but was rediscovered in Chile in the 1990s, probably taken over from Europe years before with some merlot cuttings.

The wine’s name “Root 1” is a nod to the unaffected vines in Chile. Hey, less of the history lesson. Does this wine float my boat? Well, actually it does. It’s a blend of 85% carménère and 15% syrah from vineyards in Colchagua, a region well known for full-bodied reds. There’s aromas of plums and black fruits laced with spice, and, to taste, a summer pudding bowl of plums and vanilla, which is surprisingly smooth after the tickling spicy aromas.

Mas Amiel Plaisir Blanc 2013
Mas Amiel Plaisir Blanc 2013

Next a white – Mas Amiel Plaisir Blanc 2013 (£14.95, available exclusively at www.perfectcellar.com) from the Côtes du Roussillon region of France. Such a pretty label, such a pretty wine. It is fresh, fresh, fresh on the nose with lots of floral notes and a citrus sidekick sneaking in unexpectedly.

There’s crisp citrus and hints of hedgerow herbs to taste, with a waxy mouthfeel tiptoeing in too. Perfect Cellar has just launched a wine club and I’m told wine club manager Jamie Morris acts as a personal sommelier to customers.

Published in the saturday extra magazine August 15, 2015

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