does red wine need to be refrigerated after opening

Does red wine need to be refrigerated after opening? This is a question that has been asked quite a lot.

You get an unopened bottle of red wine from the cellar to share with friends or simply indulge in it alone.

After some time, you find that you simply can’t finish it and must keep it for another day.

  • What do you do with the opened red wine bottle?
  • Should red wine be refrigerated after opening?  

Let’s find out.

Yes, red wine does need to be properly refrigerated after opening. Not only does this keep it from going bad, but it also keeps it fresh and perfectly drinkable.

Why Do We Store Red Wine In The Refrigerator?

why store red wine in refrigerator

Keeping an unopened bottle of red wine in the fridge has become a tradition in most homes in the United States.

This is partly due to the fact that red wine stored in the fridge is more enjoyable than when stored at room temperature.

Asides from that, the weather or climate also has a say on why you store red wine.

You see, the heat from the summer season treats red wine just the same way it treats chocolate. 

Leaving your unopened bottle of red wine out at normal room temperature does reduce the quality, especially in the summer season.

Instead of a refined sweet or sour bottle of red wine, what you get is a rather unappealing mix of flavors that is rather saggy.

Tip: It helps to store a bottle of red wine in the fridge for a period of 30 minutes to 1 before drinking. This helps its taste improve.

Opened Red Wine

opened bottle red wine

Once a bottle of red wine has been opened, there is a whole different level at play here.

At the point of it being open, it gets exposed to oxygen, which can either be a good thing or a bad thing.

Once it gets opened, and air comes into contact with the wine, a process known as oxidation starts to play.

Oxidation works greatly to alter the taste of red wine. In the first few minutes of opening red wine, it can help enhance the taste.

But over time, the taste goes from good to flat.

oxidation red wine

Alongside the taste of the red wine, the color and aroma of the wine also change or fades.

From a bright, vibrant red, to a more dull variation that can be truly unappealing.

This red wine continues to fade depending on whether you preserve it or not, but, choosing to preserve it does help in reducing the rate at which the red wine is oxidized. 

So you must employ adequate preservation techniques to render it good.

Tip: Always re-cork a bottle of opened red wine after you are through with it. 

This would help slow down the oxidation process that could leave a red wine stale.

Is A Bad Opened Bottle of Red Wine Still Drinkable?

bad wine still drinkable

One question that has been asked quite a lot with red wine is; Does it go bad to the point where it is simply undrinkable?

The short answer is Yes. Although quite rare, not properly storing a bottle of opened red wine can make you literally sick.

This is mostly due to the microbes and bacteria that could interact with the opened bottle of red wine. 

This can be quite harmful as it can lead to any of the following illness:

  • Vomiting 
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Mild Dehydration 

At this point, you would need to properly dispose of the bottle of Red wine and go see a medical professional.

Also, ensure you properly preserve your opened bottle of red wine next time.

Tip: Before drinking a bottle of opened red wine you suspect to be bad, try smelling it for signs that it has indeed gone bad.

How Long Can An Opened Bottle Of Red Wine Last

how long opened bottle last

When stored the right way, we do expect opened red wine stored at room temperature to last between 2 to 5 days. But it has to be stored properly.

This would mean storing it in a cool dark room away from heat and slightly sealed airtight. 

To achieve this, always ensure you re-cork the bottle of red wine, almost identical to how it was originally corked.

You also would need to prevent as much air or oxygen as possible from getting in contact with the red wine.

This would mean re-corking as soon as you finish pouring out the wine into the glass cups.

Once this has been done, find a cool and dry place to store it at.

It can be a wine cellar or shelf, just ensure it is safe from contact with direct heat, as this would greatly impact the taste of the red wine.

Tip: The cork should be replaced with the stained side down. This means re-corking the exact same way it was corked before opening.

Does Red Wine Need To Be Refrigerated After Opening?

red wine refrigerated

With all the major questions being answered, the question of should red wine be refrigerated after opening comes into play.

Refrigerating red wine after opening it would indeed be helpful.

This is because, not only does it help in preserving the life of the red wine for a few more days, the cold temperature that comes with drinking cold red wine is simply satisfying.

However, some gentle or more refined red wine choices, like Pinot Noir, can still suffer the effects of oxidation while being stored in the refrigerator.

It, however, would last longer than red wine being stored on a shelf or cellar at room temperature.

wine shelf room temperature

And if you are worried about drinking a cold glass of red wine and you want something rather lukewarm.

You can bring out the bottle of red wine from the fridge for at least an hour before choosing to pour it into a glass.

If you can’t wait for an hour to enjoy delicious red wine, then try running some little lukewarm water over the base of the wine bottle, it should be a lot more drinkable now.

Tip: Try placing the bottle of red wine in a horizontal position while in the refrigerator. 

This would help with an even distribution of air exposure to the bottle.

Can You Store An Opened Wine Bottle In The Freezer?

wine store in freezer

Storing your opened bottle of red wine in the freezer is a rather uncommon method of wine storage.

However, it is widely accepted. Keeping your leftover red wine in the freezer does extend its life by almost 6 months.

However, this has to be done at a constant temperature, because a constant change in cooling temperature can ultimately ruin your red wine.

Red wine stored in the freezer is best used for cooking.

If you do intend to drink it, then it might go bad while waiting for it to defrost.

If you are worried about the wine glass bottle breaking when exposed to low temperatures, then try pouring the red wine into trays for Ice cubes.

frozen red wine ice cube tray

Once this is done, place them in the freezer and wait for the ice cubes to get frozen then you can proceed to transfer them to a Ziploc bag and store them back in the freezer.

Tip: To keep your ice cubes for a longer time in the freezer, keep the temperature as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, with what has been carefully covered in the article above, you can properly answer the question of “does red wine need to be refrigerated after opening?”

Still, remember the basics of careful red wine preservatives. These are ensuring you re-cork your red wine anytime you open it.

Storing it in a cool dry place while placing it horizontally for proper air exposure.

That being said, this is all we have for you in this article, do check out the website for more engaging content.