At our last Wine and Dinner Club event, we had, by mistake, opened way more bottles of wine than we could possibly use that evening. The big question became what do we do with all of the bottles of wine that were opened? After they were re-corked, we sold them at a large discount to the attendees. That action then triggered the next questions: “How long does an open bottle of wine last?”
This is really a tough question to answer, as it depends on the wine you are drinking. Is it a white wine, sparkling wine or a red wine? Each wine reacts differently.
Let us take a look at what happens to a bottle of wine that gets opened. Once a wine bottle is corked (or screw-capped), the wine in the bottle has almost no contact with air. For years, many winemakers and others, including myself, have claimed that the cork actually lets air in the bottle and helps the wine age gently. Scientists have determined after many tests that the average cork lets in a little air the first year and very little after that, if any.
Why do we care if our wine bottles get air in them? When air gets in, the wine starts to oxidize and several chemical reactions can take place. When air gets into the wine, the molecules start reacting and this reaction makes the wine smell and taste differently. This type of oxidation is similar to when a freshly cut apple turns brown.
Oxidation can also turn the wine into vinegar or the wine can become what is known as “corked” and it smells like wet carboard or gym socks and tastes really flat or similar to salad dressing (some say).
Let us take a look at specific wines to see what happens. According to the wine site WineFolly.com, wines should last as follows:
- Light white and rosé wines will last 5 to 7 days in the fridge with a cork in the bottle
- Full-bodied white wines will last 3 to 5 days in the fridge with a cork in the bottle
- Red wines will last 3 to 5 days in the fridge with a cork in the bottle
- Fortified wines will last up to 28 days in a cool dark place if the bottle is cork sealed
None of the wines are going to taste the same as the day you opened them. Thus, if you are not going to drink the whole bottle it is important to take precautions to protect the wine. There are pumps you can purchase that can be used to pump out the oxygen in a bottle after it has been corked for the day. There are hand pumps and small electric ones. Anything you can do to slow down oxidation will help preserve the wine.
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Upcoming Wine Events For 2021
5/7/21 May Wine Dinner – Our next LEX 530 Wine Dinner will be held on Friday, May 7, 2021, at the LEX 530 Event Center in Elkhart. Treat your mom to a special Mother’s Day Wine Dinner featuring premium wines selected by LEX 530 Wine Director, Stan Minden, to pair with Executive Chef Chad Coryn’s delectable four-course dinner.
RECEPTION: Passed hors d’oeuvres. Paired with an assortment of different wine options.
1ST COURSE: Local asparagus, Serrano ham, pea shoots, Aleppo pepper aioli
2ND COURSE: Pacific halibut, Spring vegetables, clams, saffron tomato broth
3RD COURSE: Rosemary and sumac rubbed lamb, smoked blue mashed, ramps, black garlic jus
4TH COURSE: Peanut butter mousse cake, Dark chocolate ganache, concord grape coulis
If you are a LEX 530 Wine Club Member please contact Courtney at 574-296-1314. Guests must be at least 21 years of age, with a valid ID. Tickets are $100.00 (tax not included). You must purchase your ticket by noon on Friday, April 30th — either online at the link below or by calling Courtney at 574-296-1314 if you are a Wine Club member.
5/21/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
6/11/21 June Wine Dinner featuring music by Julia James
6/25/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
7/16/21 July Wine Dinner featuring music by Checkmark Sallie
7/30/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
8/13/21 August Wine Dinner featuring music by Jesse’s Gurl
8/27/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
9/10/21 September Wine Dinner featuring music by Julia James
9/24/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
10/5/21 Oktoberfest Dinner with Iechyd Da Brewing Co. with music by Patti Lightfoot
10/22/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event
11/5/21 November Wine Dinner featuring music by Checkmark Sallie
11/19/21 Wine Talk & Taste Event