How Long Are My Bottles of Open Wine Good to Drink?
There are two important wine related news stories from the last couple of weeks that I wanted to share with you.
The first is in regards to new research shared by Laithwaite’s Wine, an online retailer and wine club, who you would think would be in the business of helping consumers buy more wine, not less, so I tend to believe the integrity of the research since it concludes that consumers could extend the life of the bottles they are already buying.
The takeaway is this: consumers throw away a ton of open wine that is still ok to drink. In England alone, the number of wasted wine was about two glasses of wine per week per household, which equates to 624 million bottles a year.
The reason for this is simple: consumers aren’t sure how long the open wines are good for. And it’s a moving target given the different types and styles of wine, along with various ways to preserve the wine. So what do you need to know about saving those open bottles?
Most sparkling wine should be consumed within three days unless it is a higher end Champagne. To preserve, put a stopper or cork (a smaller one than came with the bottle) back into the bottle and pop it in the fridge upright which slows down the oxidation process.
White wine and Rosé
Can be stored the same way, in the fridge, corked for up to a week.
Will last for up to a month. Replace cork and keep in a cool dark place.
Typically good for 3-5 days. Replace cork and keep in a cool dark place.
This was eye opening to me as I generally try to finish any open wine the following day, maybe two days if it’s a white stored in the fridge. But if you have a party with multiple wines open, or just want to pour a single glass over the period of a week, this research makes it clear that the wine should be just fine, if you follow the guidelines above.
Your Brain is the Part of Your Body That Actually Tastes Wine
The second news story also relates to new research but this one looks at how your body, specifically your brain, is the key receptor for the perception and appreciation of wine.
The study was conducted by Gordon Shepherd, a professor of neuroscience at Yale, who also published a new book on the subject, and concludes that molecules in wine don’t actually have taste or flavor, but rather that they stimulate the brains and the brain creates the flavor, much like it does with color.
The two aspects of actually drinking wine that play a role here are from our sense of smell (the movement of air through the nose and throat) and the movement of wine through the mouth.
This creates a file of information that is sent to the brain which then processes it through a frame of reference that is “heavily dependent on our own memories and emotions and also those of our companions.” And this is in addition to other physical factors like the composition of saliva, age and gender.
Mr. Shepherd also says that it only takes a few sips to give your brain enough knowledge to begin processing. Drinking too fast can saturate the system.
Is Wine Enjoyment Situational As a Result?
It’s certainly an interesting way to look at consuming wine, and might even work towards explaining a couple things that have always baffled me, such as why wine tastes better depending on who you are with, or where you are; how your mood can affect your enjoyment.
Maybe we’ve just discovered the answer. Regardless, it’s something to think about.
So two interesting bits of new research. Let us know your take in the comments below.