Ask Adam: How Long Does Open Wine Really Last in the Fridge?

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Ask Adam: How Long Does Open Wine Really Last in the Fridge?

Send all questions to advice@vinepair.com

A Sommelier friend says that open white wine stays good in the fridge for three weeks – is that true?
While your friend is more than welcome to keep drinking old wine, they’re wrong that it’s still good. Wine starts to devolve into vinegar the second the cork is popped or the cap is cracked, thanks to it’s frenemy, oxygen. Storing it in the fridge will delay that devolution, since a fridge has less oxygen than you’ll find if you leave the bottle on your counter. But it still will turn in about a week. If you drink white wine at an extremely cold temperature, you may not pick up that it doesn’t taste very good. But at three weeks, I’d hope your friend could tell. They are a somm, after all.

What is a “good deal” at happy hour?
A good deal is relative and pretty much solely based on the bar’s usual drink prices. For example, if you’re at a dive that normally serves $5 beers and at happy hour, they’re two-for-one, that’s a pretty good deal. Same if you’re at a cocktail bar that normally sells drinks for 12 bucks and is now selling them for eight. You shouldn’t expect to walk into a nice place and see drinks discounted to the same level a dive bar would, but if you find a 30 to 50 percent savings off the bar’s normal prices, I’d say that’s a pretty good deal.

Are stemless glasses okay for drinking wine?
Are they O.K.? Absolutely. Drink your wine in whatever glass you like, whether that’s stemless, a tumbler, or even straight out of the bottle. That being said, stemware — the traditional wine glasses with a stem we all know and love — do exist for a reason. And that reason is why so many people choose them over the stemless variety: They help you avoid warming the wine with your hand and thereby altering its flavors and aromas. By holding the glass by the stem instead of by the bulb, you avoid raising the wine’s temperature. Plus the stem also makes the glass and the wine inside it much easier to swirl, and swirling helps oxygenate the wine and open it up.

I personally have both kinds of glasses on hand. Stemless for casual dinners or nights spent drinking outside, and stemware for when I want to take the wine in my glass a bit more seriously.

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