Can red wine go bad in the fridge?

In this article, we are going to answer the question “can red wine go bad in the fridge?”. We will also discuss different types of signs that tell about the spoilage of wine, such as appearance, smell, and texture.

Can red wine go bad in the fridge?

Yes, red wine can go bad in the refrigerator. In the refrigerator, opened red wine will normally last for 3 to 5 days. If you don’t have a plug or stopper for an opened bottle, wrap it in plastic wrap and secure it with an elastic band around the neck.

How long does wine usually last?

When stored properly and undisturbed, white wines can frequently last 1-2 years longer than their recommended drinking window, red wines 2-3 years longer, and cooking wines 3-5 years longer. Fine wine can be enjoyed for decades. 

Keep your wine in a cold, dark place, according to wine storage best practices. To avoid overdrying the cork, bottles should be put on their sides. The contents are exposed to high temperatures, light, microorganisms, and oxygen when it is opened.

These components trigger a series of chemical processes that have an immediate impact on your wine. Although storing wine at a lower elevation can help reduce these reactions, unsealed wines will eventually spoil. White wines, on average, degrade faster than red wines. As a general rule, once the door is open:

  • Dessert wines have a shelf life of 3-7 days.
  • White and red wines have a shelf life of about 3-6 days.
  • White wines that are lighter in color last 4 to 5 days.
  • Sparkling wines are consumed swiftly, with only a few days to savor them.

Seal your opened wine securely and preserve it in the fridge to get the most out of it. Alternatively, have a small glass vessel on hand to pour the remaining into low air in touch with the liquid. Simply ensure that it is totally clean and sanitized to avoid cross-contamination.

What are the signs that red wine is bad?

Many wine connoisseurs can sense when a bottle has lost its appeal. They are sensitive to the characteristics that reveal their overripe status to the consumer. There are three ways to detect whether it has gone bad:

Physical appearance

If a wine is past its prime, there are several telltale signs to look for. These are some of them:


This guideline only applies to clear wines. When a glass of wine becomes foggy or forms a film inside the bottle, it’s time to discard it. The cloudiness indicates that bacterial activity has started inside the bottle.

Color Changes

When exposed to oxygen, wines, like fruit, tend to darken over time. 

The color of an unopened bottle of wine changes as it ages, but this doesn’t always mean that it’s gone bad. 

However, it’s worth remembering that chemical changes in your wine have already occurred. 

So, if the bottle was never intended to mature and you see a color change, it might not be good.

Formation of Bubbles

Bubbles in your wine mean that your wine is going through a second fermentation. Unlike champagne, these bubbles indicate that your wine has soured and should be discarded.

Take a whiff

The smell is frequently among the most obvious ways that indicate to move on.

These aromas are frequently harsh and medicinal, like chemicals or vinegar, but they can also be pleasant, depending on the wine’s reaction to external factors.

The following are examples of common odor changes

Scents of Acetic Acid

When microorganisms in your wine begin to produce acetic acid, you may notice odors such as:

  • sauerkraut
  • vinegar
  • Sour
  • Oxidation

When wine oxidizes, it turns stale and emits odors such as:

  • Applesauce or applesauce-like
  • Burned marshmallows or smoky and sweet caramel.
  • Odor Elimination

Some wines spoil before they are even opened due to wine flaws. When this happens, you may smell odors such as:

  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Garbage or burnt rubber


You may notice strong or strange flavors if you miss the indications of a changed look and aromas. These flavors are frequently found in:

  • Vinegar tastes that are sharp or sour
  • Tastes like horseradish
  • Flavors of sherry or caramelization

Other FAQs about Wine that you may be interested in.

Can wine go in the fridge?

Can vermouth go in the fridge?

How long to chill champagne

How many glasses in a bottle of champagne?


In this article, we answered the question “can red wine go bad in the fridge ?”. We also discussed different types of signs that tell about the spoilage of wine like appearance, smell, and texture.