Does red wine make you sleepy?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Does red wine make you sleepy?” and tell you why it happens. We will also discuss how to store red wine and tell you the difference between port wine and red wine.

Does red wine make you sleepy?

Yes, red wine makes you sleepy. If you have heard people say that red wine makes them sleepy or if you have experienced it yourself that red wine makes you sleepy, then that is because it actually does!

Why does red wine make you sleepy?

Well, red wine contains alcohol which is a central nervous depressant so it makes you sleepy. Also, red wine contains a higher alcohol content as compared to other wines such as white wine. This is because the grapes used to make red wine have a very high sugar content because they are picked when they are very ripe. 

So yeast converts all of these sugars to alcohol in a process known as fermentation. 

Secondly, when making red wine, the grape skins are not removed, they remain as they are. Grape skins are known to contain melatonin which is a natural sleep hormone produced by the pineal gland in the body which regulates the sleep cycle.

So, alcohol and melatonin together make you feel sleepy.

Does white wine also make you sleepy?

White wine can make you feel a little tired or drowsy but it does not make you as sleepy as red wine does. The drowsy effect is because of the alcohol.

When making white wine, the skins are removed, they are not intact as in the case of red wine. So white wine does not have enough melatonin.

The grapes used to make white wine are also picked earlier and they are not as ripe so the alcohol content of white wine is also lower than that of red wine.

Is port wine the same as red wine?

No, port wine and red wine are not the same. Although their similar colors might have you thinking that they are the same, when in fact they are different.

Port wine is sweet and made from a wide variety of grapes. It also has a spirit added to it which gives a stronger flavor and a higher alcohol percentage. It is usually consumed before or after dinner.

On the other hand, red wine does not have a spirit added to it and it is usually consumed with dinner.

Learn the best ways to drink red wine here.

Does red wine have to be refrigerated?

Red wine needs to be refrigerated once opened to slow down the deterioration process. Cooler temperatures inside the fridge slow down the oxidation process and keep the red wine good for drinking for a couple of days.

It is better to store opened red wine in a wine refrigerator if you own one because it has moderately cold temperatures which are ideal for wine. 

For storing red wine back in the refrigerator, place the cork back tightly so that the bottle is completely sealed and no air comes in contact with the wine.

If you do not have a cork or if you have lost it, then put plastic on the bottle and secure it in place with a rubber band.

Unopened wine should be kept in a cool, dry place away from moisture and direct sunlight. A wine cellar is an ideal storage place for wine but if you do not have one, then you can make a wine rack for your wine in the pantry. 

You should keep the red wine away from places that have higher temperature such as near the stovetop or oven. 

How long does the red wine last once opened?

Red wine will last for up to 3 to 5 days when stored properly in the fridge after opening it. If you wish to drink it after 5 days, give it a little taste test first and see  if it tastes fine. You can have it for up to a week after opening it in case it tastes fine.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Does red wine make you sleepy?” and told you why it happens. We also discussed how to store red wine and told you the difference between port wine and red wine.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.