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Sampson's avatar

What happens to wine that's been open for a while? Is it safe to drink?

Asked by Sampson (3548 points ) December 1st, 2009

I’m drinking a glass of white wine that’s been opened for an undetermined amount of time (a wild guess would be 3–4 months).

Am I going to get sick? Is there even a difference?

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21 Answers

MissAnthrope's avatar

I don’t think you’ll get sick.. usually the worst thing is wine turns vinegary and is unpleasant to drink. If it smells and tastes fine, you should be all right.

Sampson's avatar

@MissAnthrope I did notice a bit of a vinegar scent/taste… Reminds me of drinking cider a bit.

YARNLADY's avatar

It is my understanding that wine should be refrigerated after opening, because it gets spoiled. If you have no bad effects, then you have escaped the consequences, but be warned, it does spoil.

Dr_C's avatar

This has never happened in my house. I have yet to see a bottle of wine last beyond 12 hours past opening. (Before you all assume I’m an alcoholic… it’s usually shared between 2 or 3 people and not more than twice a week if that).

jonsblond's avatar

@Sampson I’ve got extra beer. Want me to send you some? Wine= :P

Sampson's avatar

@all extra detail that I forgot…

It was a screw-top bottle.

faye's avatar

Of course!!

laureth's avatar

Bad wine turns to vinegar. It’s OK to drink vinegar, it just tastes bad. If there’s mold or other funk floating around in the bottle, that would be bad.

beautifulbobby193's avatar

The longest I have left wine since opening is a week, and it was ok. But some go bad after a couple of days. Refridgerating does preserve but I find most are only drinkable for a couple of days after opening (for red anyway). White wine seems to last me a day of two longer but perhaps thats just because I keep it cold.

cardplayer31's avatar

After a few days it will taste stale,eventually it slowly turns to vinegar,. Wine has already “gone bad”, it is made from grapes that have fermented. If you don’t notice the staleness, then enjoy,as long as you don’t see any mold or other floaties. Once my wine has gone stale, I use it for cooking, so it’s not a complete waste.

beautifulbobby193's avatar

That’s actually a common mistake that many people make. If a wine is not good enough to drink it’s not good enough to cook with.

CMaz's avatar

In another couple of weeks you will start growing yeast behind your ears.

stratman37's avatar

set it out for guests that you don’t want to come back!

Jong6451's avatar

you will not get sick.
Depending on the wine once it is opened it will only last a couple days, in rare occassions a week. Not months. Once a bottle is opened the wine is exposed to air. Air mixes with the bacteria naturally found in wine. This mixture converts the alcohol into acetic acid (vinegar). Don’t anyone tell you that you don’t have a sophisticated palate…. You recalled the flavor of vineager!

Blondesjon's avatar

Only one way to find out. Where do you live?

bea2345's avatar

If the wine has a screw top and is kept in the refrigerator, it should last quite a while after opening, but it may not taste the same. My theory is that the alcohol begins to evaporate when the bottle is opened.

Sampson's avatar

@Blondesjon I recently moved to SC from MI so it may be a bit of a drive.

turbo5x's avatar

Its funny you should ask…My wife and I just drank a bottle that I didn’t even know we had. It HAD been opened, and there is no telling how long it had been there. We finished the Marilyn Merlot that we had and decided that we weren’t done. Upon searching the kitchen, we stumbled upon a bottle of Chateau Ste Michelle 2006 Vintage Merlot. We both had about 2 glasses…

I am exited so see the results, so I am going to bookmark this page and revisit in the morning. Wish me luck!!!

turbo5x's avatar

Okay, so it is officially about 8–10 hours later. My wife and I are both just fine. No hangover, no vomiting, no loose stool. Hope this helps future searchers!!!

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