How long can wine/champagne be kept, unopened, before it goes off?!


How long can wine/champagne be kept, unopened, before it goes off?

I have several bottles of wine and champagne in my house, some of which have been there years. I am not sure whether to dust them off and keep them (we don't drink much at home) or get rid of them - I don't really want to store them if they are not any good. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

If you have been storing them properly, On their sides and at a slight angle (15-25 degrees) most wine racks have a slight incline they should be fine. The problem starts when the corks dry out then the wine or champagne will become more susceptible to spoilage (vinegar). The next problem is depending on if it was a good wine, the age of it might not have changed anything. Some wines age better than others. If you have been keeping them on an angle, turn the bottles every so often so that any sediment does not stay stagnant.


The wine is already ferminted. So it can't really go bad. You can keep wine for over 20 years before having to worry about it. As long as it's kept in a celler, or cool/damp place.

You have to be careful with wine. Sometimes cheap wine can 'turn' quite easily. This is known as 'corked'. You're just going to have to check it when you open it. Make sure you store wine on it's side to keep the cork moist.

Properly stored they should last for decades. ~

Keep it in a cool place and it should be ok.

College guy has it right, you don't say if its red or white as I think white wine does not keep as well as red, I was in the same position when we moved house some time ago, we found wine about 10 years wasn't a good wine and had gone off....Champagne should keep a lot longer. You just have to open it...There are some devices you can buy to keep the fizz in Champagne once it is opened so you don't have to drink the whole bottle.....happy drinking.

Easy drinking plonk is marketed to be drunk straight off the shelves. White and rose in particular can oxidise and taste horrid. The colour will have darkened. Champagne, unless it's vintage, should also be drunk reasonably fresh. If a champagne doesn't have a year on the label, it's not vintage and if you've had it for more than a year or so, it probably won't be good anymore. More expensive wines have a longer shelf life but only if they've been stored correctly.

It depends on the wine.

If it's stored properly, in a constant temperature below 70 degrees (55 is preferred by experts) and on it's side, it will last for a while. For wines that cost under $30, whites will start to decline after a few years and reds will start to decline after about five years.

Expensive French wines will last around 25 years when stored properly and Vintage Port will last around 50 years when stored properly.

Wine is still drinkable when it's past peak. It will just taste aged and it will have sediment in it, which isn't dangerous.

There is some misinformation above about "corked wine." It happens randomly to about 1 in 20 bottles. If it's a red wine, the cork will have a white, mossy appearance where it touched the wine instead of a soaked in red appearance. The wine will smell like cardboard or wet dog and taste awful. It's not dangerous, but I don't know many people who can stand to drink it without feeling sick from the taste.

Oxidized wine is a different story. It will taste sour, like vinegar. This is caused if you store your wine in non-constant temperatures, like in direct sunlight or near a window. The cork expands and contracts and loses its seal, letting oxygen in to spoil the wine. The cork can also dry out if you leave the bottle upright for too long.

if you dont have a cellar or temperature controlled wine cabinet, one of the best places to store wine is in a bedroom closet -that is one place in the house where the temperature and moisture level are consistent all year. Store them on the side and turn them every month or so. You want to protect the wine from excess light and heat, so keep it out of the sun and out of the kitchen. I once lost a whole case that I had stored above the kitchen cupboards because(heat rises).

If you don't plan to drink them, you may want to consider donating any good or rare bottles to a charity for auction. You will get a tax receipt for the amount of the bid and also feel good that it was put to good use.

if your not that intrested why dont you give them to your local fete for raffle prizes,im sure the money will then go to a good charity

my god... ppl here are sooo dumb!!!
1st. Wine does NOT last for decates... cmon!!!
2nd. corked means when the cork of the wine its broken and air slipped in, it doesn't need 20 yrs to be corked.
3rd. the wine is made from different grapes.

there are 2 types of grapes, the wine grape(which is not good for eating), and the eatable grape, ( which in surely not good for wine )... check what type of wine it is, if its cheep wine and its been there for years, you can write vinegar instead of wine on the label.

depends on the type of grape, place where its been grown, type of soil, temperature while it was grown, wind, and seasons when it was grown.. certain wines can last 2 months, others can last 50 years... but not all are the same.

hope it helped but i would be carefull if i were you about throwing away... if the wine is still good, ( and it has a certificate, like doc or DOCG... ) then it could cost a couple of thousands after 20 yrs...


I'll take them off your hands! They should be fine.

Although when I read this question I was not a contributor but was aggrieved that Karlito should call participants "Dumb".
To refer to Karlito's answer, I agree, people are sooooo dumb, some more so than others.
In his opening statement he said wine will not last "dekates" ( would be nice if he could spell), yet further down he admits wines can last 50 years. If that is not 5 decades, what is?

keep it in a cool dark place it should be fine

It really depends on the wine.

Good quality wine will last for decades.

Cheap plonk should be drunk in a couple of years.

The idiot who said that there are 2 types of grapes doesn't know what he's talking about - There are hundreds of types of grapes.
Some make a good long lasting wine, others don't.

If a Bordeaux has been classed 'Grand Cru Classé 1855", Then it can be drunk up to 80 years later for a "Priemere G C C", and up to 20 or 30 for a "Cinquieme G C C".

Some wine, for example the Beaujolais nouveau, it turns vingigery after about 6 months, which is why it should be drunk young.

Bring them to me, I'll drink them. They won't have time to go unopened in my house.

Don't keep Champagne. It's gross old.


30 mins

I have never come across this problem in my life hehe hic hic xx

I think you have some pretty good and fairly informative answers already but you do find sometimes on bottle it actually says whether they are good for storing and aging or not. I should check them out but cheaper ones wouldn't keep that well I wouldn't have thought. Unfortunately, I don't have that problem; Champagne is my favourite drink. Use some for a special celebration if you have any coming up.

this wine nothing goes off 10000000000 m peple every day driking this

Theres one or two good answers here and several misleading ones. A corked bottle is caused by a particular chemical which appears to derive from something (the woody ligaments) in the cork - its called 2-4-6 Trichloranisole and its that which affects the taste of the wine - its nothing to do with air getting in, thats oxidisation which probably happens a little to all fine wines and is probably what causes them to 'age'. there are some other rarer problems with wine which depend a bit more on what was in the wine itself eg excess sulphur. Great wines age more slowly and develop more interesting flavour and depth. many wines - especially the cheaper wines and many New World styles - are meant to be drunk within 12months of being sold. And probably within 3 years of when they were made.

What I would do if I were you is to search on the internet for the precise bottles you have, but it must be of those particular years when they were made. If they were keeping wines then you'll probably find references to them still, maybe even still for sale - try the producer's own websites first (use Google). If theres no trace they are probably not worth keeping. in particular, most Champagne is only sold when ready to drink so unless its a very fine vintage which has been stored properly then it wont be worth drinking, let alone keeping. What you could do is list on yahoo answers the precise wines and vintages and see what people make of them. If possible you should list the country of origin, the wine maker, the grape style if marked and very importantly the year plus any other classification or name of the wine. If it doesnt have a year of production on the bottle then it probably wont be a wine that was worth keeping and will probably not be worth drinking now.

Leaving aside wines that are corked or prematurely oxidised a good wine most often goes completely tasteless once its over-aged. I had a 20 year old Pomerol from Bordeaux last week which would once have been exceptional and is now completely absent any taste. Eventually it will probably turn into vinegar.

If you dont drink much at home then dont ever store it - just buy a good wine when you want it.

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