I’ve learned some things the hard way which resulted in premium non-alcoholic red wines going bad. So that none of your favourite non-alcoholic wines suffer the same fate, I’ve put together this guide explaining everything you need to know about keeping your non-alcoholic wine fresh.
How to tell if your wine has gone off
Like many other foods and drinks, both wine and non-alcoholic wine can go bad. When wine has spoiled, it smells and tastes a bit like vinegar. It won’t do you any harm, but you definitely wouldn’t want to drink it.
Wine and non-alcoholic wine go bad after they’re opened because once the cap is off, the wine is exposed to oxygen, light, heat and bacteria. These elements create chemical changes in the wine, such as oxidation, that cause it to deteriorate.
The good news is you can avoid this from happening to your non-alcoholic wine if you drink it within the recommended time frame and store it correctly.
How long does wine last
So, how long does wine last once open? Generally speaking, once you’ve cracked open your non-alcoholic wine, it should be consumed within two to three days. The only exception is non-alcoholic sparkling wine which needs to be consumed within one to two days. This is because once they’re opened, sparkling wines lose their carbonation.
Use the sniff test
None of this is an exact science and you might find some non-alcoholic wines lasting longer than others. As time passes, you will probably notice some changes in the aroma and taste of your wine.
When I want to check if a non-alcoholic wine has gone bad, I apply the good old sniff test. If it smells like wine, I go ahead and drink it. If it smells like vinegar — I pour it down the sink.
Keeping your wine fresh
Even the best non-alcoholic wine needs to be kept in the fridge once it’s opened. Chilling the wine will slow the chemical changes that cause the structure of the wine to break down. You can slow this down further by keeping the wine standing upright in the fridge because if you lay it horizontally, a greater surface area will be exposed to oxygen.
Before putting it in the fridge, ensure your non-alcoholic wine is sealed, either by replacing the screw top, cork or using a wine-stopper. If you take your non-alcoholic wine really seriously, you might also like to invest in a vacuum pump. These devices remove the air from the bottle, which of course, slows down oxidation. People who regularly use a vacuum pump tell me it helps to preserve the aroma and flavour of their wines.
When it comes to answering the question of how long does red wine last once opened, there is a subtle difference between traditional red wine and non-alcoholic wine. While you can keep traditional red wine in a cool, dark spot or cupboard after opening it, non-alcoholic red wine must be kept in the fridge.
I take my non-alcoholic red wine out of the fridge about an hour before I plan to drink it, which allows it to warm up gradually. I recently heard someone say they microwaved some Next Destination 2018 Barossa Valley Shiraz (which is said to be the best tasting non-alcoholic wine) after storing it in the fridge — I could have cried! The poor wine would never have stood a chance.
It’s also important to store an opened non-alcoholic sparkling wine in the fridge, but as I mentioned above, it still won’t last as long as other types of non-alcoholic wine. You may have heard that putting a teaspoon in the neck of an opened sparkling wine will keep it bubbly for longer, but I’m sad to say, that is a myth. I’ve found the best way to preserve the bubbles in my non-alcoholic champagne alternative is to use a sparkling wine stopper.
A quick recap
Since we’ve covered a lot of information, I’ve summarised the main points for you here. You may like to bookmark this post so you can refer back to it later.
- How long does wine last once open? Non-alcoholic wine tends to last between two to three days. Your wine will last longer if you keep it in the fridge, sealed and upright.
- How long does red wine last once opened? If you keep it in the fridge, non-alcoholic red wine will also last between two to three days. Remember to take it out of the fridge an hour before you want to drink it.
- How long does sparkling wine last once opened? Non-alcoholic sparkling wine will only last one or two days even if you keep it in the fridge. For the best results, use a sparkling wine stopper to seal the bottle.
Make the most of your wine
I hope that this guide has given you some insight into how to keep your non-alcoholic wine fresh for longer. If you enjoy your non-alcoholic wine and want to learn more about them, I recommend signing up to my newsletter where I share all the latest products and reviews. You can also follow me on Instagram and check out my live taste tests.
One final confession — while lots of customers ask me questions like ‘how long does wine last once open?’, the truth is, when I’m drinking the best non-alcoholic wine, I don’t need to store it because more often than not, there isn’t any left in the bottle!