This is an article I wrote six years ago that I decided to revisit, because I get questions about the topic all the time. The big question is how long does wine last. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know know the optimal time to drink each bottle of wine that you own? Do you save certain bottles for that special occasion, only to find that the wine has gone past its prime? This happened to me on my 30th birthday, and I still remember the very sad experience.
Factors to Consider
It turns out that most American wines are meant to be drunk today – or at most within the next year. American wine makers know that we Americans aren’t good at delayed gratification. So they honor us by making wines that can be consumed immediately.
A study done some 10 years ago determined that the average time Americans age their wine is 17 minutes! Yep, that’s the time it takes to get from the store to your home. So the best answer to the question how long do wines last is 17 minutes 🙂 But the better answer takes into account a number of factors:
- Type of grape: On average, red wines last longer than white wines. Heavier and sweeter whites last longer than more delicate whites. Red wines with a lot of tannin like Cabernet Sauvignon last longer than red wines without a lot of tannin like Pinot Noir.
- Price: No matter what the grape, probably the single biggest determinant of wine aging is the wine’s price. Anything $10 or less is meant to be drunk within the next six months.
- Storage: A wine cellar set at 55 degrees is the best way to age your wines. If you don’t have a stable environment for your wines, you are taking several years off of their lives.
- Your tastes: If you like fruity wine, drink your wine young, because that is when it is the fruitiest.
How Long Does Wine Last – A Video for You to Enjoy
My video from six years ago goes into much more depth on the subject of wine aging. I hope you enjoy it.
I would love to know: how long does wine last in your home? Please share your experiences here.
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, would like to host a tasting, seek a special gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
Betty Kaufman, WineShop At Home
I’ve always wondered about aging wine. I typically don’t have it around that long (longer than 17 minutes though!). The tip about wines that cost less than $10 is great! Also, I love the idea of drinking a bottle of your favorite once every 6 months to determine when it tastes best. You rock, Betty!
Thanks Vicki! I was excited to learn about the $10 rule too. They (the wine experts) say that is the single biggest determinant of age worthiness. I would have never known that.