Clemens: Boxed Wine Shelf Life
Box wine, or more correctly wine in a plastic bag that is inside a box, is no longer the red-headed stepchild of the wine world. Several wineries now deliver quality wine in a box. Bota Box , Black Box , Bandit, Almaden, House Wine are among the leaders.
The draw is you can draw a glass or two whenever you wish for the next several weeks. No guilt trip that you did not finish the bottle before the wine went south. Or that you did finish the bottle all by yourself that night so it couldnt go bad.
Another draw is cost and environmental responsibility. The two go hand-in-hand. The bag and box cost less to make and to transport, reducing eventual price. The box and bag can be recycled. Unless you live in a larger city with glass recycling, an empty wine bottle goes into a landfill.
Box wine, however, is not perfect. Yes, the wine stays fresh after you open the box, but not forever. It has a shelf life of about six weeks and will start to decline after three weeks. Furthermore, to achieve that shelf life, you need to keep the wine in your refrigerator, not your kitchen countertop.
Refrigeration is fine for whites and rosés, they are best cool anyway. Not for most reds. You will need to let most reds warm for 30 minutes to get them to their best. But not all reds. Some clever box wine purveyors offer chillable redslight in style, more body and flavor than blush or rosé, lighter in alcohol.
Ask Adam: How Long Does Boxed Wine Stay Good After Being Opened
Boxed wine is a wonderful thing. Its perfect for a large group, or to have in the house for a glass or two with your meal when you dont want to open a bottle. And the wine inside the box keeps getting better and better gone are the days when your only option was Franzia. Now, there are great options for whites, rosés and light reds that come inside boxes, and they are begging to be enjoyed.
But just because you cant see the wine inside the box doesnt mean it will last forever. Just like uncorking or unscrewing a bottle, after youve tapped a box of wine, there is a definitive window of time that the wine will still taste great. Its definitely a much larger window than for the wine inside an open bottle, but its not indefinite. Boxed wine can turn to vinegar just like wine inside an open bottle can.
Keep in mind as well that any box of wine you purchase should be opened and consumed within a year of purchasing. Wine inside a box not only doesnt age, it also micro-oxygenates. While the bag its stored in is pretty good at protecting it, a small amount of oxygen will still slowly slip in, and after a while you will have vinegar, whether you opened the box and poured yourself a glass or not.
How It All Started
Box wine might seem something that is recent, but its been around for years. Thomas Angove, a winemaker from Renmark, South Australia is the brains behind the whole box wine anthem. He went ahead and patented his company in 1965, on April 20 to be exact.
The original design for box wines requires the consumer to snip off the corner of the plastic bladder, pour out the wine, and then reseal it with a special category peg. This peg was based off of an already existing product on the market, which was what mechanics used to hold and transport battery acid.
An air-tight tap which was welded to a metallised bladder was patented in 1967 by Australian inventor Charles Malpas and Penfolds Wines, making storage much more convenient than the constant resealing. All modern wine casks now use some kind of plastic tap, which is usually exposed by tearing apart an inner layer of a perforated panel on the box.
During the first few decades, box packaging was usually preferred by producers that made less expensive wines as it is cheaper to produce compared to the regular glass bottles. However, in 2003, Black Box Wines introduced premium wines in box packaging form, beating the stigma that boxed wines are the cheap, lower quality wines. Within the next few years, premium wineries, bottlers, and companies started packaging their own premium wines in boxes.
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Where Can I Store My Wine
Wine can be stored at room temperature if you plan on drinking it relatively soon, but if you want to keep your wine long-term, you have a few options.
Home wine cellar
It sounds like a dream, and for most people, this is impractical, but many houses already have a wine cellar built-in they just dont know it. Many unfinished basements are perfect wine cellars as they stay cooler than the rest of the house, are often the ideal humidity, and have little to no sunlight.
A more practical option for most households is a dedicated wine fridge. These refrigerators are made to keep the perfect temperature and humidity for wine and range in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Professional wine cellar
Professional wine cellars are popping up all over the country as they grow in popularity. These wine cellars allow you to store your wine at their facility for a nominal monthly fee per bottle.
What Is The Shelf Life Of Boxed Wine
Hello there! I’m Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don’t worry, I’m no wine snobyou can also ask me those “dumb questions” you’re too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don’t forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q& A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
What is the shelf life of boxed wine?
Doug, Nokomis, Fla.
As you might imagine, boxed wines arent meant for long-term aging. If you take a close look at a boxed wine, youll most likely see a best-by date, probably stamped on the bottom or side of the box. This expiration date is typically within a year or so from the time the wine was packaged. Its not that the wine will go bad, but the plastic bags that the wines are stored in allow microscopic amounts of oxygen to pass through, and after a while, the wine will taste less fresh.
Weve done some trials with boxed wines, and find that youll get more life out of an opened boxas with an opened bottleif you store it in your refrigerator. The cold slows down the process of a wine fading and taking on nutty, oxidized notes. One nice design feature of boxed wines is that the bag will collapse as the wine is poured out, which minimizes its exposure to oxygen. We found that boxed wines lasted two or three weeks once opened before starting to fade.
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There Are Great Boxed Wines To Be Had
Now, boxed wines sometimes get a bad reputation for being cheap and tasting not so great, but I encourage you to give these options another go. Boxed wines have come a long way since they were first released on the market.
There are so many more wine brands producing these large-scale boxes than ever before. Its not just Franziathough I was pleasantly surprised by their red blend in our boxed wine taste test. Brands like Barefoot, House Wine, The Naked Grape and more are jumping into the boxed wine game, so you can find your go-to varietal in a larger size. Many of these brands are award-winning, so dont count them out!
How To Store Wine To Extend Its Shelf Life
The perfect conditions for proper storage exist in a wine cellar – a cool, dark place kept at a constant temperature of 50-55Â°F with slightly angled shelves and only other wines as neighbors. Since most of us can’t do this, just remember that the best storage is under cool, dark, and somewhat humid conditions.
Storing wine above the fridge, under the stove, or next to the dishwasher are the worst possible storage choices because the wine will be heated whenever one of these appliances is on.
Storing wine horizontally keeps the cork moist, which preserves the seal and prevents air from seeping into the bottle along with keeping the cork from drying out and crumbling upon opening.
So, corked wine should always be kept on its side until opened.
Once opened, all wines may be refrigerated to keep them fresh for a longer period of time.
Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.
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Q: How Long Does Wine Last After Its Opened
And does wine go bad?
Answer: Most wines last open for only about 35 days before they start to go bad. Of course, this greatly depends on the type of wine! Find out more about this below.
Dont worry though, spoiled wine is essentially just vinegar, so its not going to harm you. Heres how long different styles of wine last open.
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Now That Your Wine Is Open
Once youre dealing with an open bottle of wine, the clock is really ticking. If you cant finish it in one sitting, white wine will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, while red wine will last for a few weeks. Keep it sealed with the cork and in an upright position to help it last as long as possible, but drink it soon opened wine deteriorates fairly quickly!
How To Identify Wine That Is Corked
Red wine becomes cork when it is contaminated with cork taint, which brings a different and distinctive smell and taste to it. Usually, only about 5 percent of original corks cause this contamination. This is not harmful, healthwise anyway, but it does ruin the taste and experience drinking from your precious bottle would have given you.
When the precious substance is corked, it give off a smell that is akin to a dark mouldy basement or a wet dog. The taste is flat and dull without the characteristic fruit taste that comes with red wine. This is not harmful to your health, but who would want to drink that?
How Long Does Wine Last
How long does wine last? Bottled wine can last years beyond its “best by” date, but once opened it’s days are numbered. Please see the table for your wine type.
Wine is the result of fermenting different varieties of grapes. The shelf life of wine depends on a variety of factors, such as the vintage, label, preparation method and how it is stored. Although there is no definite answer, 99% of wine is not meant for “cellaring” or storing for extended amounts of time. Shelf wines are intended to be consumed while fresh and young in the bottle, which is fairly soon after purchase.
Because of its relatively low cost for an alcoholic beverage and the health benefits it is one of the oldest and most popular drinks in the world. It is used for many occasions, including religious ceremonies.
So, how long does wine last? Does wine go bad? When properly stored, the shelf life of wine past its label year is approximately …
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You Found An Unopened Bottle Of Wine In Your Closet Now What
So youre cleaning out your storage area and come across a bottle of unopened wine. Maybe it was a gift, or perhaps you had picked it up to surprise someone and never got around to drinking it. Stuff happens.
Can you drink it now?
As youve probably already guessed if youve been reading carefully, it depends. Follow these steps to decide if your unopened white wine of California Pinot Noir is still worthy of consumption.
1. Check the Expiration Date
Dust off the bottle and check the expiration date also known as the best by or drink by date. Keep in mind that this is just a suggestion about when the bottle will taste its best. With that date in mind, use the chart above to see if your bottle is within range. If so, drink away!
2. Check the Vintage Year
If theres no expiration date, the vintage date is the next best thing. This is the year emblazoned on the wine label and lets you know what year the grapes were harvested for that particular bottle. If you have this date handy, you can estimate the expiration date easily. Add a year to white wine and two years to red, then use the chart above to see if your wine is with range to drink.
3. Consider the Type or Wine
- Cabernet Franc
- Red Bordeaux
Pro Tip: Not sure what you have on your hands? Take it to a local wine shop and ask their opinion about whether its worth drinking or should be poured down the drain.
4. Test It Out
How Long Does Wine Last Unopened
The answer to this question depends on two main factors: the type of wine and the storage conditions it was subjected to. In general, an unopened bottle has a much longer shelf life than an opened one. Wine is designed to last for a long time, after all. Thats the whole point of fermenting the grapes and allowing the alcohol to develop in the first place. When grapes are fermented into wine, yeast is added to break down sugar and convert it into alcohol. This helps preserve the juice in two ways. First, the lowered sugar content doesnt give bacteria as much to feed on, making the spoiling process slower. Second, the addition of all that alcohol makes it much harder for most bacteria to survive, which also keep spoilage at bay. This one-two punch of preservation is what allowed early vintners to ship their fine wines around the world and still have their products stay delicious after long months in a ships hold.
Even though wine is designed to last longer than plain grapes or grape juice, it will still break down eventually. In general, heres what you can expect from the most common types of wine youre likely to have on hand:
- White Wine: 1-2 years past the expiration date
- Red Wine: 2-3 years past the expiration date
- Cooking Wine: 3-5 years past the expiration date
- Fine Wine: 10 to 20 years
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Will Chemicals Creep Into My Wine
This is a fair question. After all, your wine is being stored in plastic. However, almost all boxed wine options are made BPA free. BPA is a harmful chemical found in plastic. Instead, the plastic is made with polyethlene, one of the safest plastics available. Polyethlene is also made to use water bottles and ziplock bags. It won’t effect how the wine tastes or the quality of the liquid inside.
How Long Does Bag
An advantage of bag-in-box wine is that it can last much longer than an open bottle, depending upon how quickly you drink it, of course. So-called BiB wines also tend to be lighter and easier to carry and store.
With many countries under lockdown due to the outbreak of Covid-19, bag-in-box wine could be a good way of stocking up.
In general, it will state somewhere on the box roughly how long the wine can stay fresh.
Some producers say wines can last for up to six weeks after opening. That compares to just a few days for many bottled wines, although fortified styles, like Port, will go for longer.
Once a wine has been opened, oxygen can interact with the wine and impact on the flavour.
This happens more slowly for bag-in-box wines.
However, boxes and pouches are not deemed suitable for ageing fine wines, because the plastic used is permeable and will cause the wine to oxidise over time.
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Does Barefoot Wine Need To Be Refrigerated
Whether or not you chill your bottle of Barefoot before enjoying is completely up to you! That said, we love our white wines and pink wines cooled in the fridge for at least 2 hours before cracking open.
Our Barefoot Bubbly tastes best chilled and the cool temperature also helps keep those lovely bubbles intact.
Want to learn more, head on over to our Wine Serving Temperatures page.
No You Are Not Drinking Chemicals
Some people have expressed concerns over whether their boxed wine’s bag has allowed Bisphenol-A, or BPA to seep into the wine that you are drinking. But lucky for all the boxed wine fans out there, almost every single boxed wine is made with polyethlene, one of the safest plastics out there.
The research I’ve done does say almost every, not every single one, however. So if you’re super concerned that you may be consuming some BPA along with your boxed wine, check the box, or check the company’s website to see if they have any information regarding the type of plastic that they use.
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