Does Organic Wine Have a Shorter Shelf Life?
Organic wine stores differently than conventionally-produced products – here’s what you should know.
Nothing is more relaxing than pouring yourself a glass of beautiful organic wine at the end of a long day. Perhaps you’ll spend the evening sharing a drink with a loved one, or maybe enjoying a meal in blissful solitude. Whatever the case, when you’re ready to sit down and rest, make sure to check the wine before you take a sip. That bottle you’ve been saving in the back of your fridge might not be as fresh as you think.
To avoid the disappointment that comes from a soured bottle of what should have been delicious wine, you must pay attention to the storage recommendations for organic wine. The additives and synthetic elements in non-organic wine often result in a longer shelf-life and slower spoilage rate. Organic wine is free of these unwanted ingredients and does not have the same life-span as its conventional counterpart.
- Organic wine is made without preservatives, such as added sulfites
- It is best to drink three to seven days after opening
- The determiners of organic wine’s shelf life
- Tips for prolonging the freshness of organic wine
How long does organic wine last?
Generally, organic wine will stay fresh for up to three days after being opened. A bottle of organic white wine will last a little longer – between three to seven days – while an organic red wine will usually last about three to five days.
Many factors influence the shelf life of organic wine once it’s been opened, including the method of storage and the level of naturally occurring tannins in the wine. Therefore, spoilage will vary from one bottle to the next. The rule of thumb is that it is best to consume within three days after being opened. Always chill open wine to lengthen storage time.
Why does organic wine have a shorter life-span?
Many people are surprised to learn that organic wine has a shorter life span than conventionally-made wine. It is not so surprising, however, when you consider the many differences in the way organic wine is grown and fermented.
In order to be certified organic under the USDA National Organic Program, the entire production cycle of the wine must observe strict criteria set forth by the USDA. Every aspect of the winemaking, from the farming methods in the field down to the fermentation process, is required to “[be] done in a way that promotes ecological balance, conserves biodiversity, and uses unadulterated ingredients.”
Organic winemakers are not permitted to use synthetic dyes, additives, or added sulfites. These ingredients, particularly sulfites, are key to preserving freshness and extending shelf-life in conventionally made wines. All wine has naturally-occurring sulfites, but conventional wine has a lot added.
Because organic wine is made without GMOs, added sulfites, or synthetic dyes, it does not receive the additional help these additives provide in extending life-span.
Most organic winemakers and consumers agree that the shorter shelf life is a welcome tradeoff, however, for the unpleasant side effects of synthetic additives. A small percentage of the population is sensitive to sulfites and can have allergic and asthmatic reactions. Studies have shown that red wine, in particular, can be a migraine trigger and that consumers identify sulfites in red wine as the culprit.
While sulfites and other non-organic additives may extend the shelf-life of wine, they can have adverse health effects. This is why organic winemakers are committed to crafting wine without these unwanted synthetic elements.
Tips to prolong the life of your open bottle
First, learn to recognize the signs of a soured bottle. If you notice any of these characteristics in your wine, it is no longer fresh:
- An odor, usually sharp or vinegar-like.
- Unusual color, specifically a brown discoloration
- Cloudiness in the liquid
- Changes in taste, specifically sour or vinegar flavors
Avoid opened bottles that have these characteristics. To extend the life of your organic wine, it is important to always store it in a cool, dry, dark location. Once you have opened the wine, recork the bottle and refrigerate it. Recorking is an important step that can help slow oxidation.
Rich, flavorful wines by Domaine Bousquet
Domaine Bousquet produces 4 million liters of organic wine per year, exported to more than 50 countries. With our own import companies in the USA, Europe, and Brazil, Domaine Bousquet currently ranks in the top 20 Argentine wineries in terms of exports and is the leader in organic wine. Visit us online to learn more about our exceptional wine varieties, schedule a tour and wine-tasting at our beautiful winery, or find more information about retailers and distributors