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. 

Key takea­ways: 

  • 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

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