Can You Drink Wine That Has Been Sitting Out

As someone who loves wine, I frequently encounter the predicament of what to do with a bottle that has been inadvertently left out for an extended period of time. It’s a situation that happens frequently …

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As someone who loves wine, I frequently encounter the predicament of what to do with a bottle that has been inadvertently left out for an extended period of time. It’s a situation that happens frequently – you uncork a bottle, have a few glasses, and get caught up in the day. Suddenly, you realize that the wine has been sitting on the kitchen counter for hours, or perhaps even all night.

So, the question is, can you still drink wine that has been sitting out? Well, the answer depends on a few factors: the type of wine, how long it has been sitting out, and personal preference.

First, let’s talk about the type of wine. In general, red wines tend to be more forgiving when it comes to exposure to air. This is because red wines typically have more tannins, which act as natural preservatives. On the other hand, white wines and rosés are more delicate and can spoil more quickly if left out for too long.

Next, consider how long the wine has been sitting out. If it has only been a few hours, the wine is likely still safe to drink. However, if it has been sitting out for more than 24 hours, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not drink it. The longer a wine is exposed to air, the more likely it is to become oxidized, which can result in a flat, unpleasant taste.

Of course, personal preference plays a role as well. Some people might not mind the slight change in taste that comes from a wine that has been sitting out, while others might find it off-putting. It’s always a good idea to give the wine a quick sniff and taste before deciding whether or not to drink it. Trust your senses – if it smells or tastes off, it’s best to pour it down the sink.

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Now, let’s talk about my personal experience with drinking wine that has been sitting out. I have to admit that I’ve been guilty of leaving a glass or two of wine out overnight on more than one occasion. In most cases, the wine was still perfectly enjoyable the next day. However, there have been a few instances where the wine tasted slightly off, with a hint of vinegar-like flavor. While it wasn’t undrinkable, it certainly wasn’t as enjoyable as when it was fresh.

So, what’s the bottom line? In general, it’s best to drink wine shortly after opening it. However, if you find yourself with a bottle that has been sitting out, it’s not necessarily a lost cause. Give it a sniff and a taste, and trust your judgment. If it still seems okay, go ahead and enjoy it. But if it doesn’t pass the smell or taste test, it’s best to play it safe and open a fresh bottle.

In the end, wine is meant to be enjoyed, and sometimes that means taking a calculated risk. Just remember to drink responsibly and savor every drop.

John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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