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How long can a box of wine last once it's been opened?

The good thing about wine in a box is that you needn’t worry about resealing it once it’s been opened. It’s not like opening a bottle of wine with a cork stopper, there’s no problem if you only drink a glass of wine or just use a little for cooking purposes. Wine in a box can last for some weeks as long as it’s kept refrigerated. It’s OK to put red wine in the fridge too and a lot of people prefer to drink it chilled these days. Wines that are packaged in boxes aren’t vintage ones and so don’t need to breathe before they’re drunk.

Opened boxes of wine don’t last for ever

Even wines in a box have expiry dates as their plastic containers are permeable, so the wine will oxidise over time. Experts suggest that you don’t keep boxed wine out of the fridge. They also recommend that you drink the wine within a month to six weeks of it being opened.

Advantages and disadvantages of boxed wine

If you have a box of wine in the fridge, you won’t need to pop to the local off-licence if guests turn up unexpectedly. Boxes of wine are convenient, however one problem with them is that you can’t see how much wine is left in the box. Don’t be tempted to remove the plastic ‘bladder’ from its box before it’s almost empty, you’re likely to have some difficulties handling and pouring it.

Of course, wine in bottles is a different matter as they last much longer. However if oxidisation takes place, perhaps though the cork or stopper, the wine becomes undrinkable. Also, once a bottle of wine has been opened you must drink the wine quite quickly. It’s also difficult to jam the cork back into the bottle in an attempt to make it last longer. Perhaps that’s where boxes of wine have an advantage over bottles.

Naturally, you can pour the boxed wine into glass bottles or decanters if you have guests, they don’t have to know that the wine they’re enjoying came out of a box. You could save your glass wine bottles for such occasions and remove the labels, just in case your guests are wine connoisseurs. The majority of your guests probably won’t care what the wine container was as they will be more interested in the liquid than the packaging! Never mind the pejorative term Chateau Cardboard, which is what Australians call wine in a box.

Whether you are a traditionalist who prefers wine in glass bottles or a Millennial who isn’t interested in the wine’s packaging, you have to admit that there are some good reasons for buying at least some of your wine in boxes.

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