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Dear Dr. Vinny,
Is it OK to drink from a box wine that has been open for two weeks?
—Brittney N., Davenport, Iowa
Box wines are a fast -growing category—there are many more options out there than ever before, and many of very good quality. I’m glad you’re exploring them.
Once you open a traditional bag-in-box wine or one packaged in a Tetra Pak , I recommend storing it in your fridge, just as I would with an open bottle of wine—no matter if it’s red, white, pink or sparkling. That should slow down the process of making a wine’s flavors start to fade and take on nutty, oxidized notes. The way bag-in-box wines are designed, the bag inside will collapse as the wine is poured, which is a neat way to minimize the wine’s exposure to oxygen. Even so, we’ve done some tests of box wines in our offices and recommend enjoying them within two to three weeks of opening.
That’s just our recommendation. You might find the wine still enjoyable a month down the line or more. That change that occurs over time is due to oxygen exposure, and it isn’t harmful. Oxidized wine won’t make you sick, it'll just taste less fresh.
Something to note about box wines is that they have a limited shelf life even before they are opened. Those bags are semi-permeable, and will let in air over time. Keep an eye on the "best-by" date when shopping for boxed wines—they usually suggest consuming the wine within a year to 18 months from the production date.
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