Can I keep a half-full bottle of wine and serve it a few weeks later?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

I bought a bottle of Chardonnay for my mother-in-law, who drank a glass or two. Can I store the rest at room temperature and then chill it for the next time she visits? Will it still be good, or will it go bad?

—Nikkie, Halethorpe, Md.

Dear Nikkie,

Unfortunately, once you open a bottle of wine, it’s going to start to fade. Storing it in a refrigerator will slow down this process, but after a week or so, I imagine your Chardonnay-loving mother-in-law will notice that it doesn’t taste as good as it should.

But if you're just trying to extend the life of the wine for a few days longer, check out our helpful video on storing leftover wine!

Some folks swear by freezing leftover wine and thawing it out later: Leave some room for the wine to expand as it freezes, and then just defrost it to serve. You can also freeze leftover wine in ice-cube trays and keep it on hand for when you’re cooking and need to deglaze a pan.

—Dr. Vinny

Ask Dr. Vinny Serving Wine

More In Dr. Vinny

When will wine from Virginia get the recognition it deserves?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why Virginia's wines aren't more well-known on …

Jul 31, 2020

Why do Champagne bubbles come from the bottom of my glass?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains carbon dioxide "nucleation sites."

Jul 29, 2020

What's the best way to keep a bottle of wine chilled while traveling?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers tips for keeping your wine cool once it's left the …

Jul 27, 2020

Can I make wine from raisins?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why dried-out grapes can make for some pretty …

Jul 24, 2020

Why are red wine grapes fermented with the grape skins but white wine grapes aren’t?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why white wines aren't made with grape skin …

Jul 22, 2020

When I taste a dry, non-sparkling white wine, I sometimes get a fizzy sensation. What is that?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny offers a few possible explanations for a bubbly or fizzy …

Jul 20, 2020