If you’re a fan of the delicious Italian wine, otherwise known as prosecco, it’s tempting to keep a few bottles at home. Cheaper than its more expensive cousin, champagne, prosecco is a wonderful bubbly for those special occasions. You may even want a glass or two to add some fun to an ordinary day!
While you may think stocking up your wine cellar with prosecco is a good idea, have you started to wonder how long does prosecco last? After all, there’s nothing worse than a flat bubbly! Can you store this wine for long periods of time and will sealing the bottle after opening make it last longer too?
You don’t ever want to be disappointed when opening your favorite bottle of prosecco. Like most alcoholic drinks, prosecco should be stored in a certain way to maintain its quality. This drink also has a shelf life before it starts to go off.
Read on to get all the answers you need to know about keeping prosecco so you can enjoy it every time. We’re talking about the shelf life of prosecco, if you can store it unopened in the refrigerator, how long you can keep it after opening, and the best way to store it.
What You Need to Know About the Types of Prosecco
While most people like to buy prosecco for its bubbles, you can also buy semi-sparkling and still types of this wine. When buying sparkling prosecco, you’ll often find it under the name of spumante. Frizzante refers to the semi-sparkling prosecco and Tranquillo refers to the still type.
Sparking prosecco is the most popular type and has a longer lasting perlage, an Italian word describing the fizziness of the drink. Furthermore, sparkling prosecco is divided into more categories as follows:
- Dry: Sugar content between 17 and 32 g/l.
- Extra dry: Variable sugar content of between 12 g/l and 17 g/l.
- Brut: Has a sugar content below 12 g/l.
- Demi-sec: Sugar content between 32 g/l and 50 g/l.
Choosing your favorite type of sparkling prosecco depends on your taste buds and how they respond to the sugar content of the wine. And, if you prefer the semi-sparkling prosecco remember it has less perlage meaning less fizziness after pouring. Still prosecco has no perlage.
Drinkers of prosecco often confuse this sparkling drink with champagne. However, each is a completely different alcoholic drink and consequently, is stored differently too. Following the same storage guidelines for champagne could result in prosecco losing its prime of life very quickly!
How to Store Prosecco Before Opening？
Storing your bottle of prosecco in a cool and dark place will help keep its texture and flavor profile consistent. Too much exposure to light will alter the flavor of the profile. The type of prosecco will also determine what kind of storage is best for it. While some people may consider the refrigerator the best for storing prosecco, this is often not the right place.
The best storage environment should be cold but for certain reasons we’ll discuss later, don’t store any of your prosecco in the fridge. However, when serving prosecco, it should be chilled a couple of hours before serving. By placing prosecco in the refrigerator, you can obtain an ideal serving temperature of between 6 and 8⁰C.
Always store your prosecco bottles standing upright. If the bottles are laid flat, the wine will come into contact with the cork. This results in the prosecco losing its quality faster because a moist cork often lets air in.
How to Store Prosecco After Opening It?
While it’s always best to finish a bottle of prosecco once opened, it’s not always possible. This means finding ways to store it properly after opening so you can enjoy it the next day. The challenge with keeping sparkling prosecco fresh once removing the cork, is maintaining its fizziness. But, here are some ways of keeping your sparkling wine bubbly for a few days after opening the bottle:
- Refrigerate the bottle: Place the bottle straight into the refrigerator after opening it. Cold air does slow down the release of gas bubbles.
- Use a wine stopper: Make sure you use one designed specifically for sparkling wines. These wine stoppers can preserve your sparkling wine for three to five days when kept in the refrigerator.
- Insert a teaspoon: Place a silver or metal teaspoon in the neck of the bottle. This is an old wives’ tale. However, it does seem to preserve sparkling prosecco so give it a go if you don’t have a wine stopper on hand.
While the above mentioned methods let you enjoy your opened prosecco a few days later, it’s essential to remember the quality won’t be the same. Every hour the bottle is open, the texture and flavor profile will degrade.
Prosecco is one wine that does have one of the shortest lifespans once the cork is removed. Wine experts suggest drinking opened prosecco within three days so that you still get to benefit from the quality and taste of a good wine.
Does Prosecco Go Bad?
If you’re storing your bottles of prosecco in a cool and dark environment you can expect it to last for up to two years unopened. Prosecco doesn’t normally go “bad” but rather it starts to lose its unique flavor profile as well as its carbonation if you’re storing the sparkling type. Often, older sparkling and semi-sparkling prosecco are flat when served years after being bottled.
Prosecco exposed to heat and high humidity will also go off quickly. You can tell if your prosecco is bad if it’s yellow or brownish in color when you pour it. A musty smell and very little or no carbonation are other signs of prosecco going bad.
If you want to enjoy your prosecco in its prime state, then do what the wine connoisseurs say and drink it before it’s two years old. Drinking prosecco while it’s still young and even within a year of it being bottled is highly recommended by the experts. This way you can delight not only in the bubbles but the fruity notes too of this sparkling wine.
While some alcohol drinks benefit from aging, this doesn’t apply to prosecco. This is because of its high sugar content. The sugar to acid ratio is not suitable for letting prosecco sit and age. If you do let it “age” for longer than the recommended two years, you’ll end up with stale and flat wine!
Does Unopened Prosecco Go Bad When Stored in the Refrigerator?
While using the refrigerator to chill your prosecco before serving and storing opened bottles is a good idea, it’s not recommended for storing this wine unopened. The main reason is that the vibration of the refrigerator will alter the carbonation of the wine, impacting the flavor as well.
Your prosecco is exposed to light every time you open your fridge. While this wine is bottled in darker bottles, light exposure is still a risk., Your prosecco’s taste and texture is affected if you let too much light in.
A too cold environment such as the refrigerator may also cause the cork on your bottle to wedge out slightly. This means the air will get into the bottle, decreasing the carbonation of the prosecco and altering the quality of the wine. Another problem with a loose-fitting cork is that the smells of other foods in the fridge will get into the prosecco, impacting its flavors and smell.
Your unopened prosecco may not go “bad” in the refrigerator. But it will lose its quality and you’ll be disappointed when you end up drinking sub-standard spumante. If you do have to store your unopened bottle in the fridge, make sure you drink it within a month.
Also Read: Best Mini Wine Fridge
How Long Does Prosecco Last When Opened?
If stored in the refrigerator, with a good wine stopper positioned immediately after pouring, your opened prosecco should last between three to five days. A higher-quality prosecco will last longer once opened so consider investing in a more expensive option when you think you won’t finish a bottle in one go. However, don’t expect it to still taste the same five days later!
If you can’t find a wine stopper specifically for sparkling wines, purchase a hermetic cork from your local grocery supermarket. These corks will reseal the bottle and you can keep it for a few days in the refrigerator.
Another option is sealing the top of the opened bottle with some cellophane wrapping and an elastic band. However, this is not the recommended method of sealing prosecco after it’s been opened and it’s best to drink the rest of it by the end of the next day.
While you can store an opened bottle of prosecco for a few days, wine connoisseurs do suggest you drink it within 24 hours of opening. The other recommendation is to buy smaller bottles of this wine to avoid wastage or spoiled prosecco.
Places for Storing Prosecco
When your local supermarket has a special on prosecco, it’s tempting to stock up on this wine. Before buying many bottles, decide if you have the right place for storing large quantities of prosecco. A cool and dark cupboard in your kitchen or in any other room may suffice for a few bottles of prosecco.
A wine cellar is a good place for storing your spumante, Frizzante, or Tranquillo. But, if there’s too much light coming into the area, you’ll have to re-think about storage space for your prosecco. The garage is often one of the best places for storing many bottles of prosecco. This area is often dark and cooler than most rooms in your house.
A basement is another good place for storing this wine type. However, you must factor in the kind of climate you’re living in. Hot weather can alter the temperature of both your basement and garage, making them less than ideal for storing your favorite bottle of sparkling wine.
What to do With Leftover Prosecco?
If the idea of drinking leftover prosecco doesn’t appeal to you but you don’t want to throw it away, here are some ideas to avoid wasting a good sparkling wine:
- Ice cubes: By making prosecco ice cubes, they become handy for the next punch you make for a party. You could also add them to soda water for a dash of panache. Some home cooks love to add prosecco ice cubes to their gazpacho soup!
- Salad dressing: Adding a tablespoon or two of day-old prosecco to your white wine salad dressing enhances the flavors of this vinaigrette.
- White wine sauce: Add your leftover prosecco to your white wine sauce for a pasta or seafood dish for some exotic flavors.
- Wine cocktail: If your guests are asking for a wine cocktail that requires a still white wine, use up your leftover prosecco. Make sure it’s not too old though!
- Face mask: This is a fancy way of treating your skin. Make a face mask with leftover prosecco, organic yoghurt, and honey. Mix together and leave on your skin for 15 minutes.
There’s no need to toss out leftover prosecco but always make sure it’s properly stored in the refrigerator before adding to any of the above-mentioned recipes.
Prosecco is a deliciously light and fruity white wine enjoyed by many people. The sparkling version is a cheaper alternative to champagne while still being an enjoyable drink for most occasions. Ensure you always buy a high-quality prosecco so it lasts up to two years. Watch this Youtube video to get all the information you need to know about buying prosecco.
It’s essential to remember prosecco has a shorter lifespan than most other alcoholic drinks. To get the most out of drinking your favorite prosecco, ensure you drink it while it’s young and within one year of its bottling date.