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How Long Will it Keep?

October 24, 2011
Question by: David, Coventry, UK

Q:

Once opened how long will Port last and how should you store it once opened?

A:

Hi David, Port wine, both before and after opening, should be stored in a cool dark place.  If you wish to keep some leftover Port after opening, re-cork the bottle securely or use a vacuum-sealed closure to minimise exposure to air.  You can keep the bottle in the fridge, but do plan to take it out and let it come back up to a cool room temperature before serving - if the Port is too cold, the aromas don't show well, which will affect your taste perceptions as well.

As to how long you can keep Port after opening, the answer is in the cork:  bottle aged Ports, such as Vintage and Crusted, will have a classic cork sunk in the neck which requires a corkscrew to remove - this is your signal that the wine should be enjoyed within a day or two of opening.  Because these wines have had very little exposure to oxygen in their life, they will change noticeably after exposure to air.  This is good up to a point - hence the need for Decanting - but too long exposure will cause a deterioration in quality.

If the bottle has a T-stopper cork (whites, tawnies, rubies and LBV) this is your sign that the Port can be kept a bit longer:  with care, up to a couple months, but best within just a few weeks. 

Best to get family and friends around and share on opening!



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