How Long Is an Unopened Bottle of Rosè Good For?
Whether light and aromatic with zingy acidity, crisp and citrusy, or complex and juicy, rosé has the power to transform any meal or get-together into a special occasion. Few wines are as easy to sip (yay, rosé all day!) on a summer night—or a winter afternoon, for that matter.
But what if you want to stash away the good stuff to enjoy at a later date—how long will that bottle of rosé last unopened? Perhaps not as long as white wines. While rosé is typically understood as a white wine, it's usually never oaked like a white, so a white has more time to age than a rosé. And there are other aspects that impact the life expectancy of rosé.
"Rosé can be produced in many ways which will alter the structure of the wine. How it's made (how long the skins are in contact, what level of sugar it was picked at, was it cold stabilized before fermentation, what grape is being used, etc.) are all factors that will influence it's longevity for storage and for once it's opened," explains Jennifer McPherson, vintner at Promise Wine, a boutique producer in Napa Valley. She and her husband, Stephen McPherson, produce four wines, including a fresh, bright rosé, called Promise "the joy" Rosé, which was inspired by their love of Provençal rosés and is produced intentionally, with 100 percent of its fruit grown for its rosé, as opposed to the more common saignée method, a bleed-off of other wines being produced. "This allows for fuller flavors and texture to develop, and greater depth of taste," she says.
Cool as a Rule
How the wine is stored before (and after) it's opened also figures into its future. If you want it to keep, lay that unopened bottle on its side in a cool, dry place, like a cellar or a closet, away from direct sunlight. Sparkling rosés are especially sensitive to heat exposure. What about your kitchen refrigerator? If the rosé has a natural cork, don't leave it there for more than a month because it will oxidize more rapidly. Wines with screw caps and synthetic corks aren't as susceptible to drying out.
And if you want to take a page from the wine professionals, McPherson suggests storing it at 55°F (and drinking it between 38 and 48°F). "Sometimes when it's too cold you can't taste the nuances of the wine, but then again, some rosés have no or poor taste, so the colder the better!" she says.
Remember: Two Years, Max
So, all things considered, how long can you expect your intact bottle of rosé to last? "There is no stock answer for how long you can age it, but usually two years is the max, as it will lose its freshness and brightness," says McPherson. "And two to five days for full freshness after opening and refrigerated." Natural wines, which don't have added sulfites, may have a shorter shelf life if the pH isn't low enough to prevent early oxidation, she adds. In sum, a natural rosé probably won't have the lifespan of a conventionally made rosé; they should be enjoyed within three to six months.