Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
Oct 19, 2006 12:21 AM

How long does opened Port last?

I have a bottle of Port that is half full and last opened about 10 months ago. It smells good, but is it safe to drink?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. NO, Even tawny is sucking wind at that point

    1. Take a quick swig if you dare, but I suggest this instead...

      slice some portobello mushrooms.
      Put them into a sauce pot with some butter and brown them.
      Dump the port in and let it reduce.
      Serve with a good steak.

      1 Reply
      1. I opened a bottle about 8 months ago. We had some on Friday night and it was fine.
        I'm not an expert but isn't the idea of fortifying it so that it has a better shelf life??


        1 Reply
        1. re: Davwud

          To a certian extent the fortifacation is to hold and stablize the port but non tawnys will spoil pretty quickly. Most tawnys are already somewhat oxidized during aging in barell.

        2. We don't drink Port, but I keep a bottle around for cooking. I've never had any go bad, even after a year or so.

          3 Replies
          1. re: pikawicca

            Same experience here. Never a problem with port going bad. All that happens is that more sediment is thrown so be careful not to shake the bottle when you're about to use it. Or else just pour it through a fine strainer before use.

            1. re: fauchon

              There's a difference between going bad and being drinkable. The alcohol and sugar levels in port pretty much ensure it won't spoil -- by which I mean develop harmful bacterial or fungal growth -- if kept well-sealed. However, port, like any other wine, begins oxidizing as soon as the bottle is opened and that affects flavour, as you can easily demonstrate by comparing the tail end of a bottle that's been open for a week or two with the same wine from a just opened bottle. Port that's been kept stoppered in the fridge for a month or ten will probably not be dangerous to consume and may be good enough to use in cooking, but it isn't something you'd want to serve in a glass to a wine lover.

              1. re: carswell

                You're right. Perhaps I wasn't sufficiently clear. I was referring to Port -- I use a medium priced, decent but not sublime quality -- used soley for cooking. Not for drinking! LOL

          2. carswell nailed it. There is a big difference between being "safe" to drink and being drinkable in terms of enjoyment. Any port that has been open for 10 months in a decanter is probably way past drinking for enjoyment. If it has been recorked and in the refridgerator, it is still probably past that stage but maybe not. I wouldn't use it for anything except cooking, but then again, I would never have a bottle of port that made it 10 days, much less 10 months. They are usually gone within two days in my house. (Of course, I don't open a bottle of port unless I have friends to help drink it for that very reason.)