01438 741177         thewinesociety.com

How long does sherry last once opened (and not consumed)

sherry
christmas

#1

Christmas is upon us and I expect a lot of bottles of sherry will be opened. I was wondering if anyone knows how long an opened bottle of sherry will keep. I suspect it will depend on style (level of oxidation, sweetness etc.) and whether kept refrigerated or room temperature.

I have some palo cortado and PX in mind. Any thoughts and shared experience would be welcome.

Comments along the lines of “Sherry barely lasts the weekend in our house.” also welcome…


#2

I finished an amontillado recently that I’ve had open for months. Sure, it wasn’t as fresh as when first opened, but I still enjoyed it.
I’ve had PC open for similar lengths of time before and while it was skill fine, it definitely lost its freshness quicker. I don’t know if PX would ever go off.


#3

The general wisdom is that the lighter ones - Fino and Manzanilla - should be consumed within a week or so of opening, and stored in the fridge whilst they’re open. From experience, anything longer than 10 days definitely dulls their nutty, yesty flavours.

The oxidised ones - Oloroso, Palo Cortado and Amontillado - can keep for longer, but again, I reckon anything longer than 3 or so weeks dulls their flavours.

PX is a monster that can last for eons, but store in the fridge once you opened.

Getting thirsty just thinking about it…:grinning:


#4

For me, if its a Fino its the same as a white wine so up to 3 days, for anything other than a Fino probably up to a week, with a PX Sherry it would last longer.


#5

To chill or not to chill! That is the question…

About twice as much oxygen can dissolve in cold wine vs ‘room temperature’ so if you weren’t planning on drinking your fino/manzanilla for another few days I’d keep it out of the fridge on the side.

That being said I rarely let a bottle of fino/manzanilla last a whole night - especially if I have friends round. A lot are available in 50cl bottles which helps as well. I’ll be chomping in to a bottle of this at dinner tonight and that definitely won’t be returning to a fridge…


#6

You learn something new everyday! :+1:

In our house, I’m the only Sherry drinker (the husband hates the stuff, despite several attempts at ‘re-education’), so I almost always buy either 37.5cl bottles or 50cl at most. Then I get down to the business of drinking it - which means it rarely lasts a week. But good to know that keeping it out of the fridge would help, if I don’t intend to drink it for a few days.


#7

It’s difficult - there’s arguments for both sides. This is what I’d do (personally) but I’m sure others have different experiences.


#8

Really? The usual advice for wine is to keep it in the fridge. Why is it different for Sherry?

You are probably mainly right about the oxygen solubility (though for water the effect will not be quite a factor of 2), but that assumes the amount of oxygen in solution is the main factor limiting oxidation. If the main factor is the rate of oxidation using oxygen already in solution - then you need to slow down the oxidation reaction, and that is best achieved by lowering the temperature.


#9

My thoughts exactly, I’d guess that temperature is the key thing here

If you do end up with some leftover sherry thats past its best - hang on to it as (style depending) it makes for a wonderful paella


#10

It’s just what I do! It’s also brilliant used in Chinese stir fry if you got no Shaoxing.


#11

It goes better on ice cream if kept in the fridge first!


#12

(PX that is). It does! Though best allowed to warm up somewhat if you plan to drink it in the normal way, otherwise you can get an odd sensation of drinking a blend of treacle with gear oil.


#13

I think I disagree: it cools when you put it on the ice cream, but a little contrast seems better.


#14

Even less, Manzanilla should be consumed once the bottle is open or it loses its freshness, and whilst bottles of Fino and Manzanilla can be kept awhile closed they do start to change and why as you purchased for that freshness with those two types would you keep it, and end up with an amontillado.
I should add the manzanilla in particular shood be purchased from a supplier with a quick turnover, sitting on a warm shelf for weeks does it no good at all, all this from No 1 who knows a lot more about sherry than I ever will.


#15

Would make a nice experiment, mind you! Might even end up with the elusive Palo Cortado! :wink:


#16

An excellent question - because ‘sherry’ encompasses so many categories. I had a 50cl bottle of ‘En Rama’ sherry from TWS this summer that was both ethereal and fragile, yet almost explosive in flavour - absolutely amazing and changed almost by the hour once opened.

The bottom line - is I don’t feel that any Sherry improves after opening. They just deteriorate at different rates, typically the are more processed and sweeter wines are longer lasting. A week is the absolute max maybe.

The big plus, is that Sherry is an incredible bargain - fantastic value for money while at it’s best and a superb cooking wine for the next few days thereafter.

Happily at Xmas, the half finished bottle of sherry coincides with leftover dry turkey which desperately needs a rich (sherry) sauce, ditto cold ham or beef which again are enlivened by a well made sauce. All for very little cost.


#17

The reason sherry always tastes better in Spain is because a bottle barely lasts a week! That said, I’ve often drunk sherry that has been sitting around at home much longer and still enjoyed it. It is fortified, so it doesn’t deteriorate too rapidly but it loses a bit of freshness


#18

Last year I had some Tio Pepe standard vs the Tio Pepe En Rama back to back - its an eye opener in terms of how much flavour is muted through filtering and stabilisation.


#19

According to everyone’s grandmother, an open bottle of Harvey’s Bristol Cream lasts 10 years on the Welsh dresser.