Decoding Prosecco: Unveiling the Truth About Its Shelf Life and Spoilage

Does Prosecco go bad? – What you need to know

Prosecco, the widely popular sparkling wine from Italy, is often the beverage of choice for many people when it comes to choosing an aperitif or after-dinner drink. However, there may be questions regarding the shelf life and storage of Prosecco. This article aims to provide concise and scientific information on the subject, addressing common questions related to the potential spoilage and deterioration of Prosecco over time.

Unopened Prosecco: Shelf Life and Storage

An unopened bottle of Prosecco, unlike some other perishable beverages, does not technically “go bad”. However, it is recommended that Prosecco be consumed within two years of bottling in order to experience its optimal flavor and effervescence. While Prosecco does not necessarily go bad, its flavor and effervescence may deteriorate over time.
To ensure the best quality of unopened Prosecco, certain storage guidelines should be followed. First of all, it is advisable to store the bottle in an upright position so that the wine does not come into contact with the cork. Moisture on the cork can cause air to get in and make the Prosecco go stale faster. Second, it is recommended to store Prosecco in a dark environment, away from direct light sources. Although the bottle itself may provide some protection from light, prolonged exposure can still affect the quality of the wine. Finally, unopened Prosecco should be stored in a cool environment, as excessive heat can negatively affect its flavor and carbonation. However, refrigeration is not necessary unless the intention is to chill the Prosecco before serving. The ideal serving temperature for Prosecco is between 6 and 8°C.

Opened Prosecco: Shelf life and storage

Once a bottle of Prosecco has been opened, its shelf life is relatively short. It is recommended that opened Prosecco be consumed within three to four days to maintain its desired qualities. After this time, the wine may lose its effervescence, aroma and overall flavor, making it less enjoyable to consume.
If it is necessary to store opened Prosecco, it should be stored in the refrigerator. Leaving an open bottle at room temperature can accelerate the wine’s deterioration. An opened bottle of Prosecco can be stored in the refrigerator for two to three days before it becomes undrinkable. However, it is important to note that refrigeration beyond this period may cause the cork to dry out, resulting in oxidation and changes in taste and aroma. In addition, the wine may lose some of its carbonation.

Prosecco aging and best before date

Unlike certain vintage wines that benefit from aging, Prosecco is best consumed soon after it is bottled. Prosecco has a higher sugar to acid ratio, which means it does not improve with age. Aging can cause Prosecco to become stale, lose its crispness and reduce its carbonation. Therefore, it is generally recommended that Prosecco be consumed immediately after purchase or within two years of bottling for the best tasting experience.
Prosecco bottles often carry a “best before” date. Although this date is not an exact indicator of spoilage, it serves as a guideline to ensure that the wine is consumed at its peak quality. It is advisable to pay attention to the “best before” date and to consume the Prosecco before or around this time in order to fully enjoy its intended aromas and characteristics.

Signs of Prosecco spoilage

When properly stored, a bottle of Prosecco is unlikely to spoil. However, if an open bottle of Prosecco has been stored in the refrigerator for several days, there is a higher chance of spoilage. Some signs that Prosecco may be spoiled include discoloration (darker yellow to brown), staleness, flatness, loss of aroma, and bitterness. If any of these indicators are present, it is recommended that the wine be discarded rather than consumed.

Using leftover Prosecco

If you have leftover Prosecco after enjoying a glass or two, there are alternative ways to use it instead of letting it go flat and become unfit for consumption. Here are five ideas for using leftover prosecco:

  1. Prosecco syrup for pancakes: Cook 200 ml of Prosecco with 200 grams of sugar until it thickens into a Prosecco syrup. Serve this syrup over pancakes for a unique and flavorful breakfast experience.
  2. Prosecco Pears: Peel a few pears, brush them with lemon water to prevent browning, and simmer them in prosecco for 25 minutes. These Prosecco pears can be enjoyed with ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  3. Prosecco sauce for scallops: Sauté shallots and garlic in butter, then add 150 ml of Prosecco and reduce by half. Add cream, salt and pepper to taste and serve this creamy Prosecco sauce over seared scallops for a decadent seafood dish.
  4. Prosecco Cocktail: Mix leftover Prosecco with your favorite fruit juice, such as orange or peach, for a refreshing and bubbly cocktail. Garnish with fresh fruit slices for an added touch of elegance.
  5. Prosecco Sorbet: Combine equal parts leftover Prosecco and simple syrup (1:1 ratio) and freeze in an ice maker. The result is a delicious Prosecco sorbet that can be enjoyed as a palate cleanser or a light dessert.


In summary, an unopened bottle of Prosecco will not spoil, but should be consumed within two years for optimal taste and effervescence. Proper storage in an upright position, away from direct light and in a cool environment is essential to maintain the quality of unopened Prosecco. Once opened, Prosecco should be consumed within three to four days and stored in the refrigerator to preserve its flavor and carbonation. Prosecco does not improve with age and is best enjoyed soon after bottling. Paying attention to the “best before” date on the bottle can ensure that the wine is consumed at its peak quality. If there are any signs of spoilage, it is advisable to discard the Prosecco. Leftover Prosecco can be used creatively in various recipes to avoid waste and create unique culinary experiences. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy your Prosecco with confidence and make the most of its delightful flavors.


Does Prosecco have an expiration date?

Prosecco does not have an expiration date. However, it is recommended that unopened Prosecco be consumed within two years of bottling for the best taste and quality.

Can I drink unopened Prosecco after the “best before” date?

While the “best before” date is a guideline for optimal taste, unopened Prosecco can be consumed after this date. However, its taste and effervescence may have diminished over time.

How long can I keep an open bottle of Prosecco?

Once opened, a bottle of Prosecco should be consumed within three to four days. Beyond this time, the wine may lose its effervescence, aroma and overall flavor.

What happens if I drink tainted Prosecco?

Drinking tainted Prosecco can result in a less enjoyable experience due to its altered taste, flatness and potential bitterness. It is advisable to discard the wine if it shows signs of spoilage.

Can I store Prosecco at room temperature once opened?

It is recommended to store opened Prosecco in the refrigerator to preserve its quality. Leaving it at room temperature can accelerate the deterioration of the wine, affecting its taste and carbonation.

What are some creative ways to use leftover Prosecco?

Leftover Prosecco can be used in a variety of culinary creations. Some ideas include making a Prosecco syrup for pancakes, poaching pears in Prosecco, making a Prosecco sauce for scallops, mixing it with fruit juice for a sparkling cocktail, or making Prosecco sorbet for a refreshing dessert.