Corkscrew opening bottle of wine with corks in the background

Once opened, wine can only maintain its freshness for so long until it begins to taste a little funky. Wine stoppers are designed to preserve the beverage for as long as possible after you’ve popped the top (via The Spruce Eats). But even so, how long is wine safe to keep before it’s time to part ways with that leftover bottle?

Once wine meets air, the oxidation process begins. According to Popular Science, once oxygen is introduced to the wine, it fuels the growth of natural bacteria found within the grapes. From the moment of exposure, oxidation begins to alter the wine’s taste. The longer an open bottle is left to sit, the smellier it can get. Philip Morace, president of wine teaching organization, Sommelier Society of America, noted to Popular Science that over time, leftover wine can take on the scent of "sweaty socks or wet cardboard."

Ultimately, how long wine is safe to drink after opening will depend on what type of wine it is. Certified Sommelier expert Sarah Tracey writes via Martha Stewart that sparkling wines quickly lose their carbonation once opened and are therefore best consumed the day of. However, popping in a wine stopper may help preserve it until the next day, after which time it should be tossed.