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How to Store Wine, Beer, and Other Beverages

Check these storage techniques and guidelines* before stocking your liquor cabinet or wine cellar.

By Elizabeth Passarella
Glass bottlesJamie Chung   

Most unopened drinks sold at room temperature should be kept in the pantry or in a cool, dark place. Items from the refrigerator cases should be refrigerated at home, even if they’re labeled shelf-stable: Fluctuating temperatures can compromise flavor.

Beer, bottles and cans
Pantry: 9 months (unopened)
Refrigerator: 1 day (open bottles)

Champagne and sparkling wine
Pantry: 1 year (unopened)
Refrigerator: 1 day (open)

Iced tea, bottled shelf-stable
Pantry: 2 years (unopened)
Refrigerator: 1 week (open)

Juice, bottled shelf-stable
Pantry: 1 year (unopened)
Refrigerator: 10 days (open)

Juice, boxes
Pantry: 6 months (unopened)
Refrigerator: 10 days (open)

Juice, freshly squeezed
Refrigerator: 5 days (unopened); 3 days (open)

Juice, pasteurized refrigerated
Refrigerator: 3 weeks (unopened); 1 week (open)

Liquor
Pantry: Indefinitely (brown spirits, such as whiskey and scotch); 2 years (clear spirits, such as gin and vodka)

Soda, bottles and cans
Pantry: 6 months (unopened)
Refrigerator: 2 days (open bottles)

Wine, red and white
Pantry: 1 year (unopened)
Refrigerator: 3 days (open)
Note: These time frames apply to everyday table wines.

*Real Simple consulted the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), food scientists, food manufacturers, and a host of other experts—including fishmongers, cheese sellers, coffee roasters, bakers, and bartenders—to establish these storage guidelines. The first consideration was safety. But because you want your food to be delicious, too, for some products, Real Simple chose the conservative storage time for optimum freshness.

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