Are you throwing away perfectly good wine?

Expert reveals how long wines really last

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Brits are throwing away 624 million bottles of wine each year - enough to fill 333 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

An average of two glasses per household is going down the sink every week, thanks to a lack of awareness of how long wine lasts, forgetfulness or simply opening more than we need.

Other reasons, according to a survey from Laithwaite's Wine, include failing to get around to drinking it, leaving it out of the fridge for too long, forgetting to cork it or simply opening more than is needed.

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One in five people believe they have to pour the remains of a bottle of red, rosé or white wine down the sink after just half a day, while one in three think champagne has to be thrown away just one to five hours after the cork has been popped.

But the reality, according to wine merchant Laithwaite's Wine CEO David Thatcher, is that white, red, rosé and good quality English sparkling wine or champagne can keep for as long as five days - indeed, some lighter wines can last a full week.

Other sparkling wines such as prosecco or cava are slightly less long-lasting, but will still be fine for between one and three days.

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"Many of us open wine during the week and are unsure if it's still good to drink a day or two later and instead pour it away. All this adds up to a sad end for a great deal of perfectly enjoyable wine," he says.

"One tip is to spend a little bit more on a better quality red, white or sparkling wine. It will last longer and can be savoured over several days, which will help you get more from your bottles."

Sparkling wines should be kept in the fridge with a wine stopper, he says, along with re-corked rosé and white wines. Anywhere cool and dark will do for red wine, and the fridge is perfectly fine.

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Better quality wine, such as a top-end Burgundy, will last longer - and a fortified wine such as sherry will keep for weeks with the cap closed or the cork in.

And storing the wine upright minimises the surface area exposed to oxygen, making the wine slower to spoil.

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