Not all wines benefit from exposing them to air prior to serving them. Although the practice, also known as breathing, helps to open up some wines-- most young red wines come to mind -- it also promotes oxidation, which converts wines to vinegar. Fortunately, proper storage of wine, particularly after it is opened, can delay the onset of oxidation. (Oxidation is a reaction that takes place when oxygen has access to products containing fat or pigments.)

Wine Shelf Life
Wine, unopened*1-2 years- -
Wine, opened^- -3-14 days
Handling Tips: 
*Depending on the grape, vintage, and storage conditions, some red wines keep for longer periods of time. Some of the very finest may keep for decades.
^Must be refrigerated and oxygen-free.
Source(s): "How Long Can I Store Wine?" "Can Leftover Wine Be Saved?"

Meals for You: "Kitchen Tips : Wine Shelf Life"

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