Does Marsala Wine Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

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Did you know that the smoky, rich, and caramelized flavor of Chicken Marsala came from Marsala cooking wine? Amazing, right?

But here’s a more interesting fact: Marsala wine is more than just a cooking wine.

It comes in different types. Aside from dry Marsala (no residual sugar), you can also find semi-sweet and sweet Marsala wines that you can enjoy drinking as either an aperitif or digestif.

Yes, Marsala wine is one of the most versatile wines out there. That’s why it makes sense for both wine enthusiasts and Chicken Marsala lovers to stock up on this wine.

But before you do that, you may be wondering: Does Marsala wine go bad?

Short answer: Yes, Marsala wine can go bad, BUT it won’t go bad fast.

To enjoy this drink for longer, you need to store it properly. If you want to learn how to do this, please read this article.

If you do, you’ll also learn about the following information:

  • What is Marsala wine?
  • Does Marsala wine go bad?
  • How to tell if Marsala wine has gone bad?
  • How long does Marsala wine last?
  • How to properly store Marsala wine?
  • …. And other frequently asked questions about Marsala wine!

What is Marsala wine?

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This is a type of fortified wine that has garnered its name because of its origin—the town of Marsala in Sicily, Italy. It’s produced by fermenting different local white grapes (such as Inzolia, Damaschino, Grillo, and Catarratto) using a distilled spirit (usually brandy). (*)

Marsala contains high alcohol content like other fortified wines—around 15 to 20% ABV. This is a lot higher than other wines.

Pro Tip: Marsala wine is best served only in small portions due to its strong alcohol content.

But wait, there’s more. Another thing that makes Marsala wine unique is it comes in different types and is categorized based on its color and how long it was aged.

Because of this, there’s a wide range of Marsala wine styles and flavors. So even though it’s more known as a dry and semi-cooking wine, you can still find excellent sweet Marsala wines that you can serve both as a digestif and aperitif.

Does Marsala Wine Go Bad?

As mentioned earlier, Marsala wine contains a higher alcohol content than most wines. However, because of the amount of alcohol content, it doesn’t go bad quickly, so we can say that it has a long shelf life.

But what about its expiration date?

The printed date on the bottle of the Marsala wines indicates how long you can enjoy the wine at its finest quality. Beyond that date, you can still drink the wine without getting sick.

But just a heads up, there’s already a high chance that it will gradually lose its quality and flavor when it goes past the printed date.

How Long Does Marsala Wine Last?

Due to its fortifying process, the wine Marsala can last long. An unopened bottle of Marsala wine can last indefinitely if properly stored. But as mentioned, it will lose its flavors once it goes past the expiration date.

On the other hand, you can enjoy drinking opened bottles of Marsala wine for four up to six months after opening. Beyond six months, it will slowly start to lose its fragrance and flavors.

How to Tell if Marsala Wine Has Gone Bad?

Even though Marsala is a long-lasting wine, there’s still a chance (albeit slim) that it will go bad eventually. This is most especially true if it hasn’t been stored properly.

So how can you tell if Marsala wine has already gone bad? There are two things you can do: inspect and smell.

  • First, look for any residues floating in the wine or any sediments at the bottom of the glass after pouring the wine.
  • Second, smell the wine. A Marsala wine that has already gone bad may give off a smell that’s similar to the scent of rotten grapes and raspberries. There will also be times when a spoiled Marsala wine will have the same sour smell as vinegar.

If your wine already exhibits all these signs, it’s no longer safe for consumption, so you should discard it immediately.

How to Properly Store Marsala Wine?

To prevent the wine from getting bad, you need to learn how to store Marsala wine correctly. Here are some tips on how you can do that:

1. Keep it away from light, humidity, and heat.

The best way to store unopened or opened Marsala wine is to place them in a cool (between 53 to 57 degrees Fahrenheit), dark, and dry (60-70% humidity) place. Avoiding and other chemical reactions must not be stored under direct sunlight or exposed to heat sources like your stove and oven.

With that said, the best place to store Marsala wine is in your wine cellar. If you don’t have one, the next best option we would recommend is in your kitchen cabinet or pantry.

2. Use a wine preserve pump.

The best way to preserve wines is to keep air out. You can only do this if you keep the bottle sealed as tightly as possible. Using a wine preserver can help with that.

Frequently Asked Questions About Marsala Wine

1.  Can you still consume or use expired Marsala wine?

As mentioned, Marsala wine doesn’t tend to go bad to the point that it will harm your health.

If the wine doesn’t have any of the signs of spoiled wine we talked about, it’s still safe for consumption. You can drink or use it in your dishes without worrying that it will harm your health.

2.  How long does chicken marsala last in the fridge?

While Marsala wine will last long, Chicken Marsala is prone to spoilage and won’t last long.

Pro Tip: Don’t leave Chicken Marsala at room temperature for more than 2 hours to prevent spoilage.

When stored in the refrigerator, leftover Chicken Marsala can last for up to 3 days only.

3. Should you refrigerate opened bottles of Marsala?

Refrigerating opened Marsala is unnecessary, but since it’s a cool place and isn’t exposed to direct sunlight, it can be a great storage area.

Final Words

Can Marsala wine go bad? With its strong alcohol content, Marsala wine is one of the few wines that keep well indefinitely, so it can last for years when unopened and 4 to 6 months when opened.

But when stored improperly, Marsala wine can go bad. That’s why it’s essential that you store it the right way—a cool, dark, and dry place.

Storing Marsala wine is not rocket science. It’s quite simple. All you need to do is follow all the tips we’ve mentioned, and you can enjoy a flavorful and fragrant wine for many years to come.

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