Mead - how long will an open bottle last for?

Might be asking the wrong community here but as it’s a rateable drink perhaps someone will have some idea. So yesterday we opened a bottle of mead, just your standard traditional mead, 75cl bottle with a screw cap. Two of us had a small glass each but found it too sweet to want any more, so I went back on the beers.

Anyway, today I’m left with half a bottle of the stuff and I was wondering if I need to finish it off in the next day or so as you would a wine? Or, does it keep more like a spirit and could last for a long time, even years perhaps? It’s my first time trying the stuff so I have no clue.

A cursory Google search found (surprisingly to me) that many people said it should last a long time even after opening, but there were some saying it should be finished while relatively fresh once opened.

So, any definitive answer?

This fellow seems knowledgeable:


…Keeping mead good depends on many factors, but usually treat it like a bottle of red wine the sooner you get to it the better (3 days or less for red wine). If you can recork it, it’ll usually be about a week before you’ll start noticing changes. Higher Alcohol meads may last longer. Also if you can blanket the mead with CO2 or a wine preservative that will help extend it out further. The Colder the fridge the better too. Some of my high alcohol meads (18%) intended for aging have survived quite well on the counter for a couple of weeks without being unpleasant when reopened, others such as Cysers tend to turn bad fairly quick so if possible avoid having any left over.

Jered Talbot

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It depends on the style of the mead. If it’s an English wine-like mead, then it will be similar to wine. (I just finished a bottle of wine I’d opened about 10 days ago, and it was absolutely fine, YMMV).

If it’s a Polish/Lithuanian style, with a much higher sugar content then it’s way more resiliant. Strong and sugary is the killer combo. I’ve certainly had Apis meads from a bottle in a fridge in a pub that I know were opened 6 months earlier, and they were absolutely fine. Treat it like a similarly-strong port or madeira. (Which works both ways - my way of treating those drinks is to drink them, not look at them doing nothing.)

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I agree with what Phil says. I have had some American meads that i wouldn’t expect to last beyond the night though, these were more cider like than traditional meads though.

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Cheers for the responses guys. Yeah it’s just a fairly cheap and traditional English mead, to my admittedly untrained wine palate it did literally taste like honeyed wine to me. Guess Ill try and finish it off in amongst my beer drinking in the next few days.

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as has been said here: most meads will be fine for weeks, if not months, if they are uncarbonated.

Polish meads are fine for years after being opened, and the slight oxidation that sets in even makes a Dwójniak better imho. I’ve tried it.

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I tasted the last cl’s of a bottle of 1-year-old-when-opened Dwojniak ( Polish mead ) , more specifically Koronny, when it was opened for 2 years, kept in anything but optimal conditions.
I side-by-sided it with a fresh bottle that I popped on the instant, and there were barely to no differences in taste or scent. The older one turned a bit darker, but that might also have to do with it being thelast of the bottle vs the first pour of the bottle. So yeah, koronny ( so probably other dwojniak’s as well) can age at least 2 years when opened