There are a few variables that contribute to how long white wine lasts unopened. All of these variables are under the umbrella of how you store the white wine. Because white wines have little to no tannin they oxidise much more quickly – storage is absolutely key!
A ready to drink white wine will last around 3 to 5 years after production, while white wines that are built to age, like a Grand Cru Burgundy or Grosses Gewachs Riesling, can age happily for decades. Always investigate how long your wine should be aged.
So the real question here is, ‘how should you store your unopened bottle of white wine?’
Your white wine will last longer if it is stored in a cool, dark place, away from any heat, vibrations or sunlight. Your wine should also be stored on its side, which keeps the cork moist and protects it from any oxygen getting in. In addition, unless you’re planning to drink your wine within a couple of days, do not store it in the refrigerator, but if you are, pop that delicious Sancerre in because it’s best enjoyed very chilled (and with some fresh oysters perhaps).