You’ve bought an extra bag of grapes to take advantage of a sale. Now it sits in the fridge, and you’re wondering how long do grapes last.
Or maybe you forgot about the bunch that’s in the fridge, and now you’re searching for ways to make them stay fresh for longer and not go bad.
Either way, it’s time to learn a bit about shelf life, storage practices, and signs of spoilage of grapes.
If that’s what you’re searching for, read on.
How Long Do Grapes Last?
Grapes last for about 5 to 10 days in the fridge and between 2 and 4 days on the counter. That’s the gist of it.
Whether your grapes are going to end up on the lower or upper end of the spectrum depends on the fruit’s quality and freshness.
If the grapes were harvested and bagged a day or two ago, the stems are green, and the fruit plump, they’ll last quite some time.
On the other hand, if the bag sat in the produce section for three or four days, the grapes will keep for only a few days. And you’ll likely have to discard some of them.
If you want your grapes to last the longest, buy them in the farmer’s market, where they’re usually fresh, instead of the supermarket.
|Pantry/On the counter||Fridge|
|Grapes||2 – 4 days||5 – 10 days|
Shelf Life When Storing at Room Temperature
If you leave grapes on the counter, they keep for only a couple of days – usually between 2 to 4 days. It depends heavily on how old the grapes are and how they were handled in the grocery store or supermarket.
If for any reason you have to store your grapes at room temperature, check their quality every day (more on that later), and eat the fruits that are starting to soften. This way, you won’t end up with a bunch of bad grapes that you have to throw out.
How to Tell if Grapes Are Bad?
You can tell that grapes are bad if they’re soft to the touch, shriveled, have brown (or discolored) spots or bruises, or are moldy. The same is true if they give off a funny (often vinegar-like) smell.
Either of these characteristics alone is good enough to tell that these are bad grapes and should be discarded.
Once harvested, fresh grapes lose water over time. That’s true for pretty much all veggies and fruits.
If you dry them in a controlled environment, you get raisins, but that’s a different story.
That loss of water results in soft, or even shriveled grapes. Sometimes the skin breaks, and the fruit oozes water. If it gets to this point, discard the fruit.
Of course, grapes on the slightly softer side are okay to eat, but you need to get rid of them at some point. It’s up to you when that happens.
No need to overthink that – if your guts tell you these grapes aren’t good enough to eat anymore, toss them.
Mold on Grapes in the Fridge
Grapes that sit in the fridge for longer than a week often grow mold. Sometimes that starts after 4 to 5 days of storage, sometimes well over a week. But it happens eventually.
The mold spores find a good-enough environment to thrive, and they grow.
The way to deal with mold on grapes is to discard all nearby fruits. I usually cut off the vine an inch or so above the moldy one and throw it out. The rest of the grapes are okay to eat.
Of course, the advice above works if you only have a couple of moldy grapes.
If there’s a whole lot of mold in the bag, just ditch the whole thing. And consider cleaning that part of the fridge so that the spores don’t spread.
Assessing Grape Quality
Another thing that you should pay attention to is the freshness of the fruit. This way, you know if your grapes can still sit in the fridge or if you should use them as soon as possible.
This also helps you with choosing the best grapes in the grocery store.
To check grapes’ quality, look at the following:
- Stems. Green stems that hold the grapes well are optimal. If they’re turning brown and some of the grapes fall off on their own, hurry up.
- Grapes. They should be plump and full of color. If they’re starting to go soft and the color fades, they won’t last much longer.
How To Store Grapes
Keep grapes unwashed in a ventilated bag and in the fridge. Leave them on the stem so that they last as long as possible.
That’s the gist of it. Let’s talk about the details.
To Refrigerate or Not to Refrigerate?
Grapes last much longer in the fridge, so refrigerating them is much better than storing them on the counter in a fruit bowl. The warmer the storage temperature, the faster they lose quality.
But if you know you’re going to eat them within a day or so, it’s okay to leave them on the counter. Especially, is your fridge is full.
If you tend to forget about grapes that sit in the fridge, wash them in the morning and leave them on the counter to snack on during the day. The key is to finish them before the end of the day.
That’s the trick my wife and I use to eat the grapes we buy before they spoil in the fridge from prolonged storage.
How to Store Grapes in the Fridge to Keep Them Fresh
Leave the grapes unwashed and on the stem, and store them in a ventilated bag. That’s all you need.
In most supermarkets, grapes come in ventilated bags, and that’s the best option for storage.
If yours didn’t come in such a bag, use a plastic bag and poke some holes. Or grab a resealable plastic bag and leave it half-open.
Since you’re keeping grapes in a perforated bag, make sure they don’t sit nearby any smelly foods. This way, they don’t absorb odors you might not like.
Second, you should keep the grapes on the stem until they are ready to eat. Otherwise, they might start to spoil prematurely.
The place where the fruit connects to the stem gets access to fresh air, and the fruit starts browning and softening from the stem end. You don’t want that.
Furthermore, the stems don’t pull water from the fruit (unlike greens in carrots, which I discuss in “How Long do Carrots Last?“), so there’s no need to remove them.
Long story short, grapes go bad faster off the stem.
Postponing washing the grapes until they are ready for serving is another way to keep them fresh. That helps because they don’t get access to water which helps promote mold growth.
But if you already washed your grapes, not all is lost.
Storing Washed Grapes
If you already washed your grapes, here’s how to store them:
- Let the grapes dry. Spread them on a tea towel or paper towels, and leave for at least 30 minutes so that they dry. Use paper towels to remove any extra moisture. (You can dry and reuse those towels)
- Pack the grapes. There are a few options here. You can leave them on the vine and place them in a ventilated bag (like you do with unwashed ones) or in an airtight container. Or take them off the stem and put them in an airtight container. The latter shortens storage time but is a convenient option if you want to bring some grapes with you when you’re on the go.
- Chuck the grapes in the fridge.
If you made sure the grapes are completely dry, there shouldn’t be any negative consequences of washing them. And their storage time shouldn’t change at all.