30 November 2023

Not sure what to do with your newly bought grapes when you get home with them? It’s time you fixed that and learned how to store grapes so they stay fresh and full.

the short answer

Keep your grapes unwashed and on the stem in a ventilated bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. This way they stay fresh and plump for a week or so.

That’s the truth about storing grapes. Now, it’s time to discuss things in a bit more detail, including:

  • if and when you can leave grapes on the counter
  • whether washing the grapes in advance is an option
  • how to choose grapes in the supermarket

Sounds interesting? keep reading

How to store grapes: bag ajar
How to store grapes: bag ajar

How to store grapes?

The best way to store grapes is to refrigerate them unwashed and dry in a place where they are not crowded or crowded. Make sure there is some airflow and no smelly food nearby.

The easiest way to meet all of those conditions is to put the grapes (still on the vine) in a ventilated bag in the crisper.

Do the grapes need to be refrigerated?

Grapes last much longer in the fridge, so it’s much better to refrigerate them than to store them on the counter in a fruit bowl. The higher the storage temperature, the faster they lose quality.

Related: How long do grapes last?

But if you know you’re going to eat them within a day or so, it’s okay to leave them out on the counter. Especially if your fridge is full.

That’s the trick my wife and I use to eat the grapes we buy before they go bad in the fridge from long storage.

How to store grapes: a ventilated bag
How to store grapes: a ventilated bag

Airflow aids

In most supermarkets, the grapes come in ventilated bags and that is the best option for storage.

If yours didn’t come in such a bag, use a plastic bag and poke a few holes in it. Or take a resealable plastic bag and leave it ajar. Either will provide sufficient airflow.


Since you will be storing the grapes in a perforated bag, make sure they are not near any smelly food. This way, they won’t absorb odors that you might not like.

You should then keep the grapes on the stem until they are ready to eat. Otherwise, they could start to go bad prematurely.

The place where the fruit connects to the stem has access to fresh air and the fruit begins to brown and soften from the stem end.

Long story short, grapes spoil faster from the stem. You do not want that.

Also, there is no need to worry about the stems drawing water from the fruit because that is not the case. Grape stalks are not carrot tops (which I discuss in “How Long Do Carrots Keep?”) or radish greens (which I cover in “How to Store Radishes?”), so they don’t need to be removed.

Should I wash the grapes before storage?

No. Leaving grapes unwashed helps them retain freshness longer. That’s because excess water on the surface helps promote mold growth.

That being said, washing fruit before storing isn’t a big deal. It’s not like the grapes are going to get moldy the next day and you’ll have to throw them away along with other fruits and vegetables that were nearby.

But you should pay more attention to them. Let’s talk about it.

How to store washed grapes

This is how washed grapes are stored:

  1. Let the grapes dry. Spread them out on a kitchen towel or paper towels, and leave them for at least 30 minutes to dry. Use paper towels to remove any excess moisture. (You can dry and reuse those towels.)
  2. Pack the grapes. Place them in a ventilated bag as you do unwashed ones, or remove them from the stem and put them in an airtight container. The latter shortens storage time, but is a convenient option if you want to take a few grapes with you when you’re on the road. Whatever the option, remember that the grapes should not be squeezed.
  3. Throw the grapes in the fridge.

If you make sure that the grapes are completely dry, then there should be no negative consequences when washing them. And their storage time shouldn’t change at all (assuming they stay on the vine).

Storing washed grapes in an airtight container
Storing washed grapes in an airtight container

How to select the grapes?

As with all fruits and vegetables, the key to long storage, along with good storage practices, is choosing the best ones available.

When selecting grapes, choose those with green, flexible stems and plump fruits.

The green stems hold the grapes well and are a sign of freshness. When the grapes are old, the stems begin to turn brown and dry, and some of the grapes fall off on their own.

When it comes to the berries themselves, look for ones that are plump and full of color. As they age, the grapes soften and the color begins to fade.

Lastly, look for the ones with a white coating. That coating is called flower. It is natural and helps the grapes retain their moisture and therefore stay fresh for longer.

spoiled grape
spoiled grape

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