A sommelier or experienced drinker will be able to tell if a drink is past its prime with a simple glance, but how do they do it? As a general rule of thumb, any wine bottle that was left uncorked for more than a week has gone bad. However, there are many other subtle details that will let you know when if your wine is bad or if it’s meant to taste funky.
You don’t have to be a sommelier to determine if a glass of wine is not good to drink. Today we will help you do just that by following a set of rules. Without any further ado, let’s jump right into it.
How to Tell When Wine Goes Bad
#1 Oxidized Wine
The most common reason why wine goes bad is when it receives too much exposure to oxygen, leading to the wine becoming oxidized. This usually happens when the wine bottle is left open for too long, but it can also happen when the cap wasn’t screwed on tightly. You can tell if the wine is oxidized by looking at its colors. Whites will look darker than usual, and red wines will no longer have purple undertones, and instead, they will look browner.
#2 Fermenting Wine
If your wine is not supposed to be sparkling, but it still has tiny bubbles, you have a problem. The wine started re-fermenting inside the bottle. The taste will go bad, and it’s best to take the wine bottle back to the shop and ask for a refund, or if you are at a restaurant, you can refuse the wine. The reason why wine starts re-fermenting is that it is kept at bad temperatures in storage.
#3 Heat Damaged
Storing wine at the proper temperature is essential. If you leave certain wines too much time in the cold, they will go bad. The same happens when you forget wine on the table, and it stays in the sunshine too long. When a wine is stored at a too high temperature, it gets damaged. Both the taste and the smell will feel strange, similar to a Coca-Cola or soy sauce.
#4 Corked Wine
The term “corked wine” refers to when the cork is infected with Trichloroanisole bacteria. Don’t worry; you will be able to tell if your wine is corked right away because it smells and tastes musty. The aroma is similar to the one in a moldy basement. We also want to mention that this only happens to wine bottles that have natural corks.
You should make it a habit to take a small sip and smell the fragrance of the wine before pouring a glass. Doing this will ensure that you never drink bad wine and end up with a headache that will make you regret it all. After smelling bad wine a couple of times, you will have no problem telling when you encounter it again. Practice makes perfect!