How To Tell If You Have a Bad Bottle Of Wine

You know when you buy a bottle of wine from a special place, or during a special occasion, or even receive a bottle for a birthday, wedding, or anniversary, you want to hold on to it until just the right time to enjoy it. Some hang on to the bottle for a few years, hoping to uncork it at the perfect occasion. You pop open that bottle, pour the luscious wine into the glass and take a sip; then promptly choke on it. The wine has gone bad! We know how special that bottle of wine was, and with these tips, you won’t have to throw out another bad bottle of wine again.


It’s good to know that not all wine is meant to be stored. Sometimes the air contaminates the wine, the cork may be tainted, or, it’s made with delicate grapes that are best enjoyed young.  But, knowing what to look for before you serve the wine is key to knowing whether the wine is bad or not.


photo 5sFor example, trust your senses. If the wine smells like heavy raisin, or wet cardboard, it’s probably gone bad; of course if it smells like vinegar, it’s probably turned into it. Taste the wine-does it taste sweet? If your wine isn’t meant to be a sweet wine, yet has a defined sweet taste, it’s been overexposed to heat.


Take a look at your wine. Is the red wine a brown hue?  If the red has a muted color, or the white is a dark yellow or straw color, it’s oxidized and past its due date. If you can’t tell by looking at the color, take a closer look at the wine. Is it fizzy or has an effervescent (but it’s not a sparkling wine)? This wine has already gone through a second fermentation and should be tossed out.



Lastly, if you are suspicious of the bottle, and don’t want to have to smell or taste the wine, just take a look at the cork. If the cork is slightly pushed out of the bottle, it’s a sign that the wine has overheated, and is no good.


It’s best to test the wine before serving it to anyone, especially if it’s a bottle you’ve held on to for a while. Of course, we all have sentimental attachments, and if the bottle itself has sentimental value to you, toss out the bad wine, and reuse the bottle as a decorative part of your home.


During your tour with us, we teach you how to enjoy a good bottle of wine, what to look for in each type of wine, and, if you need, share with you what to look for in a bad bottle. Ask us ahead of time, and we’ll detail it all for you as part of your tour.


Have you ever had a bad bottle of wine? Share with us how you dealt with a questionable bottle of wine, we’d love to hear from you!

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