How to tell if wine has gone bad?

If you are new to wine, odds are good you have many questions about the best ways to enjoy the delicious drink. Thankfully, there are likely easily found answers to whatever you are looking for. For example, a common question asked about wine is how drinkers can tell if it has gone bad. This does happen periodically, and there are easy ways you can make a determination about if its time to pour that wine down the drain.

The Wine Looks Brown

Red and White wines obviously have many differences, but at least one thing holds true: If the wine looks more brown than red or white, it’s gone bad. This happens when the wine has absorbed too much oxygen, altering its taste, smell, and appearance. Wine should never have a brownish tint to it, and if yours does, it’s time to pour it out. This is one of the many reasons why proper wine storage is so important, as leaving a wine open for too long can alter its appearance and taste, thus making it undrinkable. 

For Red Wine: It Tastes Sweet

Red wines, of course, range in taste. However, one thing red wine is never supposed to taste is sweet. If it does, it has likely become too hot. When wine becomes too hot, it can alter its precarious chemical balance, causing unpleasant taste alterations. This means that the red wine has gone bad, and it is time to get rid of that bottle and open another one. 

It Sparkles…and it is Not Supposed to

Sparkling wine, of course, will tickle your tongue and have little bubbles in it. That’s all well and good. However, if not-sparkling wine is bubbling…that’s bad. It means that the wine is fermenting, and it clearly isn’t supposed to be. This will alter the taste and create an extremely negative drinking experience. Keep in mind that it won’t taste like a sparkling wine, it will just taste sour. Get rid of it.

The Smell is Off

Experienced wine drinkers will know what a bottle of wine is supposed to smell like. This will obviously vary from bottle to bottle, but generally speaking, wine will have a pleasant, fruity odor to it. However, if it has been left out too long, the wine will go bad. As a result, it will go stale and may smell like applesauce or have a faintly nutty smell. Keep in mind that it may smell differently if it has been manufactured poorly or bacteria has invaded the wine.

While wine going bad is obviously an upsetting event, there are ways to prevent it. Make sure to read the instructions that come with the wine and store it appropriately. This will help ensure that you fully enjoy your wine.