How to know if your wine has gone bad?


Raining, stay at home on a Saturday night. Ordered three pans of Domino’s Pizza and our all time favorite chicken wings and lava cake (Yum!). Not to forget, one of my friends bring along few packs of potato chips and the other one, bring two bottles of wine (one red, one rose wine). To be specific, rose was perfectly sealed and red wine was “opened” and still left more than half of the bottle (’cause my friend couldn’t finish it alone by herself).

So, here we are. Enjoying our conversations while eating Pizza paired with the fruity and floral, pretty enjoyable rose wine, until one of my friends poured the other wines into our glasses. Yes, the red wine.

And… I was like “May I know how long since you opened the red wine?”. Let me try to describe the wine’s condition: brownish in color, sharp sour smell and well, instantly you know it has gone bad. Ops too bad! 😦

Wines will gone bad, either it has been open for over a week (oxidized), been stored in a place exposed to sunshine (overheated), or been affected by TCA (Trichloroanisole), usually called as being “corked” or having “corkiness”.


So how do we actually tell the signs that a good wine has gone bad?


When exposed to air, red and white wine will have a brownish hue color. Anyway, this is only for young wines.

An aged wine will naturally develop a slight brownish tint to it. Same case happened to fortified wines like Sherry and Port, which have a brownish color that they got from a purposely-oxidation process.


The smell is off and weird. Instead of a fresh, fruity, floral or other enjoyable aroma, it smells more like a vinegar, heavy raisin smell, even aroma like wet cardboard, old newspaper, rotten eggs or nail polish remover instead. (Seriously?)


If you taste some-kind of sweet taste (even though it is not a sweet wine), higher chance your wine is overexposed to heat. Next,  if you feel the unexpected tiny bubbles in your mouth (again, you are 100% sure it is not a sparkling wine haha) then you know the wine was actually experienced an unplanned secondary fermentation inside the bottle. And it is going to have a super weird sour and spritzy taste ugh!

4.Other conditions

Always check your wine before you purchase it. Does the wine exposed to heat? Does the wine stored properly?  If the wine was overheated, the cork will pushed out slightly from the bottle (feel it with your hand before you purchase it).

Anyway, “bad” wine is not harmful or going to make you sick (the alcohol itself acts as a preservative), just… it is not going to taste great, obviously. I had a vinegar tasted – wine before and I was using it for cooking anyway. So, yes it’s not dangerous, just if you are wondering! Well, for those of you who ever experience “bad” wine situation, mind to share?:)



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