For all wine connoisseurs out there, it truly is a delight to savor a good ol’ glass of Pinot to tie an entire meal together or to celebrate with loved ones. It is often said that, ‘The older it gets, the better it grows.’ Unfortunately for us be it a 2012 Sine Qua Non Pearl Clutcher Chardonnay or a 6 pack of red wine bought off of the corner liquor store, sometimes wine can go bad. And with the wine, our money too goes down the drain.
Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you know when your wine has gone bad:
The appearance of the wine:
Most of the time, you can tell without even opening the bottle, that the wine has gone bad.
1. If you observe that the cork seems to be protruding more than it initially was, the wine may have overheated.
2. If the color seems to be dull, faded or different altogether, it may be a sign of oxidation. White and red wines become brownish when they are oxidized. However, it should be kept in mind that a classic aged wine will have a natural brown tint to it whereas younger wines are far more susceptible to blatant change in color when oxidized.
3. The presence of fizz in an otherwise marketed still wine that was not meant to have a second fermentation is a telltale sign of a wine gone bad. If it wasn’t meant to be fizzy, then it should not be fizzy.
The smell of the wine:
Once the wine has been opened, it is far easier to clearly discern whether it has gone bad or not. Telltale signs of a wine gone bad are:
1. Pungent smell such as that of rotten eggs
2. Vinegar-like smell
3. Nail polish remover-like or a paint thinner-like smell
4. Wet gym clothes, wet cardboard or basement like smell
5. The smell of Sherry when it isn’t Sherry
The taste of the wine:
The only way to be 100% sure that your wine is still good or is far beyond the point of being bad is by tasting it. It goes without saying, if it doesn’t taste positively delicious, it isn’t worth drinking.
1. Most wines are meant to be sweet and crisp. A sour tasting wine is a blatant sign that the wine has gone bad.
2. If a red wine that is not meant to be sweet or a dessert wine has a distinct sweet taste, such as that of Port, then it has gone bad.
3. If the wine lacks any flavor at all, then it is another blatant sign of it having gone bad.
So to get the best use out of your wine bottles, store them properly, bear in mind how long they may last (it depends on the type of wine, though some last for decades), and use them up fairly quickly once they have been opened.