Person pouring wine

Wine Gone Bad: Ways to Tell if Your Bottle is Still Safe for Drinking

So, you check your fridge and found some leftover wine from that fun party you had night several weeks before after inviting some friends over to your place. Now, you’re not ready to throw that bottle yet and are thinking about taking a few sips first.

However, what if that wine you’ve kept for so long will only cause some upset stomach and a trip to the emergency room? When left open for far too long, wines can undoubtedly go bad real fast. Many claim that some types of wine may last for weeks even when left open, but most will certainly lose their quality and lustre after just a couple of days.

That’s why it’s highly recommended to store open bottles properly. In order to tell if your wine has gone bad, check the colour, condition and smell. Here are some tell-tale signs:

Your wine is looking cloudy and leaves a visible film in the bottle

Several wines are already cloudy when you get them. However, if they’re originally clear and have gradually turned cloudy, this may be a sign that some microbial activities are taking place within the bottle.

Your wine smells like either a wet dog or a wet cardboard

Glass of wine on a carpetIf you notice your wine is emitting such distinct smell, it could be related to cork taint. This is an indication that the bottle’s cork has had some mould growing on it after some time, which left Trichloroanisole (TCA), a form of chemical, in the cork.

Even if the mould may have disappeared, even a small amount of TCA can negatively affect the flavours of your wine. This may differ from bottle to bottle, so keep this in mind when you get a wine gift delivery here in the UK for a friend. Ask for another bottle if you notice anything unusual.

You’ll notice a stark difference on the taste if the last one you tried was corked. While it may not cause any problem to taste a corked wine, it may not be a great experience depending on the amount of the flavours reminiscent of a wet dog or cardboard’s scent.

Your wine begins to turn brown and change colour

Imagine an apple exposed to oxygen. That’s the same thing that happens to wine in terms of its colour changes. This change of colour isn’t necessarily bad; after all, several coloured wines are of good quality. But it can indicate how much oxidative stress your wine has gone through.

Your wine may have tiny bubbles

These bubbles found in wine were a result of a second unplanned fermentation that took place inside the bottle. Yes! It’s the exact same thing that happens to sparkling wine. And while you may have accidentally created one, it’s not going to taste anywhere near as good as a bottle of Champagne. Instead, it’s going to have that sour, spritzy flavour.

While it won’t hurt to taste a wine gone bad, it’s an absolutely horrible idea to drink and fully consume it. So, at the end of the day, if your wine still smells and tastes good, then you’ll know it’s time to grab your goblets once again.