There’s nothing like coming home to a nice glass of wine after a long day at work.

Especially when it’s all you’ve been thinking about that day. So, you can only imagine how disappointed you would be to come home and realize that your bottle of wine has gone bad. Regardless of if it’s opened or unopened, all wine does risk going bad. Of course, there are some wines that are meant to be aged, but it can be hard to discern which bottles will last and which ones won’t.

Let’s take a look at some of the tell-tale signs that your wine has gone bad. But first, how does wine go bad?

How Does Wine Go Bad?

There are a few reasons as to why a bottle of wine has gone bad. If it’s opened, wine usually only lasts a few days, maybe a week before oxidization occurs. Sparkling wine will go flat after only two days, so drink up! Wine can also spoil if it’s not stored properly.

Unless you plan to open the bottle and enjoy it within the next week or so, corked bottles should always be stored on their sides to keep the cork moist. They should also be kept in a cool, dark place, away from movement and constant vibrations. Some ideal places to store wine can include a wine cellar, pantry, closet, or a low cupboard.

Some wines can be stored for years without going bad because they were made with the intention of maturing over time. More everyday wines should only be stored for about one to two years.

What Does the Wine Look Like?

First, take a look at the bottle. Rather than inspecting the contents of the bottle right away, take a look at the cork. If it looks a little dislodged, or like it’s being pushed out of the bottle, your wine may have gone bad. The cork being pushed out of the bottle means that the wine was overheated, and as most of us are aware, heat expands.

Heat is an unopened bottle of wine’s worst nightmare, as it can lead to premature aging and oxidization. Likewise, if the cork breaks when you try to open it, there is a chance it may have gone bad, or has been stored incorrectly.

Next, take a look at the wine itself. Does it look crisp and colourful, or dull and discoloured? When wine goes bad, it usually becomes faded and has a yellowish-brown hue. If it still looks crisp and fresh, chances are you’re in the clear!

How Does the Wine Smell?

Mmmm, there’s nothing quite like the beautiful aroma of a crisp, full-bodied wine! Scents of oak, fruit, and more provide an idea of what the wine is going to taste like.

The same goes for bad wine. If the wine has gone bad, it will emit a repulsive, moldy, old scent. Some compare this smell to wet cardboard, an old basement, or even a wet dog. If you smell vinegar or rotten eggs, chances are the wine might have a sulphur issue, and once again, should be avoided.

Bad wine shouldn’t necessarily hurt you or make you ill, but it might not sit well once consumed, as the taste and smell can be quite nauseating.

How Does It Taste?

The taste will most likely follow the smell. If the smell seems off to you, chances are the same is to follow after you have a sip. If you smell rotten eggs or wet dog, we suggest you steer clear of trying some. As they say, “curiosity killed the cat”.


Is It Time to Restock Your Wine Cellar?

Has your wine gone bad?

Ah, looks like it’s time to restock your collection! Why not book a Niagara Vintage Wine Tour and find something new to add to your collection? Niagara wineries offer a wide variety of elegant and lovely wines that can create the perfect addition to any cellar or pantry!

Contact Niagara Vintage Wine Tours and book a Niagara wine tour today to get started. Experience the heart and soul of the Niagara region with the #1 wine tour company as rated by TripAdvisor.