So, have you ever tasted a wine that it seemed a bit…off, but you couldn’t spot exactly why?
You know, the taste after sipping was weird or a thought of vinegar feel crossed your mind while tasting a wine?
Maybe the color did not seem exactly as it should or the smell of the wine was a bit…off!
Well! Yes, people! You guessed that right! The wine had gone bad! But are there any specific signs that could have helped you realize that you shouldn’t have drunk it before you actually tasted it?
The answer is yes and…no! Why? Cause your taste is one of the most reliable senses when it comes to drinks and food!
Yes, but is it the only one and how can you avoid an experience like that? No, it isn’t and yes! There are other ways to distinct if a wine has actually gone bad!
How? Well, how about I let you know on some hacks that will save you from a good wine gone bad?
Are you on? Let’s check on them then!
7 Hacks That Will Save You From A Good Wine Gone Bad – A List
- The Cork Should Have Been In The Bottle!
- You Opened The Bottle Yet, No Aroma? What Is This?
- What Is That Smell? Garlic and Cabbage?
- The Color Was Supposed To Be Clear! Why Does It Look Foggy?
- I Think The Wine Turned Brown! I Don’t Think That’s Good!
- Are Those Bubbles? But This Is Not A Sparkling Wine!
- Oops! The Wine Tastes Like Vinegar And Chemicals!
Let’s see the above list a bit more closely…
Hack No#1: The Cork Should Have Been In The Bottle!
So, you have a bottle of wine in your cellar and you have been waiting for this very day to enjoy it! And boy…you had been waiting for quite a long time! So, you take the bottle in your hands and what do you see? The cork is slightly NOT where it should have been! It is pushed just a little bit out of the bottle! Now that is Not a good start!
Why? Well, that means that the cork expanded and that’s why it was pushed out of the bottle! Why again? For the obvious reason, it got heated! But how can that be since you had it in your cellar? Probably the storage conditions were not the appropriate ones for the bottle to stay intact and yes! This wine is probably NOT ok for you to drink!
Another reason why the cork is not in the bottle is that the cork was not put correctly in the bottle in the first place. That is not good as well, and it means that your wine is again Not good for consumption.
So, first hint in our hacking list? The cork should be where it is supposed to! Inside the bottle and not outside of it!
Hack No#2: You Opened The Bottle Yet, No Aroma? What Is This?
Well, the cork is in the correct place and not pushed outside, yet when you open the bottle of wine you can smell…nothing! Absolutely nothing! No aroma! What is this?
Don’t worry, there is an explanation! You see, it may happen that the wine is really really cold and it just needs to “breathe” a little, come in contact with air that is, for the aromas to emerge!
However, if you do wait for a bit and still no aromas coming out of the bottle, well, that is not good! It may be that the wine is not that intense and does not have strong aromas but then again, it may be that your wine starts to actually go bad and all of the aromas have been stripped off already.
So, 2nd hack? if you open your wine and no smell comes out of it, wait for it to aerate! If nothing changes and your wine still has no aroma at all, chances are that it is not a good idea to drink it!
Hack No#3: What Is That Smell? Garlic and Cabbage?
Let’s say that you have opened your bottle of wine and compared to the previous case, this has a smell! A smell that reminds you of cabbage and garlic! No second thoughts on that! Your wine has definitely gone bad! Do not even consider tasting it! Not for a slight moment!
How can that be? Well, that probably has to do something with a mistake during the making of the wine, that allowed sulfur parts to be formed in the wine! Therefore, you have a wine that smells like your food, and not that is not meant in a good way!
Hack No3 then? If your wine smells like cabbage and / or garlic, well, get rid of it and get another one that smells like wine!
Hack No#4: The Color Was Supposed To Be Clear! Why Does It Look Foggy?
You pour your wine in a glass but the color is not really clear! It seems foggy and it was definitely not like that in the first place!
You see, sometimes, when the wine is bottled, it may be a bit cloudy, and it is ok for it to continue to look like this. That may be because of the conditions of grape variety’s growing and usually that phenomenon is not limited to one producer! Usually, if it happens for one producer of the same grape variety in a region, it happens for all the rest of the producers as well that certain year.
However, when the color of the wine is clear in the beginning and it turns out to be foggy when you open it, then something is wrong! That probably is a sign that some kind of activity is taking place in the bottle! It does not mean necessarily that the wine has gone bad but you keep your eyes and your other senses alert for other indications.
A foggy color in your wine, while it was crystal clear in the first place, should be your hack No4 that something might be wrong with your wine! So be aware!
Hack No#5: I Think The Wine Turned Brown! I Don’t Think That’s Good!
So, everything seems to be ok, but wait a minute! The wine is brown! What is going on? Oh no no no!!! That can’t be good! And, you are right! It is not!
The thing is this! When the wine is supposed to be an aged one, then it is normal that the wine will be a little bit more brown. White wines take a deeper yellow color in time while red wines tend to have a browner color instead of a deep red or a purple-red one.
For younger wines, though, well…things are a bit different! When you have a bottle of wine that is not meant to be aged and it hasn’t been aged, a brown color is a bad sign! It means that in some way it was exposed to air and it has been oxidized.
Have you ever noticed that this exact change in color happens when you have opened a bottle of wine and some of it has been left in the fridge for a few days? It is because of oxidation, the wine has come in contact with too much air! At that point, if you tried to also taste that leftover wine, you probably realized that you should better throw it away and open a new bottle wine!
So, brown color for non-aged wines is a bad “omen” for your wine, your hack No5!
Hack No#6: Are Those Bubbles? But This Is Not A Sparkling Wine!
Another case is that you pour your wine into a glass, the smell is ok, the color seems to be the one you have expected it to be but are those…bubbles? Wow, you thought the wine was still, not sparkling! You check the label again and you were right! This wine was not supposed to be sparkling! Guess what!
Your wine went through a second fermentation in the bottle! Bad News?? It will most probably NOT taste like Champagne! Bummer!
Unfortunately, a second fermentation that was not on the menu is not a good sign for your wine! Get another one and definitely do not drink the bubbly one! Want a wine with bubbles? Well, try getting one that was meant to have bubbles!
Still wines that turn out fizzy are better be left aside! There’s your hack No 6!
Hack No#7: Oops! The Wine Tastes Like Vinegar And Chemicals!
Your wine has made it through the all-clear bottle test, the smell test AND the color one!
How about the ultimate test? The taste one, of course!
So, you take a sip and … come on!!! It tastes like vinegar! Or you may even feel something like chemicals in your mouth! No fruity flavor, no dry or sweet mouthfeel! Just an awful taste!
What is that? Well, it is your wine gone bad! It’s a fact! Taking a sip won’t hurt you but that’s as far as it goes! Get rid of the wine and get rid of it fast!!
Usually, when the taste is that bad, you will feel it smell also just a little bit before taking a sip! It will be intense but you will probably need to taste it to get what is really going on!
Sometimes, your wine might taste flat and seem to have no taste at all, another sign that your wine has gone bad, but most wines have a bad mouthfeel when they go bad!
So, hack No 7 and our last one for today, if your wine tastes more like vinegar, it’s time to let it be one and take no more sips of it! Just throw it away! Game over!
To Sum Up…
By the end of this post, you should have realized that your senses are the most important tools you have in order to be able to use the above hacks!
Of course, there are a lot of clues that could help you avoid drinking a wine that is no longer good, but the above are the main guidelines you need for now to save you from a good wine gone bad.
So, How About A Few Additional Take-Aways Apart From The Aforementioned 7 Hacks?
- Make sure that the storage conditions for your wines are the appropriate ones.
- If the cork is slightly pushed outside of the bottle, it probably means that your wine has overheated.
- If your wine has no aroma, give it a little time to “breathe” first.
- Keep the garlic and cabbage smells restricted to the food area, wines are only there to accompany them but not to smell like them.
- It is ok for the color of your wine to be foggy if it was originally like this.
- Brown is not a favored color for your wine, except of course, for the aged type ones.
- If you like bubbly wines, take the ones that were made to be bubbly and not the ones that “just happened to turn out that way”! (Make sure the label says “sparkling wine“)
- Yes, vinegar is made from grapes, among other fruit, but that doesn’t mean your wine has to taste like one! If it does, get rid of it!
Key Note? Keep your mind set on the 7 hacks and the additional take-aways and you will be able to distinct a good wine gone bad before you actually have to taste it!
Hope you liked it and stay tuned for more!
So, what do you think? Were these 7 hacks all you need to avoid drinking a bad wine? If not, I would appreciate you writing your thoughts in the comments section, and make an addition to my post if needed of course!Still wines that turn out fizzy are better be left aside! Click To Tweet