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How To Tell If Wine Has Gone Bad

Posted by Mike P. on 2014-06-29 12:57:41 (9705 views)


"Let The Buyer Beware!" You have heard the old adage time and time again, and sometimes a good deal really is too good to be true. Two emails caught my attention this week, so I thought I would share some wine knowledge with you.

Close-out sales on wine can be the source of a real bargain or they can leave you with some expensive cooking wine. Reader Randy from Altadena was excited to purchase several bottles of wines at a "going out of business" sale, only to discover that the wines had gone bad.

There are four things to look for to determine if a wine has turned bad:

1. Has the wine changed color? Does the red wine now have a hint of brown, or has the white wine turned darker?

2. Is the cork pushing its way out of the bottle? This usually means that the wine has been exposed to the heat or has been mishandled.

3. When opened, does the wine still have "legs," meaning are there streaks of wine attached to the glass after a good swirl?

4. Does it still smell like wine?

If your answer is "yes" to first two questions or "no" to the second two questions, stay away from this wine.

Reader Sally from Whittier tried to find a 2011 vintage of her favorite Pinot Noir. She ended up with a 2006, and said the bottle was a little dusty. When you do find a bargain on a bottle of wine make sure the wine has been stored on its side and is not too dusty, and once the cork is pulled it should be moist.

My own experience for sparkling wine at a restaurant, if you are buying by the glass, is to ask the server or bartender to open a fresh bottle. Sparklers are susceptible to losing their bubbles just a few hours after opening. Most importantly, there should be a pop sound when uncorking, and if the cork comes out too early beware.

Happy wine hunting!



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