How to tell if wine has gone bad? Fancy Wine Class

Aurélie Allusse

An experienced drinker can pretty much tell right away if a wine has gone bad. How do they do ? You just need a little practice. We will give you some avice to become an expert.

How does it look ?

Wines goes bad when a bottle have been opened for too long, so once your bottle is open you need to store it properly.

The first things you need to look is the color and the condition of the wine.

Wine is cloudy and leaves a film in the bottle

Some wines are naturally cloudy, but if the wine at first is clear then become cloudy, this may be some indication that microbial activity is occurring within the bottle.

It will begin to brown and change color

A wine browns like an apple do when it is too much exposed to oxygen. How brown the wine is, will tell you how much oxidative stress has occurred to the wine.

It may have tiny bubble

The bubbles come from a second unplanned fermentation in the bottle. Yes you just made sparkling wine, unfortunately not a good one. It is going to be oddly sour and spritzy.

How does it smell?



The wines can smell bad for two reasons :

  • A wine that has a wine fault
  • A wine that was left open too long : A wine that’s gone bad from being left open smells abrasive and sharp.

How does it taste ?

A wine that’s “gone bad” won’t hurt you if you taste it, but it’s probably not a good idea to drink it. A wine that has gone bad from being left open will have a sharp sour flavor similar to vinegar that will often burn your nasal passages in a similar way to horseradish.