Heartbreak is when you find out that the wine you have been thinking about has gone bad. You have had a looong day at work and all you can think about is taking a long shower, cooking yourself a nice meal and relaxing over that wine bottle that you bought (for days like this). And then you discover that it has gone bad & you bang your head on a wall a little. I didn’t exactly bang my head on a wall but I had the inclination to.

One of the things that makes wine go bad is Cork-taint ( when the cork is contaminated with prior to bottling). Another reason is oxidation. This happens when wine comes into contact with air for long. Sometimes, wine may spoil due to heat (maderization).


Here are the signs to look out for when you want to know if your bottle is in top condition.

I think you should first read this article: The Process of Wine-tasting if you are new to wine.

1. If it smells strange.

We all know that wine has characteristic smells like fruits, wood, flowers, smokiness etc. However, when your wine smells mouldy or musty, ditch that bottle. If you have no idea what I am talking about, think about clothes that have been soaked for too long, wet books/cardboard/damp newspapers or a basement. Eeew!

2. The cork is pushed out from the bottle.

It is hard to tell whether the wine is really bad but that’s a sign the wine has overheated and expanded within the bottle.

3. The Wine is dark brown.

Wine ranges from greenish -yellow, pink to red , cherry to maroon but never brown. This shows that te wine has started going bad and it could be toxic.


Wine Colour Chart_ via winefolly.com

4. You detect astringent or chemical flavors.

We all know how chemical flavors are. If there is something artificial and the wine  lacks fruit, is raspy, too astringent, or has a paint-thinner taste it is faulty.

In a nutshell, if there is something weird about the wine stay away from it. To be able to tell you must try different wines so that you can know the normal wine characteristics.

Also don’t open bottles on a Friday & go back to them on a Wednesday.  Sometimes, you may store them well but, why open a bottle that you wont finish?