How to Tell if A Bottle of White Wine is Bad?

To tell if a bottle of white wine is terrible, try to observe its appearance. If it’s cloudy or has an off-color, it isn’t good. A dull color usually indicates oxidation. Also, if the wine is brown, it’s likely oxidized. This is a warning sign, but it’s not a guarantee. If you notice that the color changes from its original color, you should throw it out immediately. You can also try smelling the wine to determine if it’s good or not.


If you suspect that a bottle of white wine is terrible, you can always give it a sniff to determine whether it’s still edible. It should have a fresh lemony hue, and it will have a bitter taste and smell like vinegar if it’s oxidized. A deep amber or gold color means the wine has begun to oxidize. Young red wine should be light and not have any tinge of brown or dark amber color. If the color is not a problem, the wine is still good. A pleasant aroma will help you identify if the wine is worth buying.

White Wine Nutrition Fact


8 Simple Signs That Your Wine is Bad

1. The Color is Darker Than it Appears.

When white wine is exposed to air, it turns a darker shade of brown. When red wine oxidizes, it loses its vibrant crimson or purple hues and seems brown. This is natural and anticipated in older wines, both white and red. However, if your wine is only a year or two old, it could be a warning that it has been exposed to too much air. This could indicate that the bottle has been open for a few days, or it could indicate that something went wrong in the winery or during the bottling process.

Keeping an open bottle of wine for a few days is an excellent method to see how the color changes. After then, open a new bottle of the exact wine and compare the two samples’ colors. The wine that has been open for longer will almost certainly appear browner.

2. There are Bubbles in The Wine That Aren’t Supposed to Be There.

If the wine arrives with a bit of fizz when you expect it to be still, this is a sign that fermentation is taking place in the bottle. This is not a good thing. Request another bottle, but it’s time to switch wines if the second bottle has the same issues.

You’ve got a more significant problem if you’re at home and there’s no more wine. It’s time to replenish the cellar. But, for the time being, a glass of unexpected sparkling wine won’t hurt.

3. Has A Wet Dog or Wet Cardboard Odor.

Cork taint, or the wine being ‘corked,’ is connected with these scents. This indicates that the cork had mold growing on it at some point, leaving a chemical called TCA in the cork. Even if the mold is no longer present, even trace quantities of TCA can cause the wine to taste bad.

This can vary from bottle to bottle, so request a new bottle if possible. If the previous bottle were corked, the new one would have a completely different flavor. Drinking a corked wine will not harm you, but depending on the intensity of the doggy/cardboard flavors, it may not be a pleasant experience.

4. Has A Band-Aid or Barnyard Odor.

A tiny barnyard can add character to wine and isn’t always undesirable in modest doses. However, if all you smell are bandages or farm animals, there is an issue with the wine. This is usually caused by a yeast called Brettanomyces, or ‘Brett,’ and is a sign of poor winery hygiene, though the grapes themselves can also cause it.

Again, it will not damage humans, but the bad news is that the entire batch of wine will most likely have the same problems. Getting a new bottle won’t assist in this situation.


5. Has A Vinegar or Nail Paint Remover Odor.

An indicator that acetic acid bacteria have been present in your wine, generating a flaw called volatile acidity, or VA. A tiny bit of VA, for example, can add complexity and be a desirable thing, but when it dominates, it becomes a flaw. Drinking it, however, will not damage you, though it may cause a burning feeling in sensitive persons.

6. Has A Mousey Odor.

Another microbial winemaking flaw, albeit one that is thankfully uncommon. Although some people aren’t bothered by any amount of mouse aroma in a wine bothers me, and it’s not toxic, but it’s pretty unpleasant — enough to make me want to drink water.

7. Has A Burnt Rubber or Cooked Cabbage Odor.

Another very rare winemaking flaw is the production of unwanted sulfur compounds in the wine. If you have the option, go with a different wine.

8. There is no aroma in the wine.

This could be due to the wine being too cold or a lack of oxygen. Warm the glass with your palms and stir it a little to introduce extra air. If it’s still not smelling very good after a few minutes, the wine may lack flavor.

What is the Shelf Life of Opened Wine, And Why Does it Go Wrong?

An opened bottle of wine has a different shelf life depending on the type. Lighter wines, in general, go bad much sooner than darker types.

When you open a bottle of wine, it’s exposed to extra oxygen, heat, light, yeast, and bacteria, all of which can produce chemical reactions that affect the wine’s quality.

Slowing down these chemical reactions and keeping opened wine fresher for longer can be accomplished by storing wine at lower temperatures.


What Happen if You Drink Bad Wine?

While a tiny amount of substandard wine would not harm you, that does not imply you should drink it.

Overexposure to oxygen, as well as an increase in yeast and bacterial development, can cause the wine to spoil.

Because wine has a low danger of microbial growth, drinking substandard wine is likely to be only very unpleasant. As a result, dangerous foodborne pathogens such as E. coli and B. cereus — two types of bacteria that can cause food poisoning — are rarely encountered.

Bacterial growth is still conceivable, though. According to a study, foodborne pathogens in alcoholic beverages have been discovered to survive for several days to weeks.

However, this study only looked at beer and rice wine that had been refined.

An upset stomach, abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever are signs of food poisoning (7Trusted Source).

As a result, if you come across substandard wine, whether or not it has been opened, it is preferable to toss it.


If you’re unsure how to tell if white wine is terrible, you can look at the color. Young white wine should be lemon or lime-colored, and the color of an old red one should be amber or gold. Check for any brown or green tinges on the glass if you can’t smell any of these things.

Another sign of oxidation is the color of the wine. A young white wine should be lemony or have a lemony color. A red-colored one should be pink or deep purple. If it’s yellow, it’s oxidized. Red wine should be light-colored and free of a brown tint. When it’s old, the color should be dark. It should also smell good, and its aroma should be pleasant. If it’s oxidized, it’s likely to be contaminated with bacteria.