How to Tell if Red Wine is Bad?

Several signs can tell if red wine is terrible. If it is too sweet, it’s not a good choice. If it has a heavy raisin-like flavor, it’s probably spoiled. This indicates that it’s been exposed to heat for too long. If it smells too sour, it’s spoiled. If the wine is too fizzy, it’s oxidized.

A sour red wine will have an unpleasant smell. This signifies that the wine is not fresh and should be discarded. It can also have a bad cork. If the cork smells sour, it’s probably a bad wine. Another warning sign is if the wine tastes vinegary, which means it’s not fresh. The smell and flavor can also tell you if it’s gone wrong.

8 Signs That Your Wine is Bad


1. The Color is Darker than it Appears

When 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 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 a 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 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 can also cause it.

Again, it will not damage humans, but the bad news is that the entire batch of wine will 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 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.

When it Comes to Wine, How Long does it Take for it to Go Wrong?


Wine is a popular alcoholic beverage, but it can rot if not stored correctly or consumed soon. Wine usually lasts a few days after it has been opened, and its taste, smell, and consistency may change if it gets bad. A wine that has gone bad can make you sick in rare situations.

Many adults of the legal drinking age drink wine, and research suggests that moderate consumption may benefit one’s health. Some study, for example, suggests that a light-to-moderate intake of wine may be beneficial to heart health.

Excessive alcohol use, on the other hand, might harm one’s health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source advises abstaining from alcohol entirely or drinking in moderation.

The CDC defines moderate drinking as no more than one or two daily drinks for women and men. A 5-ounce glass of wine with a 12 percent alcohol content equals one drink.

People can prevent drinking wine that has gone bad by utilizing proper storage procedures and understanding the indicators of wine deterioration.

We’ll talk about how long different wines last in this article. We also review the warning signals of wine spoilage and the dangers of drinking rotten wine.

What Happens if you Consume Rotten Wine?

Although people can drink a small amount of rotten wine without harm, they should not consume vast quantities of it.

Wine spoilage is usually caused by oxidation, which causes the wine to turn into vinegar. Although it has an awful taste, it is unlikely to damage you.

Food poisoning can occur as a result of deterioration caused by bacteria. This form of spoiling is uncommon, but it does happen.

How to Properly Store Wine?

When preserving wine, people should keep the following points in mind:

How to Tell If Red Wine is Bad?

Choose a Fabulous, Dark Location

Wine should be kept in an excellent, consistent temperature environment, and temperature fluctuations might impact the wine’s quality.

It’s also crucial to keep the wine away from light. Therefore, it’s better to keep it dark.

Bottles With Corks should be Stored Horizontally

When you store a bottle on its side, the wine is in constant touch with the cork, which keeps it from drying out. If the cork dries out, it may allow oxygen into the bottle, causing the wine to deteriorate.

This deterioration only affects wines in corked bottles; thus, bottles with a screw-top can be stored upright.

It’s Crucial to have the Correct Humidity.

Humidity levels that are too high or too low can also harm a wine. According to anecdotal data, relative humidity of roughly 60% is best for wine preservation.

The cork may dry out if the humidity is too low, allowing oxygen to enter the bottle and harm the wine. If the humidity is too high, mold can form, and wine labels deteriorate.

Consider Purchasing a Wine Refrigerator

If a person does not have access to a handy storage location that is dark, cool, and damp, they may want to consider investing in a wine fridge.

These refrigerators, sometimes known as wine coolers, are not as cold as conventional refrigerators and assist keep wine at the proper temperature and humidity for storage.


Moreover, sour wine can also smell foul. When a wine is exposed to air for too long, it can lose its flavor. Its cork can also be tainted by heat. If the cork is brown, the wine has undergone oxidation, and its flavor can be astringent or paint-thin. If the wine is overheated, it can have a bitter taste.

While the color of the wine may be a clue, there are several other signs to look for to determine whether or not it’s terrible. If a glass of red wine is brownish, it may be due to bacterial growth, while white wines can be brownish straw. If a red wine smells bad, it’s likely due to bacterial activity if it smells of varnish or nail polish.