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How To Determine If A Wine Is Spoiled

How to determine if a wine is spoiled? This is probably the most commonly asked question by all wine enthusiasts. Some of us would have learnt the answers the hard way, by experiencing really bad wines. But, some of us who are starting out need a little help. The good news is that you don't have to be an experienced wine taster to know if the wine is spoiled. With some basic identification techniques, one can tell the spoiled wine apart from the good wine. Let's get started with spoiled wine, shall we?






  • Wines go bad due to a number of reasons. If some wines come in contact with a TCA chemical producing fungus, they will have a musty aroma to them. This fungus is likely to be transmitted by the corks and would smell just like your damp basement. This means that your wine is spoilt. Send it back right away.

  • Over exposure to heat can easily kill a wine. This usually happens in restaurants with less storage spaces and in summer. The corks of these wines appear to protrude over the lip of the bottle. These heat exposed wines will be dull and lifeless. There will be no aroma or flavor left in them at all.

  • Oxidation is a very slow and natural process with the wines. But if the cork is not sealed properly, it will let the air in. When quick oxidation happens, the texture and flavor of the wine changes. There will be a pungent odor and the color changes to brown. Some say that it might even taste like a cheap sherry. So when you buy a bottle of wine, make sure that the cork is not broken or cracked. Your wine is spoiled if it is so.

  • Read the label. Is it even readable in the first place? If yes, great. If the label is crinkled and if it seems to be coming off, then the bottle has witnessed some serious temperature changes. This is a sure sign that wine is spoiled.

  • Check for the clarity of the wine. If it is murky, then you know that the wine was not decanted properly. A murky wine need not be spoiled wine, but it is good to be on our guard.


So, there you go champ! You now know how to differentiate between the good wine and the spoiled wine.


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How To Determine If A Wine Is Spoiled