Bad Wine – When Does it Go Bad, How to Tell, What to do With It.

Picture this: You get back home after a long day and open a bottle of wine, but after a glass, you decide to put the wine in the fridge and go to bed. Then the weekend comes, you open the fridge and realize that you’ve had an opened bottle of wine sitting there all these days. And now you’re wondering “Can I still drink it or has it gone bad?”. If this situation feels familiar, then you’ve come to the right place to find the answer to this and many other questions about bad wine.

Does Wine Go Bad?

Like all products meant for consumption, wine can go bad if it’s not stored properly or kept open for many days. Most wines will start to go bad after 3-5 days once you’ve uncorked them, but this depends on the type of wine. We’ll talk about this in more detail later in the article.

However, keep in mind that wine doesn’t spoil like other products, in the sense that it won’t make you sick if you drink it, but the experience won’t be very pleasant.

Does Unopened Wine Go Bad?

Well, it does and it doesn’t. This isn’t an easy question to answer in just a few words. As you may already know, there are many wines that can or are meant to age, which means that they will spend an amount of time unopened in a cellar. These wines won’t go bad if kept unopened and stored properly.

However, unopened wine that isn’t meant to age will go bad if not consumed when it should be. Also, wines that are not stored properly, which means that are exposed to heat and light will go bad. What we mean when we say that a wine has gone bad means that it has started to oxidize, and has lost its characteristic aromas and flavors. But you can restore it! More on that later. 

How to Tell if Wine is Bad?

The first indicator that a wine has gone bad is the smell. If the wine smells like mold, wet cardboard, or vinegar, it has gone bad.

How to Tell if Red Wine is Bad?

For dry red wines, a heavy smell of raisins along with a sweet taste means that the wine has been overexposed to heat and that you probably shouldn’t drink it.

If the red wine has a brownish color (this one is called browning), it means that the wine has started to oxidize.

How to Tell if White Wine is Bad?

If you notice that white wine has pink hues (this phenomenon is called “pinking”). It also means that the wine has started to oxidize.

Furthermore, an unopened bottle that has a cork that is slightly pushed out from the bottle, means that the wine was overheated at some point, and the wine in the bottle expanded and pushed the cork from its place.

The incorrect placement of the cork allows oxygen to enter the bottle, so you might as well throw the bottle away without even opening it. Or maybe not.  

Finally, a clear indicator that a wine has gone bad is the appearance of chemical aromas and flavors. Wine should smell and taste nothing like paint-thinner, so if you detect that taste or smell, then know that your wine has gone bad.

How Long Does it Take Different Wines to Go Bad?

Like we mentioned earlier, most wines will start to go bad after 3-5 days.

Sparkling wines will only stay fresh for 1-3 days in the fridge and with a sparkling wine stopper on. Otherwise, it will lose its carbonation and become flat.

Light dry and rose wines can last for 5-7 days in the fridge with a cork on.

Full-bodied whites and red will stay good for 3-5 days.

Fortified wine and bag-in-a-box wine have a much larger lifespan, as they can stay fresh for up to a month. You don’t have to keep an opened fortified wine in the fridge, but you should re-cork it and keep it in a cool and dark place.

What Happens if You Drink Bad Wine?

Drinking wine that has gone bad doesn’t really cause any damage unless the wine has gone bad because of the development of microbes in it, which is very rare, but possible. I do recommend, however, to avoid drinking any wine that tastes or smells off, because it’s unlikely that you’ll enjoy it.

Uses for Bad Wine

If you don’t want to throw away wine that has gone bad, there are a few ways you can use it. The most common use is to use it for cooking. You can marinade meat with a dry red wine that doesn’t taste as good anymore.

If you have some time to spare, you can even put it in a large container and turn it into vinegar. If you’re into DIY projects, you can even use expired red wine as a fabric dye and transform one of your white t-shirts.

Finally, you can even use it as a disinfectant because the alcohol and the acidity of the wine will kill off the germs.

How to Restore Bad Wine?

By the Bottle Wine Purifier

If there’s a bottle of wine left in your fridge or cellar that doesn’t taste as fresh anymore, but you can’t find it in your heart to throw it away, then you will be glad to know that you can revive it by using the products of PureWine. The Wave™ is a great single-use gadget for forgetful wine lovers. It can help restore oxidized wines and bring them back to their best condition. Not only that but it helps remove sulfites and histamines found in wine that can cause allergies and bad hangovers. If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly alternative that offers the same advantages as The Wave, then The Phoenix™  is the product for you.

Bad Wine - Conclusion

Opening a bottle of wine only to find that it has gone bad isn’t an uncommon experience but nobody looks forward to it. We hope that this article has helped you learn more about bad wine, how to recognize it and how to use it. If you want to learn how to save an opened bottle of wine, then head over to this article, to read more.


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