Does Wine Go Bad?

Most of us have heard that wine ages in the bottle, but does wine go bad? Unfortunately, wine does go bad and this process takes only a few days. When wine is stored improperly, it can go bad while it’s still unopened. Because of that, if you’ve received a wine gift, it’s better to store it properly, so (if it’s a wine) it won’t go off before you’ll even think about drinking it.

How To Store Wine

If your bottle of wine is still unopened, you should store it in a cool, dark place. A cupboard in the pantry seems to be the best place possible. Bear in mind, that wine shouldn’t be refrigerated until one, maybe two days before opening it. These two rules apply to red, white and sparkling wine. Once your bottle of wine is opened (using an electric wine-bottle opener or a corkscrew), you should store it in the fridge. Remember to seal it tightly with the cork, a stopper (it’s a great wine gift, many wine lovers will appreciate it) or using a plastic wrap and a rubber band. It’s extremely important to seal the bottle as tightly as possible.

Does wine expire?
(credit: j-and-p)

If you plan to store your unopened bottle of wine for a period of time longer than a few weeks, the bottle should be stored lying down. That guarantees that the cork will be wet all the time. Cork can shrink or develop tiny little holes which will allow air to sip in the bottle when the cork is dry. When that happens, the oxidation process starts and the wine will go bad even though the bottle is unopened.

If you have some leftover red or white wine you can freeze it.

Shelf Life Of Wine

While the bottle of wine is unopened and stored properly it can last for years. Through those years wine will age and change its taste a little. Most wines are best within a few years from production date. Quality wines should retain their flavor even for a hundred years. Once you’ve opened the bottle, wine should be drunk within a few (3-5) days. Wine’s taste deteriorates pretty fast so it’s the best to drink the whole bottle the same day it was opened. Sparkling wine might go flat faster than within the mentioned 3-5 day but it will be still safe to drink.
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How To Tell If Wine Is Bad

When wine is stored improperly, or for too long, it can spoil. It’s pretty easy to get to know if wine is spoiled. To tell if wine is bad you should check both its taste and smell. If it smells or tastes similarly to vinegar, it’s definitely gone bad. When wine tastes or smells odd that means that bacteria are doing their thing and the wine will be spoiled in the nearest future. Of course you should discard wine that tastes or smells odd or abnormal, even if the wine a precious gift.

As you can see, once the bottle of wine is opened, it will expire within a few days. If you store wine properly it’ll age in the bottle and even if you’ll open the bottle after tens of years, the wine will satisfy your taste buds with its great flavor. Does wine go bad? Yes, it does and it’s a fairly quick process.