There have been many times when we’re looking forward to uncorking a bottle of wine and enjoying a glass of wine at the end of the day. And when we open the bottle in the evening, we feel something is weird, but since there’s a stigma about how wine is supposed to age, we tend to ignore the fact that a wine might be faulty. 

Or sometimes you’re at a restaurant and you’re served a glass of wine which is very obviously faulty, but because one doesn’t know how to actually derive if the wine is faulty or not, we tend to ignore it. 

In today’s article, we’re going to look at 4 things that will help you detect a faulty wine with confidence. 

1. Look at the seal of the bottle

Just like any other product, if the seal is broken or compromised, it’s highly likely that the product is also faulty. And wine is no different. When it comes to wine, the seal of the bottle is the first indication as to if the wine is faulty or not. If the seal of the bottle is perfectly intact and exactly how it’s supposed to be, then you can go ahead and open the bottle. 

However, sometimes, you might feel like the cork has pushed itself out of the bottle, and you only tend to realise this after you’ve cut off the foil. This usually happens when the wine is overheated, or has too much warmth, which pushes the cork out of its intended place. And when this happens, the seal is broken and there’s a chance that the wine may be compromised. 

For bottles with screw caps, look to see if the screw cap is securely in its place. If it’s swollen at the top or at its edges, then there’s a high chance that the wine is compromised. 

So make sure the seal of the bottle is intact.

2. Look at the colour of the wine

The colour of the wine definitely can’t tell you the quality of a wine, but it can definitely tell you if you have faulty juice in your bottle or not. 

Red wines will most likely turn from their bright red colour to a brownish, more tawny colour. This usually means that the wine has been through some sort of oxidation and is not in its original, pristine condition. 

For white wines, the lemon-like colour will turn into a deep yellow. You should also look to see if the wine is clear and bright. Any sign of cloudiness can suggest a faulty wine. 

3. Smell the wine

It’s no secret that the smell of a wine can tell you a lot about a wine. Wine is supposed to smell like, well, wine. Sometimes fruity, sometimes fresh, earthy, depending on the wine. But the smell of a faulty wine can smell like raisins. At times, one might think that this is a sweet wine, but that’s usually not the case. 

When you smell raisins or baked aromas, it’s possible that the wine has been compromised. Other than that, sometimes a wine can smell cardboard-like, or musty, or perhaps give off a mousy, drainage-type smell. 

All these signs show that your wine might be faulty. 

4. Taste the wine

When a wine is faulty, it is devoid of all of its fruits and flavours. You will most likely only feel the acidity or alcohol content in the wine, and won’t be able to recognize any flavours or aromas. And sometimes, the wine can just taste downright bad. They can be sour, metallic, you can get off flavours or bandaid, or mousy sort of flavours. This way, you know your wine has definitely gone bad. 

By following these tips, the next time you think you have a faulty wine in hand, you’ll be able to call it out confidently!

Originally published June 28, 2022

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