Sunday, July 11, 2010

How do you know when a wine has gone off - at home or in a restuarant?

How do you know when a wine has gone off - at home or in a restuarant?

The most common problem is a "corked wine". This results in a musty, mildew smell. It often also occurs with poorly made corks. Oxidisation is another common fault.

The term
"corked" is used to describe a bottle of unopened wine that has gone bad. Please note that, every so often you are going to get a bottle of wine that is spoiled, also depending on the area where people have varied knowhow of wine keeping. This is mainly caused by a bad cork. The cork is bad from the start and will “turn” the wine.

In some instances the winery may be responsible for
tainted wine. The combination of certain chemicals used in a winery may combine with bacteria to produce an off odor in the wine.

You can also spoil an unopened bottle of wine by aging and storing the wine improperly. A high temperature is usually the culprit in this case.

Once you open a bottle of traditional corked wine, it will only last a couple of days even under the best of conditions.See my previous posts on how to store it.
  1. First smell the wine when you open it. You can smell it right from the bottle or from the glass.
  2. If is wine is corked, it will smell exactly like wet cardboard. The smell can range from faint to strong.
  3. The color of the wine in the glass may also tip you off. White wines can get a dark or off color of yellow; reds can have a brownish tinge.
  4. Put the cork back on the bottle and if convenient return it to where you purchased it.
  5. If you are at a restaurant and the wine is corked, you will need to tell the waiter immediately. If you're not sure, ask the waiter to smell it or take a taste.

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