It is said that wine can still taste OK 3-5 days after opening the bottle if kept refrigerated. But is it bad for your health? Can drinking old wine make you sick?
Well, you aren’t the only one asking this.
It’s one of the first questions that come from people who don’t really know the finer aspects of wine making, the storage of wine, and preservation. It is very often that people come across an opened bottle of wine that has not been consumed in some days and the natural question arises: is it safe to consume old wine?
The straight answer is yes, it is considerably safe to consume wine that has been unused. The first logic behind this answer is that wine is a preservative itself and some wines like port taste better as they age. However, there are a few pointers you can keep in mind to check before consuming old wine.
How to check if old wine is still OK to drink
It is really easy to check if the old wine you’ve been slow to finish is actually OK for drinking. Here is what you can do.
Firstly, check the smell of the wine. If an old wine has gone bad and is no longer fit for consumption, it will have a peculiar, funny smell to it. This rancid odor, akin to what you would expect to come off a wet cardboard, is easily detectable and if you do not smell any of the odd smells from your wine, you are good to go and the wine is really fine.
Another pointer to check before consuming old wine is to anylize the wine in a clear glass. An uncharacteristic coloring of the wine indicates that it has been exposed to too much air for too much time and as such, you should refrain from consuming it. In particular, red wine will turn more of a brownish color.
Additionally, check for bubbles in the wine. If the wine is not meant to be a bubbly wine, the presence of bubbles as you pour out the wine is a cause for concern and you should not consume that wine.
Consuming old wine does not necessarily make you sick. Oxidized wine might taste off and have too much of a sour character, but it shouldn’t actually make you sick unless it’s very old. Still, you’ll want to test your wine on these pointers before consuming old wine.