Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good Vino?

Sonoma, we have a problem.

It’s a tale worse than that of the Bogeyman. It’s been a long day at work; you were late, you fell down the stairs in front of your new boss (something that has definitely never happened to me), and upon arriving home, you realize the cat tore up your curtains. And you don’t have a cat. All you want to do is get comfortable, crack open a bottle of wine, and get your Walking Dead on. But as soon as you reach for that sweet, sweet Riesling, you realize… *cue suspenseful music*… something’s not right. Your beautiful, crisp wine has turned. Not into a zombie (though, that would make for a SWEET blog post), but into something that looks and smells just as horrifying. Why, oh, why would the German Riesling gods let this happen!? Here are the facts:


When a wine is “corked,” it means that during the bottling process, the cork of your bottle has come in contact with another cork that has been contaminated by bacteria. This makes for a pretty bad smelling, looking, and tasting wine (unless the taste of wet dog is your thing, in which case, you do you).


A bottle of wine that hasn’t been sealed correctly, or was simply left out for too long, (why would you abandon your wine like that?) often gets oxidized. This will transform your once delicious, crisp wine into a lifeless, flat wine (you monster, you).

Heat Damage

You know that feeling you get from being in sun too long and getting fried? Wine knows. Wine understands. But even worse for poor vino, this will change the acidity and taste, leaving it tasting worse than the sunscreen you forgot to apply before going to the beach. The damage usually occurs anywhere over 80 degrees.

The Signs of a Bad Wine

Smells like:

  • Wet dog
  • Nail polish remover
  • Vinegar
  • Cooked cabbage
  • Wet cardboard

Looks like:

  • Has bubbles when it shouldn’t
  • Drip stains on the bottle and label
  • Sticky texture on the outside of bottle
  • Red wine with a brown tint
  • White wine with a yellow/brown tint

Tastes like:

  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Mildew
  • Vinegar
  • Moldy sponge
  • Dirty socks

Now you can show off your knowledge of spoiled wine to your fellow winos! Or you can just shout random wine-related facts at your friends in excitement. Up to you.

Stay tuned for an upcoming article about how to make your wine last as long as possible!






Bright Cellars

Our staff is full of passionate wine lovers. With our amazing sommeliers at the helm, we’ve been schooled on all things wine. We came together to write this article, in hopes of spreading a little wine-ducation with you.


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