Have you ever taken a sip of your favorite wine at the end of a long day, only to be disappointed by how it tastes? But wait – you just opened the bottle the night before, so perhaps it’s your taste buds that are the culprit?
Or maybe you ordered a glass at a restaurant and found it off-tasting, but you’re unsure if it’s the wine…or you?
Here are some easy tips to help you determine whether the wine has indeed gone bad, or if you just need a simple palate cleanser.
- Consider typical shelf life of opened wine – as a rule of thumb, reds will last 3-5 days in a cool place away from sunlight, and white wine will last the same kept chilled with a cork.
- Do a visual check. Gently swirl your opened wine in the glass to check the color; red should be bright and fresh, white should look clear and unclouded.
- Third, do the smell check. Swirl the wine in the glass, then put your nose into the bowl and inhale gently. If it smells like applesauce, toasted marshmellow, or nutty – the wine has seen better days. If it is sharp like vinegar, it’s time to open a new bottle. If you detect acidic notes, let it rest in the glass for a few more minutes after swirling to see if the taste improves – sometimes the wine gods will smile down upon you 🙂
- If the wine looks and smells fine, then it’s likely your palate. Assuming you haven’t recently brushed your teeth, had a mint or chewing gum – a few other offenders that can affect the taste of wine include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables.
- If you suspect it’s your taste buds, there are a few foods that will completely reset your palate, including pineapple and tortilla chips; or better yet, take a sip of your favorite beer. Another easy solution is to eat a few bites of plain white or French bread and voila — you are once again ready to enjoy your favorite wine.
Finishing notes…want to preserve your opened wine longer? There are a variety of ways to do this. A favorite of ours is a product like Private Preserve – it’s easy, economical, and can extend the drinking window of your opened wine by a week or more, and keep that wine from turning too soon.