I've been lucky through the years. I've only opened a few bottles of wine that had gone bad.
I opened a bottle of 2005 Bordeaux from the Medoc region Friday night and didn't pay much attention to it as I poured two glasses. I took one quick whiff and thought the nose was rather odd. But it was a quick smell and I thought I'd let it open up a bit and then see what was going on with this inexpensive Bordeaux.
I handed my friend a glass and we sat down to watch television. I got my nose into the glass then and it was pretty clear to me it had gone bad. I took a drink and was convinced.
I had a bottle of corked wine. Read more here. It's not that difficult to tell. You don't have to be an expert.
I asked my friend if he smelled a vinegar-like odor .. and he tried again. He said "it smells like cider" and that was good enough for me. He also took a sip, made a squiggled face and then I poured the wine down the sink. I couldn't remember where I bought it.
It happens. There are wine professionals who say it can happen as often as once every 10-20 bottles. I have been lucky, I guess, because it's never happened to me at that rate.
Now, if it happens to you here is what you do. First, do not pour it out. Just stick the cork back in it and return it to the place of purchase as soon as you can.
Most retailers will replace the bottle or give you purchase price credit because their wholesalers will do the same for them. If they don't take the corked bottle and replace it for you, find another wine store.
Stinky wine. Corked wine. Spoiled wine. It happens.
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