Why Wine Goes Sour After Opening And What To Do About It

Wine is a beloved beverage enjoyed by many people around the world. Whether sipping on a glass of red after a long day at work or toasting with friends over a bottle of bubbly, wine has become a staple in many social gatherings. However, have you ever noticed that after opening a bottle of wine, it starts to taste bad after a few days?

A wine's taste can be brought together and smoothed by exposure to oxygen in time-limited doses, enhancing harmony and expressiveness. But timing is everything here because in just two days the wine can start to oxidate and spoil and soon that delicious drink will be no better than vinegar. The fruity notes will vanish, the vibrant colours dull and brown and the smell will become sharp and unappealing.

One of the primary reasons why wine starts to taste bad after being opened is due to oxidation. When wine is exposed to air, the oxygen in the air reacts with the wine, causing it to oxidise. Oxidation is the process of oxygen breaking down the wine's molecules and altering its flavour profile. The longer the wine is exposed to air, the more the flavours change, and the less enjoyable it becomes.

Another factor that can cause the wine to taste bad after being opened is acetic acid. Acetic acid is produced when bacteria in the wine convert alcohol into acetic acid, which gives the wine a sour taste. This process is commonly referred to as "turning into vinegar." While a small amount of acetic acid is normal in wine, too much can spoil the wine, making it undrinkable.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a preservative that is commonly used in wine to prevent it from spoiling. However, when the wine is exposed to air, the SO2 in the wine reacts with oxygen to form sulfites, which can alter the wine's flavour and make it taste unpleasant.

Tips To Save Your Wine

There are several ways to prevent wine from going bad after being opened. One of the easiest ways is to re-cork the bottle tightly after pouring a glass. This will help to prevent air from getting into the wine and causing it to oxidise.

Another method is to use a vacuum pump to remove the air from the bottle. A vacuum pump works by removing the air from the bottle, creating a vacuum seal that prevents oxygen from getting into the wine.

Lastly, you can use an inert gas, such as argon or nitrogen, to preserve the wine. These gases are heavier than air and will sit on top of the wine, creating a barrier that prevents air from getting in.