How does wine ruin?

If you have actually ever discovered a bottle of wine that's been being in your kitchen for a few months (or years) and taken a smell, you understand that red wine can spoil. While wine does not technically ruin the way other food does, exposure to sunlight, oxygen, and heat can trigger it to break down, offering it an undesirable taste.

How does red wine spoil? In time, the compounds in white wine that provide it its signature flavor and fragrance break down, and the wine begins to taste vinegar-y and flat. This procedure is accelerated by heat and light, so it's important to keep wine in a cool, dark location.

Surprisingly, wine in fact gets much better with age, up to a point. As red wine ages, the tannins (substances that offer it a bitter flavor) begin to break down and the red wine ends up being smoother and more complex. This is why many red wines improve with age and why most white wines are best taken in young.

When a wine begins to spoil, there's no going back. When those tannins have broken down, they're chosen good. If you come across an old bottle of red wine that's starting to turn, it's best to simply put it down the drain.

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