Mailbag Monday: Bad Sparkling Wine

Dear Alleigh:
Does sparkling wine go bad?

Hi…and thanks for your question.  The short answer is yes, sparkling wine can go bad.  However, like everything, the answer is actually a little more complicated.

First, I assume your question is about an unopened bottle of sparkling wine.  I definitely recommend Googling the specific wine, as you can often find information online about how long a wine should be cellared or when its peak drinking years will be.

Beyond that, it’s important to remember that many wines stores and wineries have store the wines themselves and only release them for sale when the wines are ready to drink because they want to ensure that you open the wine when it will taste the best. That’s not to say that you can’t buy a wine that may improve with age, but it’s generally safe to assume that an “everyday” wine or bubbly is ready to drink immediately.

Otherwise, there is no way to tell if a sparkling wine has gone bad without actually opening and tasting it.  As for whether or not it’s bad…only you can answer that.  If it tastes like vinegar or you think there is something unpleasant about it, then it’s probably bad.  It’s unlikely that you will get sick from a wine that has been over-aged, so you don’t need to worry about that.  However, it’s always a disappointing experience to open a wine that is no longer good.

So, unfortunately, there isn’t much advice I can offer other than to Google or to open it up and drink it.  Good luck, and here’s hoping that your sparkler is still drinkable.


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