The wine from the cellar tonight? The 2002 “The Steading” from Torbreck. An Aussies Grenache that is ripe and smooth, it is a jammier version of a Chateauneuf du Pape; not as much of the Provencal herbs, but the extra ripeness makes it jucier. Gorgeous!
This wine is “only” 8 years old, but in opening it I started thinking about when a wine is “off”, meaning it is no longer pleasurable to drink. That can be because there is a problem with the cork (either the dreaded “cork disease” or just a defect that lets too much air in), the wine has been open too long (i.e. the cork has just been stuck back in it) or the wine just gets too old.
So how do you know? Well for me, I can tell right away when I take my first sniff. The aromas I get ar of tea or dried leaves…inevitably, that is followed by either dried out or really awful tasting wine.
So look for these kind of tell tale signs. It won’t usually hurt you to drink wines in these states, but they won’t be very enjoyable.