Do Spirits Go Bad? And Other Alcohol-Related Questions We Know You’re Asking

July 13, 2022

We know what tastes good at a chic wine bar or a craft cocktail spot. Beyond that, though, we may have a few questions that we’re embarrassed to ask because they seem pretty simple.

How do you keep wine tasting fresh once opened?

We could dive into the chemistry. But, the primary reason wine goes bad is exposure to oxygen.

“Despite needing oxygen during fermentation, after the wine is made and packaged, oxygen becomes the enemy of wine, and over-exposure to oxygen results in sour, poor tasting wines,” said Aaron Moore of Gratsi Wine.

Sealing avoids soured wine

So, if you want to avoid drinking vinegar, try to keep it sealed as much as possible. If you limit yourself to a few glasses a week, you might want to consider buying one of the many new products designed to extend your bottle’s life span. You’ll save money in the long run.

What’s the best tip for opening a bottle with a cork?

The best way to open a bottle with a cork is to start by inverting the bottle to make sure you wet the cork.

“Older corks will dry out and crack, so you want to get liquid around the cork if it’s been sitting for a while,” said rare whisky hunter and brown bottle connoisseur Gavin Linde, known as @RolexWhisky. Even if the bottle hasn’t been sitting around, it’s still a good practice to allow the cork to get a little wet from the liquid inside for easier removal.

Then, when you use your handy dandy corkscrew, you shouldn’t have much resistance.

Do spirits go bad?

Master mixologist Josue Castillo of Next Door, a new Boston speakeasy, has a two-part answer to “do spirits go bad?”.

While Castillo believes that spirits do not necessarily go “bad,” he feels that the flavor profile of the liquor will change from that of a fresh bottle. Castillo says to close the bottle as soon as you pour the drink and make sure that the seal is as tight as possible to maintain the spirit’s profile.


Should all alcohol breathe (or just wine)?

Much like wine, some spirits will get better given the opportunity to breathe.

We return to Gavin Linde’s expertise for this question as well. He shares, “Some higher ABV whiskies get better if you let them breathe. The oxygen softens the big alcohol smells that come off them, creating a much more enjoyable drinking experience.”

Experts don’t recommend that you immediately open all of your bottles, though, as the breathing process can occur in the proper glass.

Why does your choice of glass matter?

And, speaking of the proper glass. Every tiny detail of a glass, including size, weight, and shape, can enhance the cocktail’s flavor profile. Take a Glencairn glass, for example, as the nose is wide enough for the fragrancy, and the shape makes it easy to hold and take the proper sip.

Next Century Spirits is a full-service producer of distilled spirits that can help its customers with all the steps needed to create and launch their customized spirit product. So, they aren’t afraid to ask and answer some questions along the way, and we shouldn’t be, either!