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Many subtle chemical interactions occur within a bottle of wine as it ages. However, if not stored in a proper environment, a dramatically negative impact can be had on these interactions, including total spoilage of the wine. A bottle will tell the tale of improper wine storage through appearance, smell, and taste.

– Uncork the bottle and take in the aroma of the wine. If the wine has sustained damage due to excessive heat and dryness, compromising the seal and allowing oxygen into the bottle, the wine may smell slightly dank or musty.

– Examine the wine visually and note the color. If it appears brown or yellowish-brown, it could have oxidized or suffered some other damage from improper storage.

– Tasting the wine will also expose a lot about its condition. If it’s almost completely devoid of fruit and has a watery taste, it has been oxidized and is unfit to drink.

Avoid these potential problems by keeping your collection in a wine storage facility with temperature and humidity controls. This will ensure that your wine can develop into the treasure its maker intended.