Can Bad Wine Make You Sick
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Does Bad Wine Make You Sick?

David J Sharp
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In this article we’re going to be discussing whether bad wine can make you sick.

To answer the question simply, no bad wine should not make you sick. However, if this all depends on your current health status. Let us further explain.

Can bad wine really make us sick?

There are two main reasons that wine goes off.

The first is due to oxidation, where a wine bottle may have been opened or even corked, which means that too much oxygen has been introduced to the wine. This can often cause a flat flavour, or give a slightly off flavour to the wine. This is unlikely to make your feel ill, but it’s worth avoiding.

However, the second is due to bacteria, where the bacteria inside of the bottle consumes the alcohol within the wine and ultimately metabolizes this into acetaldehyde and acetic acid. This gives the wine a sour, vinegar taste. Wine which has gone bad due to this is more likely to make you feel ill, and here’s the reason why.

Without going too far into depth, it’s been scientifically studied that as we age, the amount of stomach acid that we produce decreases substantially. Stomach acid is the first line of defence before the food and beverages we consume are digested in our small intestines.

Because of this, the addition of harmful bacteria in the wine, alongside the decline in stomach acid (which can also be caused by certain medications) can potentially cause imbalances within the gut.

Although there are multiple factors involved here, conditions like Leaky Gut and SIBO are some of the conditions which can result from dysbiosis of the gut.

Therefore, we’d highly recommend avoiding wine that tastes like this at all costs, especially if you’re either taking medication, or you have existing gut issues.


There is a small chance that bad/gone-off wine can make you sick. However, with the right environment, and by drinking enough of the wine, it could potentially cause a range of issues in your gut, from short-term to chronic cases.

Therefore, we highly recommend smelling your wine first before tasting it, and inspecting it to see if it looks cloudy, or if there are any small clumps of foreign matter in it.

Based on these observations, we recommend disposing of any bad-smelling and bad tasting wine.

David J Sharp is a wine equipment expert, having previously worked with some of the best wine cooler manufacturers within the USA. Today he works as a full-time wine cooler and wine cellar consultant for small and large clients alike. You can find out more about LoveCraftWines here.

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