A bottle of wine exploded in my wine rack. Was there something wrong with the wine?
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Dear Dr. Vinny,
I purchased a bottle of raspberry wine, brought it home and placed it in a wine rack in the living room. Five days later, the cork exploded out, spewing the contents all over the furniture, walls and carpeting. I didn't know it was carbonated—it's not labeled as "sparkling wine"—and it just had a standard cork with a foil seal instead of a wire cage. Was there something wrong with the wine?
—Paul, Olalla, Wash.
My guess is that the bottle exploded because it was under extreme pressure, probably because the wine inside the bottle wasn’t finished fermenting before it was bottled, or it started to ferment again inside the bottle. Carbon dioxide is a byproduct of fermentation, and it can be pretty intense—if it has nowhere to go, it can put pressure on the cork in the bottle, causing it to explode.
I think you should let the producer know—exploding bottles can be dangerous, let alone messy. It’s not your fault, although storing it in a warm space might have sped up the process.