How To Tell If Grapes Have Gone Bad

Bursting with juicy goodness, grapes are small but mighty fruits. Whether you're a fan of a seedless sultana, partial to the oblong Moon Drop, or obsessed with a sweet Cotton Candy, they're a healthy and delicious snack. Regardless of how inspiring the market's grape selection may be, sometimes fruit becomes neglected once it's brought home. If you've collected one too many bunches and have no clue whether they've gone bad, there are a few factors to consider.

Not all grapes are the same. According to Wine Folly, they can be sorted into two groups: table grapes and wine grapes. What you'll find at the store are table grapes because they have edible skins and tend to be seedless (per Double A Vineyards). Of course, the sweet morsels can be enjoyed in a number of ways — add them to salads, toss them into baked goods, or cook with them; you can even pickle grapes!

In order to keep the fruit in tip-top shape, shopping for fresh, quality produce is a great start. Beyond seeking out firm, plump grapes that have a sweet aroma, Brad Leone, Bon Appétit's test kitchen manager, suggests that consumers also shake the bunches before purchasing. If the grapes easily fall off of their stems, then you might want to pass (via Glamour). After finding the best bunches, proper grape storage is the next step. But even perfect preservation can produce sour grapes, so how do you spot them?

Sour smells signal spoilage

Wondering what the signs of spoiled grapes are? The telltale way to sniff out spoilage is by doing just that — using your sense of smell. According to oneHOWTO, if grapes have a sour and almost vinegary aroma, that's a strong indication that they've gone bad.

Additionally, visual cues like browning and bruising can also be helpful in determining whether the grapes have begun to rot. Since grapes tend to lose moisture as they age, Does It Go Bad explains that overripe grapes will shrivel and ooze juices as grape skins start to crack. However, unless a significant amount of the fruit is wrinkled or moldy, Greater Chicago Food Depository recommends only tossing the affected grapes, rather than discarding the whole bunch.

While tasting is always an option, a quick sniff or glance can confirm any suspicions of expiry. It also won't leave your taste buds suffering in agony!