question:
what does it mean when I open and pour a bottle of wine, and a very fine fizz, bubbles begin to form?
this can't be good. anyone else experienced this? it's almost like carbonation. to me, it then tastes overly alcoholic. why does this happen? was the wine stored or shipped under bad conditions, wrong temperatures, exposed to heat, etc? is there ANY way to tell this before you buy the bottle of wine??? because it really sucks after spending 15-20 bucks on a bottle of wine, getting excited about opening it up, and then seeing this. thanks for your help.
Original Post
the wine this time was a hardy's 2002 shiraz. checking wine-searcher when I got home, I realized that i paid almost 3X more than what this wine costs in the USA, but I was excited to see any aussie wine, as that is a rarity where I live. But it was a very upscale store here, so I thought everything was OK. VIVA MEXICO!!! I guess not. this has happened to me before with other wines (casilleros, la cettos, various random french and italian wines) bought from a local grocery store, so I stopped buying wine there. and that's why I think this is not an intentional thing.

I read mr. ass' friend's results on google, and besides beer homebrew advice, and the champagne making process, it talked about winemakers using secondary fermentation to boost alcohol content. I don't think this is the same thing in this case. or if I'm wrong, am I buying/opening this wine too early? if you're supposed to first hold the wine glass up to the light and admire its color and body, is it supposed to look like foamy fizzy sour grape juice?? I can't believe that was the winemakers intention. I'm probably totally wrong, so enlighten me please!!!!!
It's not intended. It is very likely sugar that was not completely converted to alcohol undergoing a second and unintentional fermentation in the bottle.

There could be other causes but that is what it sounds like to me from your description.

It is a serious flaw.
I'll echo GigondAss' answer. This sounds like an off bottle. Maybe try another bottle from a different store when you get the chance.

Also, look for a Shiraz that is meant to be fizzy; it's pretty wild to taste a dark red with bubbles. Hardy's does make a sparkling Shiraz, but it is usually NV (non-vintage, or not vintage dated) and it comes in a heavy glass bottle that looks more like a Champagne bottle.
Tomtom,

A wine of that production level would never be bottled 1 barrel at a time.

That stuff is sterile filtered and thrown out in volume. I think someone on the bottling line needed to check CO2 levels.

Darthtrumpet, if you try the wine again and encounter the same thing, decant the wine, shake it up and come back to it in a few hours. The CO2 should blow of by that point.
I thought the same for a while but the only "off" profile (beyond the fizz) was overly alcoholic. I think that might have more to do with the New World than the bubbles. The only reason I think this is we bottled our 02 and 03 SB's without any O2 ever seeing the wine. It was bottled just below the threshold for identifying CO2. If the bottle got shaken up during the day while open, you would hear a little pop when you pull the cork. That was intentional but I do not think the Hardy's example is.

Considering the sterile filtration, I highly doubt anything could/would grow in the bottle.
thanks for the help. I'm still a little confused. If this were an isolated bottle of wine, it would be one thing, but a few months ago I bought 5 or 6 different bottles from different wineries/countries from a local supermarket, and over a period of a couple days realized that 4 of the 6 bottles had this effect when opened. How is that???!!!! is there a way to damage wine and cause this? I agree, with a sterile bottling process, there shouldn't be any more fermenting going on in the bottle, so maybe this is something else? it is a very fine, slow rising foam (incredibly small, fine bubbles), almost like a little film that surfaces a few seconds after you pour. either way, extremely frustrating. thanks for all your help. BTW, how can I look for cloudiness in an unopened bottle of red wine?
With few exceptions, a slightly or moderately fizzy wine meand secondarym non-intended fermentation. It might have been bottled to young or has residual sugar that is being fermented by leftover yeast. Those wines should be capped and returned to the store where purchased. I returned 4 this month (2 Byron Pino's and 2 expensive Australian Pino's). Some wines are slightly fizzy or "have a slight delicate natural effervescence" like Banfi's Principesa Gavi, an excellent Piedmont white. Some wines taste fizzy because of a raisin like taste, but they are not bad. I suspect bad storage condition might also yield fizzy, off tasting wines too.
I've sometimes had problem with slight fizz in wine, which I've been told was due to the carbon dioxide used to exclude oxygen at bottling dissolving into the wine during storage.

The simple way to remove the CO2 was to pour one glass, recork the bottle then give the bottle a good shake. I've found this method to be quite good at removing the unwanted fizz without affecting the quality of the wine.

Disclaimer: I have no knowledge of the actual science behind this, nor would I recommend doing this on an expensive bottle of wine.

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