What Is Corked Wine? (Solution)

  • Corked wine is a term among oenophiles that refers to tainted, or spoiled wine. Some people may think the term means “a bottle of wine that has a cork in it,” but this is not the case. A bottle of wine that is unopened and gives off smells resembling a moldy newspaper or a wet dog along with a sour or rancid taste upon opening is considered a “corked wine.”.


How do you tell if a wine is corked?

A ‘corked’ wine will smell and taste like musty cardboard, wet dog, or a moldy basement. It’s very easy to identify! Some wines have just the faintest hint of TCA- which will essentially rob the wine of its aromas and make it taste flat. Only wines closed with a natural cork will have this problem!

What causes a wine to get corked?

Corked wine is something very specific. It is wine that has been contaminated with cork taint. Cork is a natural product and some little microorganisms like to eat it, either while it is still part of a tree or after it has been turned into a wine cork. If wine comes into contact with TCA, it’s corked.

What is meant by wine being corked?

Corked wine is wine tainted by TCA, a compound that makes it taste and smell less than pleasant. Corked wine is a specific condition, more precisely it’s wine tainted by TCA, a compound that reacts with wine and makes it taste and smell less than pleasant, ranging from a wet dog, to wet cardboard, to a beach bathroom.

Can you drink wine that is corked?

Is corked wine safe to drink? Yes. Cork taint isn’t bad for you; it just really dampens the mood.

Can a screw top bottle of wine be corked?

Can a screw-cap wine be “corked?” Yes, it can, though it depends on how strictly you define the term. Contrary to almost universal belief, screw-cap wines are indeed susceptible to the sort of mouldy, off aromas typically associated with contaminated corks.

Can wine go bad unopened?

Though unopened wine has a longer shelf life than opened wine, it can go bad. Unopened wine can be consumed past its printed expiration date if it smells and tastes OK. It’s important to remember that the shelf life of unopened wine depends on the type of wine, as well as how well it’s stored.

How common is corked wine?

There is no scientific number we can reference as to the exact percentage of wine bottles that are corked. Estimates range from 3% to 8%. That is a lot more corked bottles of wine than every wine loving consumer wishes they encountered. Issues with corks is the number one problem and fault with wine today.

How should you test whether a wine is cork tainted?

The best way is to start by smelling the wet end of the cork every time you open a bottle. Look for a faint or strong musty aroma. Then smell the wine and look for the same. The more you practice detecting cork taint, the more sensitive you will become to it.

Is wine bad if cork is wet?

No, a wine cork should never be wet or soaked. It should be moist at most, providing enough moisture to keep oxygen and air from seeping into the wine and creating an unpleasant flavor and odor.

What do you do with corked red wine?

It is perfectly all right to return a bottle of corked wine. Politely request a replacement bottle. If the wine has been bought from a store or mall, pour the wine back into the bottle and return it to the store for a substitute.

Why does corked mean?

Meaning of corked in English Wine is described as corked if its taste has been spoiled by the cork. closed with a cork: Archaeologists discovered a corked glass bottle.

How long does red wine last unopened?

RED WINE – UNOPENED BOTTLE How long does unopened red wine last? Most ready-to-drink wines are at their best quality within 3 to 5 years of production, although they will stay safe indefinitely if properly stored; fine wines can retain their quality for many decades.

How do you know when wine is bad?

Your Bottle of Wine Might Be Bad If:

  1. The smell is off.
  2. The red wine tastes sweet.
  3. The cork is pushed out slightly from the bottle.
  4. The wine is a brownish color.
  5. You detect astringent or chemically flavors.
  6. It tastes fizzy, but it’s not a sparkling wine.

Can you get sick from bad wine?

If it goes bad, it may alter in taste, smell, and consistency. In rare cases, spoiled wine can make a person sick. Many adults of drinking age consume wine, and evidence suggests that moderate consumption may have health benefits. However, excessive alcohol consumption can harm a person’s health.

What Exactly is a Corked Wine: And What Does Corked Wine Taste Like?

However, I would venture to assume that not as many wine lovers are aware with the phrase “corked wine,” much alone what it tastes like, how it becomes corked in the first place, or even how to recognize when a bottle of wine has been corked. Continue reading to learn more about corked wine, including how it occurs and what it tastes like. What Causes a Bottle of Wine to Become Corked Wine that has been corked does not necessarily refer to a wine that has little pieces of cork floating around in the glass.

Cork taint is more than just the flavor of a cork in a bottle.

In the presence of specific chlorides present in bleaches and other winery sanitation / sterilizing chemicals, TCA is generated when natural fungus (of which many are found in cork) come into contact with the substance.

If left unchecked, TCA has the potential to taint not only a single batch of corks (and wine), but also a whole cellar or winery.

  1. Since the revelation (which occurred only in the early 1990s) of the root cause of cork taint, the vast majority of wineries have completely discontinued the use of chlorine-based cleaning agents.
  2. Corked wines have a distinct smell and flavor of damp, soggy, wet, or rotting cardboard, respectively.
  3. The apparentness of the corked smell and taste is dependent on both the amount of the taint and the level of sensitivity of the wine consumer to the smell and taste (aka your cork taste threshold).
  4. For example, while I am the wine expert in our home, it is my husband who is able to detect corked wine very immediately after the cork has been removed, no matter how subtle the taint may appear to be.
  5. The increase in popularity of screw-caps and other alternative closures can be attributed in part to the increase in the number of corked wines that have been produced.
  6. However, it is still possible.
  7. It is often assumed that cork is responsible for other wine defects.

(See my February post for additional information on other typical wine blunders.) Is it permissible to bring or send back a corked bottle of wine?

When you return a corked bottle, most retailers will not dispute your decision – however it is ideal if the bottle is not nearly completed!

For those unfamiliar with the art of wine tasting, you may be frightened and fail to identify the taint when the sommelier or waiter initially requests that you try the wine.

If this occurs, my recommendation is to call the waiter back and explain the situation, while also asking him or her to sample the wine.

Cork Taint: Is It Getting Worse or Better?

I open a large number of wine bottles every week, and it is now common for me to go many weeks without discovering a poisoned wine.

Avoid corked wines till next week at the very least!

Mary Gorman-McAdams is a contributor to this work. In addition to being a wine instructor and consultant, Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a freelance writer and writer for hire. As a result of this recognition, she was named Dame Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne in 2012.

Ask a Somm: How Do I Know if a Wine Is Corked?

In this column, wine experts from all around the country answer your questions about the wine they drink and how to pair it with different foods. Not every artisan cocktail bar employs a sommelier, but that is precisely the situation at MiniBar, a year-old small, vintage drinking hole in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo neighborhood. Jeremy Allen works as both general manager and sommelier at the Hollywood location, and he has developed a compact selection of well selected wines that are focused on value and obtained both locally and from Europe.

  1. Q:How can I tell whether a bottle of wine has been corked?
  2. Awesome!
  3. Oops, that was not fantastic!
  4. We are all friends who like spending time with one another.
  5. Corked wine is an unique condition, more specifically, it is wine that has been contaminated by TCA, a molecule that interacts with wine and causes it to taste and smell like anything from a wet dog to wet cardboard to a beach restroom.
  6. It is always on the lookout for methods to get into bottles and spoil beautiful wine.
  7. TCA is difficult to work with since the chemical is employed throughout the winemaking process, all the way up to the point of bottling.

Winemakers battle tooth and nail to prevent it from happening, and the winemaker is victorious 95% of the time.

This is because TCA only responds once the wine has been locked away and left alone with the cork still in the bottle.

It only takes one molecule to make a difference.

Or does it have a scent that reminds you of a rainy forest?

Does it smell like rotting feces, or like the most precious and finest poop on the planet?

Is it the smell of The Village Voiceunderneath that bus stop bench?

Does it have the fragrance of aCORK?

However, if you feel the need to challenge it, then go ahead and do so.

There is a direct correlation between the number of bottles consumed and the likelihood of receiving a faulty bottle.

If a dry cork crumbles, it might be a sign that a vintage wine has been exposed to the elements and is thus less than optimal, but that is a different story.

In addition, in delicate social circumstances, questioning a wine or returning it may make you appear aggressive, finicky, or twerpy to your companions.

It’s a difficult scenario.

It might be for business, it could be for a meeting with the parents, or it may just be to impress a date with your sense of adventure (natural wine and stench), or comfort (fruit-forward guzzle).

However, if it was you who placed the purchase and paid for it, please do not hesitate to return it, or at the very least ask one of our customer care representatives to check.

While I am actually grateful to any customer who participates with us in order to make them happy instantly in the Yelp world, I am grateful to any customer who participates with us in order to make them happy instantly here, inside the bar, before they leave, instead of them not saying anything and blaming us later for the bad wine.

The client is always right, and in fact, the more input you receive, the better.

We receive credit from our wine suppliers for corked bottles.

If you don’t like it for any reason, you can label it as corked. I’m going to drink it. Do you have a question about wine that you’d want answered? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Corked Wine Smell Guide: How To Tell If Wine Is Corked

In this column, wine experts from all around the country answer your questions regarding the wine industry. Although hardly every artisan cocktail bar employs a sommelier, the year-old small, vintage drinking denMiniBar in Los Angeles does just that. A brief list of mindfully selected wines focusing on value has been crafted by Jeremy Allen, who acts as both general manager and sommelier at the restaurant in Hollywood. The wines have been obtained locally as well as from around Europe. Within the following section, Allen muses about the problem of a “corked” bottle of wine, and provides options for how to deal with it.

  1. “Beer, wine, or cider?” Allen inquires.
  2. Are you overcooked, undercorked, or just plain exhausted.
  3. Uninvited guests at a posh dinner party come to mind when I think of “corked wine.” We are all friends who like spending time with one another.
  4. Corked wine is an unique ailment, more specifically, it is wine that has been contaminated by TCA, a substance that interacts with wine and causes it to taste and smell like anything from a wet dog to wet cardboard to the inside of a beach restroom.
  5. It can be found on cardboard, corks, and barrels, among other places, seeking for ways to get into bottles and contaminate great wine.
  6. Given that TCA is employed throughout the winemaking process, from fermentation to bottling, it can be challenging to work with.
  7. Winemakers battle tooth and nail to keep it from happening, and they are successful 95% of the time.
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This is because TCA only responds after the wine has been locked away and left alone with the cork in the bottle.

Just one molecule is required.

It has a strong scent of wet dog, doesn’t it.

Is it a dripping sponge?

TheVillage Voiceunder that bus stop seat may have a distinct fragrance, but does it smell like anything else?

Is there a distinct scent of aCORK about it?

In any case, if you feel the need to challenge it, go ahead.

There is a direct correlation between the number of bottles consumed and the likelihood of receiving a poor bottle.

If a dry cork crumbles, it might be a sign that a vintage wine has been exposed to the elements and is therefore less than optimal; however, that is another story.

In addition, in delicate social circumstances, challenging a wine or returning it may make you appear aggressive, finicky, or twerpy to your friends and colleagues.

Uncertainty prevails in this environment.

Choosing, tasting, and sharing wine comes with a lot of responsibility.

You don’t know who’s footing the bill, what Emily’s mother and father drink, or whether they have a cellar loaded with Harlan Estate or a fridge packed with Barefoot Bubbly at this point.

Ultimately, you are paying to have a good time, and we are being compensated to make it as simple as possible for you.

You have given us permission to correct the situation as soon as possible.

Finally, keep in mind that if you send it back or return the opened bottle to the wine shop, we will send it back to you as well as the original purchaser.

When you return poor bottles, we do not lose money; instead, we build a deeper and healthier relationship with the visitor.

Corked is a term used to describe something that does not appeal to the consumer for whatever reason. Yes, I’ll take a sip of this. Do you have a question about wine that you’d like to have answered? Contact us. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • There are no shards of cork floating about in your wine or a cork coated in tiny white crystals that are the problem. These crystals, which are referred to as tartrate, are a naturally occurring by-product of some wines and are completely safe to humans. You also can’t detect if a wine is corked by smelling the cork
  • Instead, you have to smell the wine. The fact that the bottle you opened was sealed with a screw cap or synthetic cork means it cannot be corked
  • This is a nice tidbit to know.

How Does Wine Become Corked?

The fact that cork is a natural product generated from trees implies that, regardless of cleanliness procedures, certain germs will always be found inside the product’s pores. In the words of VinePair’s taste director, Keith Beavers, “whether you clean it or not, there’s always going to be something in there.” In the case of cork, taint is caused by an enzymatic interaction between chlorophenol, a defect that can occur naturally inside the cork, and fungus. When these two chemicals come into contact, they form a complex known as TCA.

“It will prevent your nose from being able to detect any of the fruits from which the wine is manufactured.” As a result, you’d get a very earthy, odd musty scent,” Beavers explains.

However, while many people assume that TCA has an effect on the physical molecules in a wine, other experts are beginning to suspect that it really interferes with our capacity to smell fruit.

How to Tell if Your Wine Is Corked

You may find it challenging to determine whether your wine has been corked if you have never smelled a corked wine before. A corked wine, on the other hand, “once you’ve smelled it, you’ll never forget it again,” Beavers says.One approach to tell whether or not a wine is corked is to smell it and taste it, and attempt to pick out the characteristics you’ve learned to anticipate from that particular wine style. If a wine’s fragrance is generally fruity, but you’re not picking up any fruit notes, you may be quite certain that something is wrong.

“When I used to teach wine lessons and we received a corked wine, I would become really happy,” Beavers recalls, noting that it was frequently his students’ first encounters tasting cork contaminated wine.

What To Do If Your Wine Is Corked

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand that drinking corked wine is completely harmless. “The only thing that is dangerous in wine is the alcohol,” Beavers claims. The alcohol in wine would also eliminate any hazardous germs that could be present and pose a threat to human health.However, if a bottle of wine you’ve ordered turns out to be corked, you don’t have to just grin and bear it any more. The item can be returned if you so want, according to Beavers. “If your steak wasn’t cooked properly, you’d send it back to the restaurant.

The fact that you’re spending money on something also means that you’re most likely already overpaying for that bottle of wine.” Furthermore, restaurants tend to mark up their wine prices, especially in larger cities, meaning that you’re already overpaying for that bottle of wine.” If you want to avoid corked wine altogether, the only surefire way to do so is to.avoid cork.” In Beavers’ opinion, the only way a screw-capped wine will be bad is if, during the bottling process, any bacteria got on to the glass rim before the cap enclosure was fitted.

In fact, cork taint was the driving force behind the introduction of the screw cap to the wine world in the first place (it had previously been reserved for spirits).

You should remember that statistics indicate that you will only receive a corked bottle one out of every twenty times; you should use those occurrences as learning opportunities and move on to the next.

Cork taint – Wikipedia

When it comes to wine faults, cork taint refers to a general word that refers to a collection of disagreeable aromas or tastes that may be identified in a bottle of wine, particularly deterioration that can only be noticed after bottling, maturing, and opening. Despite the fact that modern studies have shown that other factors, such as wooden barrels, storage conditions, and the transport of corks and wine, can also be responsible for taint, thecorkstopperi is typically considered to be at fault, and a wine that is discovered to be tainted upon opening is referred to as “corked” or “corky.” Cork taint can have an impact on wines regardless of their price or grade level.

  • The presence of the chemical molecules 2,4,6-trichloroanisole(TCA) or 2,4,6-tribromoanisole(TBA) in the wine is the primary cause of cork taint.
  • TCA is a chemical compound that does not occur in nature.
  • This chemical is one of the most important contributors to the mold issue that may be discovered in cork.
  • This deficiency may be caused by very minute quantities of this molecule, on the scale of nanograms, being present in the environment.
  • In virtually all cases of corked wine, the wine’s natural scents are greatly diminished, and a severely polluted wine is rather unappealing, despite the fact that it is completely safe.
  • The detection process is further confounded by theolfactory system’s very rapid adaptation to TCA, which makes the scent less noticeable with each consecutive sniff.


There are several factors that contribute to the development of TCA in cork or its transfer into wine through other routes. The most common is the exposure to naturally occurring airbornefungitochlorophenolcompounds, which they subsequently transform into chlorinatedanisolederivatives. Chlorophenols, which are taken up by cork trees and present in many pesticides and wood preservatives, are an industrial contaminant, and it is possible that the prevalence of cork taint has increased in recent decades.

Other substances that are less prevalent and less well-known but can create other forms of cork taint include guaiacol, geosmin, 2-methylisoborneol(MIB), octen-3-oland alsoocten-3-one, each of which has its own scent and is deemed undesirable in wine.

Estimated occurrence and industry response

There are several factors that contribute to the development of TCA in cork or its transfer into wine by other sources. The most common is the exposure to naturally occurring airbornefungitochlorophenolcompounds, which they subsequently transform into chlorinatedanisolederivatives. Chlorophenols, which are taken up by cork trees and present in many pesticides and wood preservatives, are an industrial contaminant, and it is possible that the prevalence of cork taint has increased in recent years.

Although TCA and TBA are responsible for the vast majority of cases of cork taint, other less common and lesser known compounds that can cause different varieties include guaiacol, geosmin, 2-methylisoborneol(MIB), octen-3-ol, and alsoocten-3-one- each with its own aroma and all of which are considered objectionable in wine- are also responsible.

Systemic TCA

It is possible to have systemic TCA tainting when TCA has penetrated a winery by a method other than cork. This can have an impact on the whole production of wine rather than just a few bottles. Wine barrels, drain pipes, timber beams in basements, and rubber hoses can get contaminated when TCA is introduced into them. Occasionally, it is necessary to completely rebuild basements in order to eliminate all potential systemic TCA sources. Rubberhoses or gaskets have a high affinity for TCA and, as a result, concentrate TCA emitted from the environment.

  • Bentonite, a swelling clay preparation (smectite) used in the treatment of wine for heat stability, is another source of TCA contamination that has been identified.
  • It is possible for TCA to soak into bentonite when it is exposed to a high TCA concentration (1–2 ng/g or ppb) in the environment where the bentonite is housed.
  • It is worth noting that this systemic TCA will frequently impart a trace (1–2 ng/L or ppt) of TCA to the wine, which is not detectable by the vast majority of consumers.
  • Several molds (and some questionable bacteria such as Streptomyces) have been shown to be capable of de-toxifying TCP by methylating the -OH to -OCH 3, which is not poisonous.

According to the Wine Spectator, California wineries such as Pillar Rock Vineyard, Beaulieu Vineyard, and EJ Gallo Winery have experienced problems with systemic TCA.


In order to make corked wine palatable again, filtration and purification devices are now available that aim to remove the TCA from the wine. However, the TTB has authorized just a few methods of decreasing the level of TCA in contaminated wine (formerlyBATF). In order to remove TCA from tainted wine, one way is to immerse polyethylene (a plastic material commonly used in applications such as milk containers and plastic food wrap) in the damaged wine for a period of time. When it comes to polyethylene, the non-polar TCA molecule has an extremely strong affinity, which allows it to effectively remove the taint from the wine.

Alternatively, as proposed by Andrew Waterhouse, professor of wine chemistry at University of California, Davis, this may be accomplished at home by pouring the wine into a bowl and covering it with a piece of polyethylene plastic wrap.

Upon contact with the plastic, the 2,4,6-trichloroanisole will adhere to it.

The so-called half and half mixture of milk and cream has been employed by certain vintners to eliminate TCA from their wines (the TCA in the wine is sequestered by thebutterfatinhalf and half).

See also

  • Alternative wine closure
  • Flavor scalping
  • Wine flaw
  • Alternative wine closure


  1. James Laube writes for the Wine Spectator (March 31, 2006) Making Changes to Keep Up with the TimesArchived2006-03-14 at the Wayback Machine
  2. “Cork Quality Control Audit Results.” corkqc.com. CQC. The month of March, 2014. The original version of this article was published on September 26, 2014. Retrieved2014-08-05
  3. s^ Claire Heald is a writer and poet. British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) News Magazine (January 17, 2007). “Put a halt to it”
  4. “Put a stop to it” Bacterial Contributors to Chloroanisole Contamination in Wineries ASEV 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington, 22–24 June 2005
  5. Paula A. Mara and Linda F. Bisson, Papers and Posters Presented at the ASEV 56th Annual Meeting, 22–24 June 2005
  6. James Laube’s article “Taint Misbehavin” in the Wine Spectator on March 31, 2007 (p. 43) is a good example of this. McGee, Harold, “The New York Times: The Curious Cook” (The Curious Cook) (January 13, 2009). “The Next Trick Is Involved in Making a Tastier Wine.” The New York Times
  7. The Washington Post
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  • “Identification of 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole as a Potent Compound Causing Cork Taint in Wine” was published in 1982 by Buser HR, Zanier C, and Tanner H. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.30(2): 359–382.doi: 10.1021/jf00110a037
  • Tindale CR, Whitefield FB, Levingston SD, Nguyen THL. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.30(2): 359–382. (1989). Fungi Isolated from Packaging Materials – Their Role in the Production of 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole” is the title of the paper. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.49(4): 437–447.doi: 10.1002/jsfa.2740490406
  • Pirbazari M, Borow HS, Craig S, Ravindran V, McGuire MJ. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.49(4): 437–447.doi: 10.1002/jsfa.2740490406
  • (1992). 5 earth-musty-smelling compounds were studied physically and chemically in Water Science and Technology, which published their findings in 1992 as 25(2): 81–88 (doi: 10.2166/wst.1992.0038).

External links

  • Nase Joseph is a fictional character created by the author Nase Joseph “The sommelier, to be precise. Bad Wine: The four most prevalent flaws and how to spot them (with pictures) “. This article appeared in the New York Magazine. On the 8th of March, 2021, I was able to get

How To Tell If Your Wine Is Bad

Everybody has experienced it: you open a bottle of wine, pour a sip (or a whole glass, let’s be honest), and something doesn’t taste right. The question is, how can you tell if the wine has genuinely gone bad, or if it’s simply an odd, funky-tasting bottle that’s designed to be a little different? However, if your wine is genuinely terrible (also known as defective or faulty), the good news is that you may return it to the retailer and receive a refund! (Alternatively, if you’re at a restaurant, you can deny it.) (For additional information about ordering wine in restaurants, please see this page.)

Here are 6 common wine faults, and how to identify them:

In the wine industry, the most frequent type of wine fault is known as “cork taint” (also known as “corked”), which is what people mean when they say a bottle is “corked.” This indicates that the cork of the bottle has been contaminated with a bacterium known as Trichloroanisole (often known as ‘TCA’ informally). It will smell and taste like stale cardboard, wet dog, or a stale cellar if the wine has been ‘corked.’ It’s quite simple to recognize!

There are certain wines that have only the tiniest traces of TCA, which will practically deprive the wine of its aromas and make it taste dull. Only wines that have been sealed with a natural cork will have this issue! Screwcaps and synthetic corks will not have the taint associated with corks.

Oxidized Wine

When a wine has been exposed to excessive amounts of oxygen, it is referred to be ‘oxidized.’ In certain cases, this can occur even before a bottle of wine is open (if the oxygen transmission rate through the cork is too high), while in other cases, this may occur after an uncorked bottle of wine has been left open for an extended period of time. The color of a wine indicates if it has been oxidized: white wines will seem darker than they should, while red wines will lose their purple overtones and appear browner.

Reductive Wine

A issue known as reduction occurs when a wine does not receive enough oxygen exposure, resulting in the development of sulphuric compounds, which cause the wine to smell strongly of sulfur (think: a struck match). Rather than natural corks, screw cap bottles are more commonly affected by this. However, if you happen to acquire a reductive bottle, consider decanting it instead! It is possible that the vapors may dissipate and the wine will fix itself.

Fermenting Wine

If you notice that a wine that is not meant to be sparkling has grown little bubbles, you have a problem. The wine is re-fermenting within the bottle, which, in my experience, can occur if the wine is stored at an excessively high temperature, such as on a ship or truck, in a warehouse, or in a heated basement at a discount liquor shop. If this happens to you, you should definitely return the wine!

Heat Damaged (or, ‘Maderized’) Wine

Essentially, the wine has been ‘cooked’ because it has been held at an excessively high temperature (most likely while in transit somewhere along the supply chain). It may have a little ‘jammy’ smell and taste, or it may have a flavor reminiscent of brown sugar, cola, or soy sauce.

Microbial Infected Wine

Bacterial germs naturally develop in wine as a result of fermentation. However, they can sometimes outgrow their confines and cause the wine to taste ‘wrong.’ This is the smell of a mouse, or the fragrance of a gerbil cage (ew). This is more frequent in ‘natural’ wines, which are those that have not been treated with sulfur dioxide before to bottling.

Now that you know what to look for if you think your wine is bad, let’s talk about wine attributes that may be a little weird, but are not technically flaws.

These characteristics are naturally present in wines, and they are often considered to be a matter of personal choice! Many people have strong aversions to certain tastes and scents, however they are not truly flaws in the wine:

Volatile Acidity

Acetic acid concentrations in the wine are high, and the wine may have a flavor and smell similar to that of acrylic nail paint or varnish.

‘Green’ Aromas

Some individuals find natural herbal, floral, and vegetable flavors in wine to be off-putting, and this is understandable. Other individuals cannot tolerate cilantro, and some people cannot tolerate ‘green’ tastes in wine. Grass, violet, green bell pepper, and harsh herbs are all frequent characteristics in many wines. This is not a problem, and it is not a flaw. Most commonly found in Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carmenere, among other varieties.


Tartaric acid crystals can spontaneously develop in the presence of alcohol.

If you have white wine, the sediment may seem like grains of salt at the bottom of the bottle; if you have red wine, the sediment may be black and sandy in appearance. It is possible to decant wine to remove the sediment.


It is possible for wine to spontaneously produce crystals of tartaric acid. These might appear as salt granules at the bottom of a bottle of white wine, or as a black, sandy residue in a bottle of red wine. In order to remove the sediment from the wine, it must be decanted first.


There has been a great deal of discussion regarding “corked” wine. Some of the dialogue appears to be intended to elicit feelings of mystery or fear. That is not the case with this content. The objectives are straightforward: Corked wine is defined as follows: what it is, how to identify whether a bottle of wine is corked, and what to do if you find out that your bottle of wine is corked Let’s start with a number of facts about the situation:

  • Corked wine accounts for just around 5 percent of all wine that is sold in a bottle with a cork. Being corked has nothing to do with discovering fragments of cork in your wine
  • It is a completely other situation. Wine that has not been corked but has not been served from a bottle with a cork may still have problems
  • Yet, it is not corked. It is impossible to discern if a bottle of wine has been corked just by smelling it. The extremely unusual event that you get a bottle of wine from Locals that you believe to be corked, we will replace it – no questions asked – without hesitation.

Let’s move on to some science now that that’s over with. Corked wine is a highly unique type of beverage. Wine that has been tainted by cork taint is what we are talking about. Cork is a natural product, and certain bacteria enjoy eating it, whether it is still in its original state as a part of a tree or after it has been transformed into a bottle of wine. In certain instances, these organisms join forces with others, resulting in a chemical process that results in the formation of a molecule known as TCA.

  1. Once TCA is released, it has the potential to taint a single cork or to infect an entire cellar or winery.
  2. Scientists noticed that the combination of chlorine with naturally present fungus in cork resulted in a considerable quantity of cork taint, which they attribute to this interaction.
  3. Although reductions are being made, they are not being eliminated.
  4. Corked wine is not hazardous to consume, although it is unpleasant to drink.
  5. There is no correlation between your level of “wine expertise” and how sensitive you are to taint.
  6. If we think about it in a somewhat less dramatic way, cork taint dulls the fruit in a wine, makes it taste flat, and shortens the finish.
  7. If you believe a bottle of wine is corked, you should never hesitate to return it back to the merchant.

It’s important to remember that not all defects in a wine are caused by a corked bottle.

Wine, on the other hand, is purchased to be enjoyed and to improve an experience.

Return the bottle, relying on your own judgment and taste buds.

Tartaric acid, a naturally occurring compound present in grapes, is responsible for the formation of these compounds.

Given the fact that white wine is frequently refrigerated, crystals are more common on white wines than on red wines.

Using a procedure known as “cold stabilization,” which involves cooling the wine to near freezing before bottling and allowing the crystals to develop and “precipitate out” at that time, winemakers may remove the chance of crystals.

What happens if you are unable to return a bottle?

Scientists at the University of California, Davis have uncovered a potential answer (which I have not tested).

After about 15 minutes, they poured the wine into a fresh vessel, discarding the plastic wrap that had been used previously.

According to reports, TCA forms a link with plastic wrap, resulting in the wine no longer being corked. However, it is difficult to predict how this method will influence your wine drinking experience, but it is an intriguing experiment to try!

Identifying Corked Wine and What to Do With It

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  • A gallery of 14 Really Useful Wine Gift Ideas

How TCA Enters Wine

The problem begins with the cork that is used to close wine bottles. In the bark of cork trees, there is a naturally occurring mold that can occasionally mix with leftovers of the chlorine used to bleach and clean the corks for commercial use to generate a chemical known as trichloroanisole, which is harmful to humans and the environment (TCA). Indirectly, TCA is directly responsible for the development of the mold that taints the wine and alters its flavor. As we mentioned, this mold is invisible to our eyes, and it should not be confused with another mold that we can occasionally find under the capsule on top of the cork, which is caused by leakage and is completely harmless.

What to Do if You Detect TCA

The fact that as many as seven percent of all wines may be corked is crucial for the wine business since it indicates a big problem. It implies that one out of every 15 to 20 bottles of wine that you purchase may be infected, which is bad news for you. If you do happen to come across a corked bottle of wine, it is likely that that specific bottle has been infected and that you should exchange it for another. Remember, this is not a result of a flaw in the vineyard or the wine itself, but rather the result of a lucky break.

Request a replacement bottle in a courteous manner.

The wine industry is becoming increasingly conscious of contaminated wine and has come to terms with a failure rate of around five percent of all wines produced.

Fixing Corked Wine

In the past several years, a French scientist has developed a method to ‘purify’ corked or contaminated wine. Pour the wine into a decanter and then place a plastic that looks like a cluster of grapes into the wine, according to the recipe instructions. The copolymer absorbs the contaminated cork molecules from the wine and returns the scent and flavor of the finished product to its original state.

Broken Cork

Corked wine has absolutely nothing to do with the broken or crushed corks that you may discover in wine bottles from time to time. This is a byproduct of a wine bottle that has been poorly opened, and it has no effect on the flavor of the wine. You can discard any broken bits of cork from the bottle and continue to drink the wine as you normally would.

Detecting a Problem With the Wine

It is difficult to tell when a bottle of wine has been corked. It is common for low-level taint to show as a bland taste with little or no change in the scent when the taint is present. Because of the heavy contamination, the wine may have a terrible musty smell that will overpower the other natural fruity smells present in the wine when opened. When you are drinking a wine from a variety that you have already tried or with which you are familiar, it is typically easy to recognize a contaminated wine.

If you notice any weird flavors in the wine, please do not hesitate to return it to the store. There is no reason why you should waste your money on a bottle of wine that has been harmed. LoveToKnow Media was founded in the year 2022. All intellectual property rights are retained.

How to Tell if Wine is Corked

Corked wine may be so unpleasant to drink that some individuals would swear off wine after only one terrible experience with it. But. how can you know whether a bottle of wine has been corked? Given that cork taint is difficult to detect, distinguishing between poor wine and wine that has gone bad can be challenging. We’ll go through the following topics: How often does a bottle of wine get corked? What is the source of the problem? What can we do to make a difference? In their lifetime, the average wine drinker will meet around 100 corked bottles.

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Corked Wine Clues

Cork taint, also known as TCA in the wine industry and 2, 4, 6, Trichloroanisole to chemists, affects around 2-3 percent of all bottled wines (or about a bottle in every 2 cases). This may seem like a little amount, but if you drink wine on a regular basis, you’ll come across a corked bottle around 100 times in your adult life, which, believe me, can be a big drag. Purchase the book and receive the course! With the purchase of Wine Folly: Magnum Edition, you will receive a FREE copy of the Wine 101 Course (a $50 value).

Amarone della Valpolicella was one of the wines I brought with me on a trip to Los Angeles on one occasion.

Although I was a little off the mark, they had never smelled a corked wine before.


Is corked wine safe to drink?

Yes. Cork taint isn’t harmful to your health; it merely has a negative impact on your emotions.

What does a Corked Wine Smell Like?

The following is the profile of a corked wine containing high levels of TCA:

  • The smell of musty, wet dog, wet cardboard, wet newspaper, and Grandma’s basement

Revisit the Smells of Doom Take a washcloth and dunk it in water before wiping your armpits. Remove the excess water, but do not totally dry it. Place it in a plastic jar with a tight-fitting cover and set it aside overnight. Congratulations! You’ll wake up with a musty towel to smell in the morning. By the way, if a wine has low levels of TCA, it is possible that it will not have the scents described above. Instead, it will just have a lack of fruity and flowery aromas, as well as a lack of flavor.

Examine the following checklist to determine if TCA is the source of the problem:

Cork Taint (TCA) Checklist

  1. A genuine cork has been used to seal the bottle. (instead of corks, there are other options)
  2. Is the wine receiving plaudits and receiving evaluations that don’t match what you’re tasting in your glass
  3. Is your tastebuds acting up once more? (Drink some water, smell your forearm, and repeat the process.) Is it possible that your drinking companion believes it is corked as well?

A real cork has been used to seal the bottle of wine in question. (instead of corks, there are other options.) The wine has received awards and excellent reviews, but the wine in your glass does not live up to them. Does your palette seem to be misbehaving once more? (take a sip of water, sniff your forearm, and repeat the process). Think it’s corked too, does your drinking companion?

Handling Corked Wine

If you purchase wine from a restaurant, you have the option of returning it. You should keep your receipts if you purchased the wine online. Many online vendors will gladly provide a refund or ship you a new bottle if you make a mistake. Is it possible to fix a corked wine with Saran Wrap? The Saran Wrap technique, for example, may be familiar to you. Following the aforementioned ‘Amarone Incident,’ I decided to do a bit more investigation. According to chance, Dr. Andrew Waterhouse from the University of California, Davis discovered that the plastic molecules in Saran Wrap adhere to the TCA molecules and ‘pull’ them out of the wine.

Unfortunately, the Saran Wrap wine technique no longer works as effectively as it once did.

source:copyranter Saran Wrap modified the composition of their plastic wrap in 2004.

The first Saran was created in 1933, and it made use of a polymer known as PVDC to do so (polyvinylidene chloride).

PVDC is continued in use today in commercial culinary applications (for example, “frozen turkey wrap”), as well as in commercial vineyard operations to eliminate cork deterioration, among other things.

Where Does TCA Really Come From?

TCA is more bizarre than you may imagine. A reaction occurs when microscopic fungus and bacteria in the air come into touch with chlorine and phenolic chemicals at the exact same moment. As it happens, vineyards are in the business of producing phenolic chemicals, and many wineries formerly utilized chlorine solutions to clean their equipment. While this behavior is now widely recognized as a major no-no, it is extremely difficult to eliminate TCA once it has taken hold. TCA is most commonly introduced into wine by the use of corks.

you guessed it.

Now that you’ve learned how reactive chlorine may be in the presence of wine, you may want to reconsider using it to clean your home.

Corked Wine: What Is It and How Does It Taste?

/Wine You can’t tell if a bottle of wine has been corked merely by looking at it; you have to smell it to know. When I opened a bottle of red wine from my cellar last week, I realized that the cork had been removed. Over the course of my wine-drinking career, I’ve encountered a lot of corked bottles of wine. Every time that occurs, I become a little down in the dumps since I’ve just thrown away a potentially excellent bottle of wine. When I was conducting some research on corked wine, I came across an article that stated that the majority of wine consumers will consume as much as 100 bottles of corked wine during their adult lives.

  1. Any of us will suffer greatly if we consume an excessive number of them.
  2. As a result, I’m devoted my entire piece to that particular subject.
  3. Having a corked wine does not necessarily imply that there are small fragments of cork floating about in your glass.
  4. Corked wine is a word that refers to a wine that has gotten tainted with cork taint as a result of the use of corks.
  5. “TCA may be found in a variety of natural sources, including wood, wine, water, soil, vegetables, fruit, and cork.

Additionally, insecticides used on cork trees, wood preservatives used on the cork itself or the wood barrels in which wine is aged, and a former cause, chlorine bleaching used to sterilize the wood used in wine production, all contribute to the formation of additional TCA (chlorine bleaching has been replaced by peroxide bleaching).

  1. Do you have a wine that smells like a wet dog?
  2. Identifying and Detecting Corked Wine While corked wine has an unpleasant flavor, the taint caused by the cork is not dangerous in any manner.
  3. Even more so if it’s a pricey bottle of wine in question.
  4. Until this point, just three out of the six bottles I’ve opened have had their corks removed.

The one bottle that I’ve had so far that wasn’t corked was really delicious. I only have two more left. I’m a little apprehensive about trying these. The most common approach to detect corked wine is through the sense of smell. What does the aroma of your wine smell like?

  • Musty, like the cellar of my grandmother’s house
  • Your dripping puppy
  • Dripping cardboard or newspaper
  • After a hard workout, change into your gym clothes

What else takes place? taint of cork:

  • It reduces or completely removes the fruit flavor in wine. It shortens the finish
  • A change in wine’s color is noticeable (in my opinion, the wine loses its luster and becomes drab in color)
  • There are several layers to this: The difference between the two is that sometimes it is hardly perceptible and other times it will be highly evident as soon as you open the bottle.

There is no way to repair a corked bottle of wine. If you open a bottle of wine and discover that it has been corked, I recommend that you return it to the wine shop where you purchased it. Alternatively, if you are at a restaurant, you may return it and ask for another bottle. If you are returning a corked bottle, it is preferable if the bottle has not yet been consumed. Let me also point you that white wine can get corked in the same way as red wine can. I find it more difficult to detect a corked red wine than a corked white wine, at least in my experience.

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Until the next week, Cheers Events are scheduled on a calendar.

  • Cabernet Franc Day is celebrated on December 4, National Sangria Day is celebrated on December 20, and National Champagne Day is celebrated on December 31.

Cabernet Franc Day is celebrated on December 4th, National Sangria Day is celebrated on December 20th, and National Champagne Day is celebrated on December 31.

What’s corked wine?

Cork taint is a unique, particular wine defect that has been widely studied yet is often misinterpreted. Identifying corked wine and what to do about it are covered in this article. You’ve undoubtedly had a glass of corked wine without even realizing it. It’s possible that you’ve consumed corked bananas or maybe drank corked coffee at some point. TCA, also known as trichloroanisole, is the perpetrator in each of these cases, and it is the same noxious molecule in each of them. TCA can arise in wine corks that have been treated with chlorine, which combines with naturally present fungus, resulting in the formation of TCA.

  1. That odor is frequently associated with wet cardboard or moldy cellars, among other things.
  2. Because of this, it can be difficult to distinguish between corked and uncorked wine – which is why we’ve probably all had the experience of tasting corked wine without recognizing it.
  3. It is a term used to describe a wine that has gotten tainted by cork taint, which is produced by the presence of a chemical molecule known as TCA in the wine.
  4. However, there are numerous additional instances in which the wine may just taste flat or monotonous.
  5. The good news is that cork taint is becoming increasingly rare.
  6. However, it has not been completely eliminated, and TCA continues to be a significant risk factor, particularly with older vintages.
  7. In recent years, the manufacture of wine corks has declined significantly.

Some wines benefit from the use of a screw cap because it improves the seal of the bottle and prevents the passage of oxygen.

A sulphur-compound flavor in wine that is regarded unpleasant, such as cabbage or drainage, occurs when the wine is exposed to high temperatures.

As a result of complicated chemical interactions, reductive tastes occur, and they are not always associated with a shortage of oxygen, as is commonly supposed.

No matter how much it is reduced, it may be beneficial to aerate it thoroughly, ideally in a decanter.

Everyone’s sensitivity to infection is unique, and the severity of the infection might vary significantly.

The majority of corked wines suffer the same fate.

It is possible that cooking with wine is a preferable alternative, because boiling wine will eliminate the majority of its volatile ingredients.

If you have a problem with your bottle, they should be more than willing to replace it for you.

2019 Henty Riesling from Crawford River’s Young Vines Vineyard Crawford River is one of the most important Riesling producers in Australia.

The screw-on top guarantees that the product remains perfectly fresh at all times.

Henschke is not only renowned for producing some of Australia’s most sought-after (and costly) red wines, but they are also notable for never utilizing cork in any of their products.

The wine is a combination of Grenache and Mataro with a touch of Shiraz, with beautifully ripe bramble fruit accented by mild oak spice and finished with a touch of oak spice.

In fact, this is the same closure that is used for beer, which makes it ideal for this sort of early-drinking, fresh fizz.

It’s well-known that Cullen is one of Margaret River’s greatest biodynamic winemakers, and this wine is a particularly up-to-date exemplar of the style — esoteric, textured, and earthy in character.

Richard Hemming, MW

Richard is a wine writer, lecturer, and consultant who specializes in red and white wines. In 2015, he was awarded the title of Master of Wine. Since 2008, he has been a frequent contributor to JancisRobinson.com, where he has produced articles and tasting notes on a wide range of topics related to the wine industry. The Financial Times, Decanter, The Drinks Business, Harpers WineSpirit, The World Of Fine Wine and Noble Rot have all featured his work, and he has regular pieces in the Drinks Retailing News and Living France publications.

He lives in New York City.

Richard migrated from London to Singapore in 2019, where he continues to talk about wine with the local community.

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