What Does It Mean When A Wine Is Corked? (TOP 5 Tips)

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.


  • A corked wine does not mean a wine that has tiny particles of cork floating around in the glass. Corked wine is a term for a wine that has become contaminated with cork taint. Cork taint is not simply the taste of a cork. Rather it is caused by the presence of a chemical compound called TCA (2,4,6 – trichloroanisole).


How can 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!

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.

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.

Can a screw top 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 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.

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.

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.

Will corked wine make you sick?

The extent of what most people know about wine that is said to be corked, however, is that it just isn’t going to taste very good. Corked wine won’t make you sick, but it sure does taste bad.

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.

Can you get rid of cork taint?

A study carried out in France has shown that plastic clingfilm can successfully remove 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), also known as cork taint, although its application is probably of more use in the winery than at home. The plastic wrap was then added to each barrel and tests were taken after eight hours.

How do you prevent cork taint?

Avoid Soaking Corks in Sulfur Dioxide Another way to prevent wines from being affected with cork taint is to avoid soaking the corks in sulfur dioxide chemical solutions, as a higher concentration of this chemical compound can give off a moldy and earthy aroma in the wine.

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

However, I would venture to guess that not as many wine drinkers are familiar with the term “corked wine,” let 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 tiny pieces of cork floating around in the glass.

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

In the presence of certain chlorides found in bleaches and other winery sanitation / sterilization products, TCA is formed when natural fungi (of which many are found in cork) come into contact with the product.

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

  1. Since the discovery (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 clearing agents.
  2. Corked wines have a distinct smell and taste of damp, soggy, wet, or rotten cardboard, respectively.
  3. The apparentness of the corked smell and taste is dependent on both the extent of the taint and the level of sensitivity of the wine drinker to the smell and taste (aka your cork taste threshold).
  4. For example, while I am the wine expert in our household, it is my husband who is able to detect corked wine almost 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 incorrectly assumed that cork is responsible for other wine defects.

(See my February post for more information on other common 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 question your decision — although it is best if the bottle is not nearly finished!

For those unfamiliar with the art of wine tasting, you may be intimidated and fail to detect the taint when the sommelier or waiter first requests that you taste the wine.

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

Cork Taint: Is It Getting Worse or Better?

I open quite a few wine bottles every week, and these days it is often several weeks before I find a tainted wine.

Until next week, stay away from corked wines!

Mary Gorman-McAdamsContributor Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant. In 2012 she was honored as a Dame Chevalier de L’Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne.

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

It is estimated that corked wine, or wine that has been tainted by cork, occurs in around five percent of cork-enclosed bottles. Therefore, if you are a frequent wine drinker, you are more than likely to come across a corked bottle or two over your lifetime. How to detect whether your bottle of wine is corked, as well as what to do if it happens, are outlined below. Let’s start with the things that aren’t corked:

  • 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. “However, once you’ve smelled a corked wine, you’ll never forget it,” Beavers adds of the experience. One method of determining whether or not a wine is corked is to smell and taste it, and then try to identify the notes that you’ve learned to anticipate from the wine’s style and compare them. It’s very safe to assume that something is wrong if a wine normally smells fruity but you aren’t picking up any fruit notes when you smell it for the first time.

“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. In addition, the alcohol in wine would eliminate any unwanted germs that may be potentially damaging to our bodies as a result of the fermentation process. You don’t have to grin and bear it, though, if a bottle of wine that you ordered turns out to be corked. 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.

“You’re making a financial investment in something.” Furthermore, restaurants, particularly in larger cities, have a tendency to mark up their wines, so you’re already spending more than you should for that bottle.

You might be interested:  What Does A Wine Decanter Do? (Perfect answer)

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.

More than 30 percent of the world’s wines are now marketed with screw caps, making it easy to avoid drinking wine that has been sealed with a cork in the past.

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.

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.

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 occurs 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.


Brettanomyces is an abbreviation for Brettanomyces odoriferans, a bacterium that produces an extremely strong odor when it is infected by specific yeast strains. It is possible to identify Brett if the wine has ‘barnyard’ fragrances, which include horse, hay bale, or stable-like scents, or if the wine has a band-aid-like smell or taste. Rhône wines (Syrah and Carignan) are particularly prone to this phenomenon, but it is not exclusive to that area alone.

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

According to the cork industry’s trade association, APCOR, a research found a 0.7–1.2 percent taint rate. In a 2005 examination of 2800 bottles tasted at the Wine Spectator’s blind-tasting facility in Napa, California, it was discovered that 7% of the bottles had been compromised with a contaminant. In 2013, the Cork Quality Council conducted approximately 25 thousand tests, according to its website. When the results are compared to data from eight years ago, they reveal a significant drop in TCA levels of around 81 percent.

Improvements in cork and winemaking methodology are continuing to work to reduce the incidence of cork taint, but the media attention given to the issue has sparked a debate within the winemaking community, with traditional cork growers on one side and manufacturers of newer synthetic closures and screw caps on the other.

Although it is possible that this is due to a reduction in oxygen availability, which intensifies sulphurous odours associated with wines that use universal preservatives, it is more likely that these wines have excessive/imbalanced levels of sulphite-based preservatives in the first instance.

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. It is often necessary to completely rebuild cellars in order to completely eradicate any potential systemic TCA causes. The rubber hoses or gaskets have a high affinity for TCA and, as a result, they concentrate TCA from the surrounding 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.
  • It has not been demonstrated that chlorine dioxide can create these spontaneous chlorophenols.

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


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


  • “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
You might be interested:  How To Gift Wrap Wine Glasses? (Solution)

What does corked wine mean?

(Image courtesy of Getty) You will almost certainly hear from want tobe sommeliers about corked wine and how it might impact the flavor of your beverage. However, the most of us have probably never had the pleasure of tasting corked wine (particularly if you just go for a screw top). While it is commonly believed that corked wine contains fragments of cork that have fallen loose, the phrase really refers to wine that has been polluted by cork taint, a chemical known as TCA, which has gotten detached from the cork.

  • Some wineries have ceased using chlorine completely throughout the production process in order to prevent wine from being corked, which has helped to alleviate the problem to some extent.
  • Although corked wine is not unsafe to drink, it does have a bland flavor, which some people consider to be a sign that the wine has been damaged.
  • It all depends on your taste sensitivity (as well as your desire not to return to the store for another bottle).
  • In spite of the fact that methods have altered in wineries that employ corks, it is still unavoidable in some circumstances due to the fact that the fungus that causes it thrives naturally in the environment.

MORE:A lady weighing seven stone consumes 255 shish kebabs in 23 minutes. You may now enjoy afternoon tea with the Queen at Madame Tussauds in London. MORE:


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!

How to Tell if Wine Is Corked

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation One of life’s little joys is savoring a fine bottle of wine with friends. On the other hand, it is estimated that around 5% of the world’s wines are corked, which results in a less than pleasurable experience while drinking wine. In order to detect whether or not a bottle of wine has been corked, it is recommended that you smell the bottle before drinking it. Even though it smells OK, you should still taste it to ensure that it has the strong, fresh aromas you were expecting when you purchased it.

  1. 1 Take a whiff of the wine. If a bottle of wine has been corked, it will have an odor that you would not expect to find in a good bottle of wine. It may have a musty scent, or it may smell like damp towels, a wet dog, wet cardboard, or wet newspaper.
  • Keep in mind that your initial scent is more dependable than your subsequent sniffs. Don’t believe everything you hear
  • Wine becomes corked when it is subjected to TCA, also known as “2,4,6-Trichloroanisole,” a naturally occurring molecule that may be found in the cork of the wine bottle.
  • 2 Take a sip of the wine. If the wine has only been exposed to a little quantity of TCA, it may be difficult to determine whether or not it has been corked only by smelling it. When the wine is tasted, it will have a bland flavor and will not have any fruit qualities. Some people also describe corked wine as tasting astringent
  • This is a common description.
  • A wine that has only a minor cork snag may be devoid of scent and taste, and may even be unpalatable. If you did try it and it turned out to be corked, the flavor was almost certainly unpleasant. It may even have had a flavor that was evocative of paint thinner. Afterwards, rinse your mouth out with water and get a new bottle of water.
  • Advertisement
  • s3 Ensure that you taste the wine before serving it to anyone else! This allows the host to determine whether or not the wine is suitable for consumption, and it prevents the wine from being poured into several glasses before it is discovered that the wine is not suitable for eating. Return your corked wine to the store where you purchased it to receive a replacement or a refund, whichever you want.
  • If you are in a restaurant and you purchase a bottle of wine, be certain that the waiter enables you to sample the wine before serving any other visitors at the table
  • Otherwise, the wine may be spoiled.
  • 4 Avoid conflating a corked bottle of wine with other issues. If anything about the wine doesn’t feel quite right to you, don’t immediately assume that it’s been corked. It’s possible that there are additional factors contributing to the poor taste of your wine
  • Oxidized wine is wine that has been exposed to oxygen, resulting in a wine that tastes flat and lifeless, with a slight vinegary flavor. If your wine tastes like this (consider the difference between the flavor of a flat soda and the taste of a fresh soda, as the concept is similar), it is likely that it has simply oxidized. The color of the wine (assuming it is white) will have altered as well, becoming dull yellow or brownish in appearance. Maderized wine is defined as wine that has been warmed, either as a result of storage or during shipping. This wine will have a flavor that is evocative of almonds or candied fruits, and the cork may be pushed out of the bottle a little. This occurs as a result of the expansion that occurs when the wine is exposed to excessive heat
  • It is also conceivable that the wine has refermented. In spite of the fact that wine is a result of fermentation, surplus yeast can interact with the wine after it has been bottle and cause it to have a bubbly flavor.
  1. 1 Understand the process by which a bottle of wine becomes corked. The term “corked wine” refers to wine that has come into touch with a cork that has been tainted by the term “cork taint.” This occurs when a wine cork comes into touch with a molecule known as TCA (2,4,6-Trichloroanisole), which is widely found in wine.
  • In wineries, TCA is formed when natural fungi present in corks come into touch with particular chemicals contained in sanitation and sterilizing solutions used in the process of making wine.
  • 2Understand what it does not mean to be corked. Many people are under the impression that corked wine is just wine that has little pieces of cork floating about in it. This is incorrect. This isn’t the case at all. Despite the fact that it is irritating, the wine is not damaged
  • 3 Keep in mind that it is possible that the contamination was not caused by the cork on the bottle. A screw-top bottle of wine may occasionally be encountered, but it will still have the appearance and taste of a corked bottle of wine. It is possible that the wine became contaminated in the barrel before it was bottled in this instance.
  • As a result, you should return the wine to its original location. If a winery has sold an entire batch of corked wine, you should take a second look at the quality of that particular wine.

Create a new question

  • Question What is the best way to repair a corked bottle of wine? A wine consultant and the founder and host of Matter of Wine, a company that offers educational wine events, including team-building experiences and networking events, Murphy Perng has a diverse background in the industry. According to Murphy, who is based in Los Angeles, California, his clients include companies such as Equinox, Buzzfeed, WeWork, and StageTable, to name a few. Murphy holds a WSET (WineSpirit Education Trust) Level 3 Advanced Certification in the wine industry. CWC (Certified Wine Consultant) certification Expert Answer Simply place a coffee filter halfway into your wine glass and slowly pour the wine through the filter to remove any cork fragments that may have gotten into your glass. Question In what situation does it indicate that taking out the cork creates a hissing noise and that the cork is moist and mushy from wine consumption? It indicates that the wine has been properly bottled. Question Is it safe for a toddler to drink wine that has been corked? A toddler should not be allowed to consume any alcohol. So, no, corked wine is not suitable for children under the age of three. Question Is the wine showing thick, black consistencies, indicating that it has been corked? Yes
  • Question Is it okay to drink corked wine while pregnant if I only drink the corks and not the wine itself? No. If you are expecting a child, avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages. Question What should you do if the cork has retreated into the neck of the bottle? You may also try to force the cork all the way in past the neck of the bottle by turning it upside-down and pouring into a suitable vessel, such as a jug or a very big glass if you are unable to use an air or Co2 pump.

Inquire about something There are 200 characters remaining. Include your email address so that you may be notified when this question has been resolved. SubmitAdvertisement

  • TCA is difficult to remove from a wine cellar, and once it has been introduced, it has the potential to taint all of the wine in the cellar. There is no evidence that TCA is hazardous to people. Even at two parts per trillion (0.000000000002 kilos in a litre of wine), TCA may be seen by the human eye. It is impossible to tell if a wine has been corked simply by smelling the cork. It is necessary to return the corked bottle of wine to the store where you purchased it. If you receive a corked bottle of wine, they should provide you a replacement or a refund. If they don’t, it’s probable that this isn’t a place where you should spend your money in the first place. Simply place the cork back into the bottle and return it to the store with the wine still inside. They may choose to return the wine to the distributor in order to inform them of the corked wine
  • Or
You might be interested:  How To Store Wine Glasses? (Solved)


  • In the event that you stumble find a bottle of wine in your collection that has been corked, toss it out. This wine should not be able to infect any of your other wines.


About This Article

Summary of the ArticleXThe best way to identify whether your wine is corked is to sniff it first to check if it smells musty, like a wet dog or a piece of cardboard. When it comes to tasting your wine, go with your first impression because it is the most reliable. Whether you can’t tell by the fragrance alone, try a sip of the wine and see if it tastes dull or astringent, with no discernible fruit flavor. If so, discard the bottle. Additionally, overheating in storage or during transport could cause your wine to taste off, giving it a flavor similar to almonds or candied fruits.

Did you find this overview to be helpful?

Did this article help you?

Conclusion XTo determine if your wine is corked, start by smelling it. If the wine smells musty, such as a wet dog or cardboard, it is likely that it has been corked. Believe your initial sniff while tasting your wine since it is the most accurate. To determine if the wine is dull or astringent without any fruit flavor, take a sip and examine the wine’s taste to see if it is dull or astringent. You may also notice that your wine tastes a little wrong due to warming in storage or during shipping, in which case it will taste like almonds or candied fruits.

Were you able to benefit from this overview?

  • 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.

As usual, thank you for your interest in and support of our wine blog, and I encourage you to pass it along to your family and friends.

You’ll receive our reviews and articles in your inbox as a result of this. I’d appreciate it if you could share your thoughts on this blog post or any other topic with me in the comments section below. 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.

Cork taint, corked wine, TCA, and wet dog odor are all terms used to describe the smell of cork.

Corked, Cooked, Bretty, Bad: How to Spot 7 Common Wine Flaws

The majority of wine specialists agree that at least one out of every twenty bottles of wine—and potentially as many as one out of every ten—is corked. That is to say, it is defective. Something has gone wrong. It is deserving of a return. Have you consumed a total of ten bottles of wine in the past year? How many have you returned so far? Or, to put it another way, how many emails have you not returned because you were unaware of the situation? Or it might be that you didn’t want to be awkward or that you didn’t want to appear foolish.

Knowing what to watch out for and how to request a different bottle can make you a lot better drinker in the long run.


You shouldn’t glance at the cork, smell the cork, or search for particles of cork in your glass since none of these will tell you if a wine is corked. Instead, look for signs of cork in the wine. The only way to tell if your wine has been tainted by cork is to smell and taste it. A chemical known as TCA (or 2, 4, 6-trichloranisole for all you chem-nerds) seeps into corks and causes a musty stench to permeate the contents of the bottle. Stick your nose in your glass and take a whiff around for notes of moldy cardboard, musty cellar, or mangy sponge, all of which are frequent markers of the presence of TCA.


“Is it possible to put a shelf in a store window with the sun shining on it? Unfortunately, the bottle of wine is a dud.” “Cooked” refers to a wine that has been exposed to high temperatures for an extended length of time. Even at temperatures slightly over 75 degrees, warm temperatures tend to dull or flatten a wine’s flavor; in severe cases, the wine might take on a stewed, prune-like, or raisin-like flavor. It is at this point that knowing where your wine is sourced is advantageous. Wine storage is extremely important, yet it is much too often disregarded.

Unfortunately, that bottle of wine is a dud.


Cooked wine is also characterized by a sour taste and a bitter aftertaste.


Consider the flavor of a fresh, green Granny Smith apple. Allow it to sit out on the counter for a day after it has been sliced up. This causes the color to turn dark, and the tastes to taste brown as well: dried out, worn-out, and cider-like. Oxidized wines behave in a similar way, and they typically have a nutty flavor to them as well.

Older wines that have been bottled with cork closures can naturally develop some nice, delicate oxidative tastes as a result of the cork allowing a little amount of oxygen to pass through over time. Young wines, on the other hand, should be crisp and fresh.


Look for Band-Aids and barnyards with your nose. In either case, the wine has been infected by a yeast called brettanomyces (also known as brett), which, like any yeast, may be found all over the world. Brett, in particular, like spending time in barrels in vineyards, and once it has taken up residence in your winery, it is famously tough to expel. In fact, several wines have become well-known for their peculiar bretty flavour as a result of this. Some individuals (including this author) appreciate brett in tiny amounts since it may also express meaty and spicy flavors such as bacon, leather, or cloves, among other things.

There is a strong chance that other bottles of the same wine will be damaged in the same way.


VA is an abbreviation for Volatile Acidity, which is naturally found in all wines in trace amounts and which normally does not create difficulties. However, when harmful bacteria such as acetobacter (which transforms wine into vinegar) are present in the winery, a type of wine infection can arise as a result of the interaction of the bacteria, alcohol, and air. In certain instances, VA goes beyond, and the wine’s fresh, fruity aromas are completely eliminated, with just a sour, vinegary taste remaining in their stead.

That is not a positive development.


Some wines actually restart their fermentation process while still in the bottle, resulting in an off-flavorous and spritzy finish to the wine. This occurs when there is still yeast and sugar present in the bottle of wine. The yeast is starting to become hungry! And they consume the sugar as part of their work responsibilities. However, because alcohol and carbon dioxide are produced as byproducts of fermentation, your wine will have a slight fizz to it. Bacteria left in the wine may also merrily munch away at other typical components of the wine, releasing carbon dioxide and other off-putting aromatics as a result of their activities.


Sulfur is not a fault in and of itself, to state the obvious. Sulfur is not a harmful element in and of itself! In the winemaking process, it is critical to utilize reasonable amounts of sulfur: sulfur helps to prevent additional defects (such as those mentioned above) by acting as a natural preservative and keeping microorganisms at away. Specifying that a wine be created without sulfur is like to requesting that your supper be prepared without the cook washing her hands first. Risky. However, like with everything, having too much of a good thing may be detrimental.

Two more sulfur-related defects have to do with difficult chemical processes that might result in a wine that smells like rotten eggs or garlic and onions, among other unpleasant aromas and flavors. Woof.

So you think you’ve spotted a flaw. Now what?

Inquire about a second opinion! Shutterstock Any of the situations listed above justifies requesting a fresh bottle. Please keep in mind that it is usually courteous to do so before you have finished the most of it! In all circumstances, begin your conversation with a straightforward and honest declaration about your likes and preferences at the time of purchase. Make no apprehensions about asking inquiries or seeking guidance. This unique conversation with the salesperson, server, or sommelier will assist to guarantee that you start off on the proper route in the first place.

  • Don’t be afraid to take a few sips, swirl them about in your mouth, then swish them around some more.
  • The optimal approach is one that is calm, ambiguous, and casual: “Hmm.
  • What do you think about it?
  • A bottle that has been damaged will be replaced as soon as possible.
  • The scenario becomes more complicated if the wine is technically sound but just does not appeal to your personal preferences.
  • However, if the wine is extremely pricey, she may find it more difficult to rationalize the purchase.
  • The main line is that there’s no danger in reaching out to find out.
  • You’ll most likely have a greater understanding of why the wine tastes or smells the way it does, and you’ll be better able to appreciate it for what it truly is.
  • The fresh bottle, as well as your following better night’s sleep, will make whatever worry you had about asking completely worthwhile.

How To Tell If a Wine Is Corked

We all enjoy a good glass of wine, don’t we? We enjoy how it helps us relax after a hectic day, how it enhances a good mood, and how it can be used for anything from day drinking to evening winding down, celebrations, tiny moments, and everything in between. But do you know what may completely spoil a bottle of wine? There are many different types of defects and imperfections, one of which we’ll discuss today: corked wine. It’s something you’ve undoubtedly heard about, but you might not be aware of whether or not you’ve really come across it.

Then what exactly is corked wine, and how does it differ from regular wine? You’ll find your answers below, along with a quick explanation on how to identify if a bottle of wine has been corked.

What Is Cork Taint?

A corked wine is one that has been tainted by cork taint, which has a unique smell and flavor and may be distinguished from other wines. Given that cork is a natural substance, the fact that it includes small microbes that prefer to eat implies that it has microorganisms whether the cork is still a part of the tree or after it has been transformed into a wine cork. It has been reported that when these fungus come into touch with cork, they produce the chemical TCA, which destroys the wine the moment it comes into contact with the cork.

What Does It Smell Like?

Never entered a gloomy, moldy cellar or smelt a wet newspaper or a rotting dog till now. The fragrance of corked wine can be described as follows: Because it’s so unpleasant to drink, cork taint is a major wine flaw, and it’s why it’s such a common problem. However, there are several varieties of corked wine. The scent of wet cardboard in a damp, moldy cellar will not be present in every bottle. If there is just a trace amount of TCA, the wine may simply be lacking in scent. Those taste profiles are quite interesting.

What Does It Taste Like?

Knowing how corked wine smells is vital, but it’s even more crucial to know how corked wine tastes! Whether you order a glass at a restaurant or a buddy pours you a glass, it’s possible that you won’t always sniff your drink before you drink it. When you drink a corked wine, the characteristically buoyant wine flavor will be replaced with something flat and lifeless. The fruity characteristics of the wine will have vanished, and the wine may even have an astringent taste. More often than not, you’ll discover that the wine just does not taste as good as it was described.

But don’t be concerned.

In any case, we hope you’ve gained some insight into how to detect if a bottle of wine has been corked.

We provide low-cost wine online that is nevertheless of great quality, at reasonable prices.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *