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Corked Wine How to Tell | The Wine Virgin
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Corked Wine How to Tell

March 5, 2008

How do I know for sure that I have corked wine? This past weekend when I went to open a nice bottle of 2004, Santa Alicia Cabernet Sauvignon it tasted incredibly horrible and smelled like a wet basement after a flood. Is there anything I could possibly do to salvage this bottle? - Clara in Midland, TX

Unfortunately Clara, this is not much you can do other than toss it. Corked wine or corky wine is a broad term referring to a set of undesirable smells or tastes found in a bottle of wine. This can only be detected after bottling, aging and opening. The main cause of cork taint is the presence of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA) in the wine.

Corked wine containing TCA has a characteristic odor, variously described as resembling a moldy newspaper, wet dog, or your case “a wet basement after a flood” and gives it a corked wine taste. This makes the completely undrinkable and is what has happened to your cherished bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Depending on how long ago you bought the wine you should return it back to the store you got it from. Most wineries completely stand behind their product and will work to ensure customer satisfaction. Getting a bottle of corky wine is something that is rare nowadays but this is the risk we take when we have our hearts desire set on the perfect bottle.

Comments

2 Responses to “Corked Wine How to Tell”

  1. Wine Nose : The Wine Virgin on April 23rd, 2008 9:44 pm

    […] nose will give the faint smell of cork but not to be confused with corked wine. A sulfuric or matchstick nose has a similar smell of rotten eggs. An oxidized nose delivers a […]

  2. Wine Storage Tips - The Right Way : The Wine Virgin on May 22nd, 2008 11:20 pm

    […] Wide fluctuations in temperature will make the cork to expand and contract. This will let air into the bottle and the wine will become oxidized under these conditions. Another thing to keep in mind is the proper humidity levels.  For wine preservation, having too high a level of humidity can lead to the over all deterioration of the wine labels whereas a low level of humidity can make the cork shrink which again will oxidize the wine or even worse lead to a condition called corked wine. […]

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