Every wine enthusiast has had their favourite tipple ruined by cork taint at some point or another. The IdealWine Company asks; what is a corked wine and why do you need to know about it?
A flaw that can damage even the finest of wines
When people hear the term ‘corked wine,’ their minds immediately leap to the stopper that traditionally sits in the neck of their bottle of choice. They imagine little bits of cork floating around in their Pinot.
In reality ‘corked wine’ refers to a specific flaw that can damage the quality of even the finest wines. The flaw is caused by a chemical compound known as ‘cork taint.’ a.k.a 2,4,6 Trichloroanisole (TCA). You’ll spot cork taint straight away because the minute you open the bottle you’ll be greeted by a distinct, unpleasant aroma.
How is cork taint caused?
Cork taint is thought to effect between 2% and 10% of wines. The reason it’s called ‘cork’ taint is because it’s believed that the common flaw is caused by the cork itself.
Experts believe that TCA is created by some varieties of airborne fungi. They infect the cork. Therefore when the wine is corked, this fungi comes into contact with the vintage, disseminating through its depths until the wine is completely infected.
Is it possible to recover a corked wine?
A corked wine won’t harm you, but it will provide you with a vintage that’s impossible to drink. This leads us to ask; is it possible to recover a corked wine and render it drinkable?
Possibly. Some wine aficionados believe that you can use cling film to remove TCA from wine. The theory goes that if you put a wadded piece of cling film into a bottle of wine and leave it for an extended period of time, the cling film will absorb the compound and filter it out of the drink. Tests have shown that the results of this method are mixed at best.
Don’t drink a corked wine
A corked wine has the ability to ruin your vintage. If you ever find yourself confronted with a corked bottle, don’t drink it.