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What is Corked Wine?

Posted by Amanda on 8/9/10



Corked Wine is a term used for bottles of wine that were contaminated by the cork that was used to seal the bottle.

The only way to tell if you have a bottle of corked wine is by opening. The first clue is the aroma, which has been said to smell musty, or a similar to wet carpet. In some cases, the contamination may not be as bad and you may only notice what is known as a flat odor. Of course, the flavor will tell you for sure that you took a sip of a corked wine as it not taste as good as a good bottle of the same wine.

How does corked wine come to be?

The trouble begins with the cork that was used to seal the bottles. Cork trees the origin of the corks for wine bottles have a mold that naturally occurs within the bark, which does not usually cause any problems for the wine. However, in some cases the chlorine, which is used to bleach and clean the corks, can cause the development of a chemical known as trichloroanisole. Trichloroanisole is what causes the formation of the mold that contaminates the wine as well as changes the aroma and taste. You cannot see this type of mold and is definitely not the same mold that might be seen on the top of the cork due to leakage, which does not change the aroma or taste of the wine.

What to do if you purchase a bottle of corked wine

The sad news for the wine industry is that corked wine occurs in about five percent of all bottles of wine that use corks. This means that one in every twenty bottles of wine is contaminated. If you do purchase a corked wine, all you have to do is pour the wine back into the bottle and return to the retailer. You will receive a replacement bottle without any effort at all. In most cases, the place where you purchased the wine understands this problem and will provide you with a replacement.

Is there a way to fix the problem with corked wine?

If you want to try to fix your bottle of corked wine instead of returning it for replacement, you can try what a French biochemist created. His invention states to empty the wine into a decanter and place a copolymer into the wine. The copolymer will absorb the contamination from the wine, which will allow the aroma and taste to return to normal.


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