We all love our wine, right? We love the way it calms us down after a stressful day, complements a happy mood, and works for day-drinking, nighttime wind-downs, celebrations, small moments, and everything in between. But you know what can ruin that wine? Different faults and flaws, one of which we’ll cover today—corked wine.
It’s something you’ve probably heard of—but you may not know if you’ve actually encountered it. First, you need to know what isn’t considered corked wine: pieces of cork floating in the wine or a bottle that’s opened with a screw cap or synthetic cork. If that’s the case, what is corked wine? Below, you’ll find your answers with our brief guide on how to tell if a wine is corked.
What Is Cork Taint?
A corked wine is one that has been contaminated with cork taint, which gives off a very distinct smell and taste. Cork is a natural substance, which means it contains little microorganisms that like to eat—whether the cork is still a part of a tree or after it’s been turned into the wine cork. Sometimes, these fungi come in contact with the cork and create the chemical TCA, ruining the wine the second the wine comes in contact with the cork.
What Does It Smell Like?
Ever walked into a dank, moldy basement or smelled a wet newspaper or dog? That’s what corked wine smells like. There’s not an ounce of it that you’ll want to sip, which is why cork taint is a major wine fault.
But there are ranges of corked wine. Not every bottle will smell like wet cardboard in a musty, moldy basement. If there’s only faint TCA, then the wine may simply lack an aroma. Those flavor profiles If your aromatic white wine lacks its characteristic aroma profile, this might mean the wine is corked.
What Does It Taste Like?
Now that you know what corked wine smells like, it’s important to know what it tastes like. Whether you order a glass at a restaurant or your friend poured you a glass, you may not always sniff before you sip. When you sip on a corked wine, that typical buoyant wine taste will instead be flat and dull. The fruit characteristics will be gone, and the wine may even taste astringent. More often than not, you’ll realize the wine simply doesn’t taste as promised.
Sometimes, places will let you return the bottle if it’s corked, but you may not be able to. But don’t fret. Corked wines are happening less and less now that wines are being sold in different ways—for example, with screw lids and synthetic corks. Either way, we hope you’ve learned how to tell if a wine is corked.
If you want some good wines without the worry of cork taint, turn to Wines ’Til Sold Out. We offer discount wine online that are still high-quality. You’ll never regret purchasing a wine from us!