What is “Corked” wine?
The term “Corked” wine is used to describe a bottle of wine that has gone bad. Another name is Cork Taint. Chemicals occur in the wine for various reasons. See TCA and TBA compounds. Sad to say, but every so often, you are going to get a bottle of wine that is spoiled. The aroma of a corked wine is the tip-off. Cork Taint has the distinctive smell of wet cardboard. It can be very faint to intense, depending on the level of the chemical compounds. It will not harm you; it just means the wine is not going to taste as it should.
What is the cause of “Corked” wine?
he cause of tainted wine is usually a defective cork. The cork is bad from the start and will turn the wine. In some instances, the winery may be responsible for tainted wine. The combination of certain chemicals used in a winery may combine with bacteria to produce an off odor in the wine.
You can also spoil an unopened bottle of wine by aging and storing the wine improperly. A high temperature is usually the culprit in this case.
Once you open a bottle of wine, it will only last a couple of days even under the best of conditions. See Saving the Unfinished Bottle.
If you have a bottle of “Corked” wine
Put the cork back in the bottle, and if convenient, return it to where you purchased it. They will refund your money, at least most wine dealers will do this.
If you are at a restaurant and the wine you ordered is corked, you will need to tell the waiter immediately. If you are not sure, ask the waiter to smell it or to take a taste.