Corks - Printable Version

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- chittychattykathy - 02-28-2000

Does anyone have some good figures on how often wine turns up corked? I hear around 4-6 % of the time. Thanks in advance!!! K

- Bucko - 02-29-2000

Arguable, with no way to prove your point.<P>Bucko

- Jackie - 03-01-2000

Our esteemed moderator, Jerry Mead, has written about corked wines in several of his columns. You might want to check these out:<P><BR><BR><P>Hope this helps.<BR>Jackie

- Bucko - 03-01-2000

Now that I have a little more time, I will give a more detailed answer:<P>Wine corks can easily become tainted with indigenous mold from various sources. Left to grow on the cork, the mold produces a byproduct called TCA (trichloroanisole). TCA is harmless to the consumer but it will ruin your wine. A wine that has been sealed with a tainted cork will develop musty, old wood, wet cardboard smells and flavors that overwhelm the wine's nuances. This is commonly referred to as a "corked" wine. Human threshold levels for TCA can vary widely. While experienced tasters can perceive TCA in parts per trillion, inexperienced consumers will only pick it up in parts per billion. Even though the TCA may be below their taste threshold, the individual will notice that the wine seems to have lost fruit, appearing dull and lifeless.<P>To combat TCA, the synthetic cork market has come to prominence. Although effective, many wineries will not use them. They blame increased cost, and more important, consumer resistance to a plastic cork in an expensive bottle of wine. However, with an estimated 5-6% of all wines being corked, the future looks bright for the synthetic market. The exact percentage is arguable due to threshold differences.<P>I just returned from the NWIWC judging. We found six corked wines in a batch of 57 Cabs that we judged -- 10%! This has to be an anomaly.<P>Bucko

- chittychattykathy - 03-01-2000

Thanks to all, I needed to get a few other opinons on how often it happens.Sounds like i was on target. K