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Eddie Kennison
December 17, 2014 | General, Wine | Eddie Kennison

What Is Cork Taint?

Have you ever opened a bottle of wine and sworn it smelled more like moldy paper rather than the notes claimed on the back label? Could be that your wine had cork taint.

Wine taint is basically spoilage caused by a chemical compound referred to as TCA.

TCA, which can be present in water, soil, cork and other natural elements, is associated with mold probems in a wine. This can affect the smell and taste of the wine a great deal. Sometimes chemicals from the cork leaked into the wine. Or the cork was the conduit, so to speak. However, taint can come from the wood barrels as well.

It's hard to determine where the taint originated from and you can't know it's affecting your bottle until it's opened. Typcially harmless but often with a smell remeniscent of wet dog makes the wine unpalatable.

If you open a bottle you suspect is tainted you can usually return it to the store from which you purchased.

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