Corked Wine | Spoiled Wine |Tainted Wine
The term corked is used to describe a bottle of unopened wine that
has gone bad. Sad to say, but every so often you are going to get
a bottle of wine that is spoiled. This is mainly caused by a bad
cork. The cork is bad from the start and will “turn”
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
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.
There are degrees of spoiled wine ranging from just starting
to downright awful. First smell the wine when you open it. You
can smell it right from the bottle or from the glass.
If is wine is corked, it will smell exactly like wet cardboard. The smell can range from faint to strong.
The color of the wine in the glass may also tip you off. White
wines can get a dark or off color of yellow; reds can have a
Put the cork back on the bottle and if convenient return it to
where you purchased it.
If you are at a restaurant and the wine is corked, you will need
to tell the waiter immediately. If you're not sure, ask the waiter
to smell it or take a taste.
A few wineries are experimenting with screw tops instead of corks.
Among them on our list are Bonny Doon and Plumpjack. Others wineries
will be doing this in the coming years.