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What is a corked wine? How to recognize it? Can we save it? Get a refund ? Know everything !

Do you want to know what is a corked wine? How to recognize it? If we can save the bottle? Or how do you get refund? You are in the right place, we explain everything to you in complete relaxation!

corked wine

What is a corked wine?

A corked wine (not to be confused with the corkage fee) is due to a molecule called TCA (Trichloroanisole) contaminating the cork, and thus altering the taste of the wine. This molecule develops in wood mold (including oak bark or cork bark) in contact with other molecules produced by chlorine.

It is not dangerous for health, but the wine becomes undrinkable because it is very unpleasant in the mouth. It is estimated that 2% of the bottles are corked. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know if a wine is contaminated before it is opened.

How to recognize a corked wine?

What does a corked wine taste like?

No worries, even for non-expert people, a corked bottle is often quite easily recognizable. This is noticeable by the presence of an unpleasant and omnipresent taste of wet cork and cardboard, dust and mold.

Our tips for recognizing a corked wine

The first trick to recognizing this type of defect is to smell the cork once you have opened the bottle. If you smell moldy, this can be a first clue (although it is not definitive).

Once in the mouth, if you have any doubts, we advise you to serve some wine in a new glass and then wait a few minutes. In contact with air, the unsightly aromas of a corked wine will multiply, and take precedence over the aromas of fruits, minerals or spices. Normally, you will have no more doubts!

Can we save a corked wine?

A corked wine is the nightmare of the taster. What could be more frustrating than thinking of drinking your best bottle of wine and then realizing that it is undrinkable …? Because unfortunately a corked wine cannot be saved … After opening, as we have already explained, in contact with air, the unpleasant taste only worsens!

What to do with a corked wine?

If the taste of the cork is not too pronounced, you can use it for a simmered dish … However, we strongly advise you to empty the wine in the sink (if you do not have the possibility to get refund) and throw the cork to be sur to not contaminate other bottles. We know, it’s frustrating … but it’s the best thing to do!

How to get a refund for a corked wine?

If you have a corked bottle, after the frustration, come the question of money … How to get refund for a corked wine?

No stress ! Just bring the bottle back to where you bought it. The wine merchant must change the bottle or simply refund you, because he can himself be refund by the winegrower. The responsibility for a corked wine is not yours, nor that of the wine merchant but of the winemaker. The wine merchant being the intermediary between you and the winegrower, it is up to him to change or to refund the corked bottle.

Important: To be refund, it is essential to bring back the full bottle. Do not empty the wine in the sink! This allows the wine merchant to check that the wine is well corked, and that you have not drunk it. It proves your good faith.