Jump to content


Photo

Corked wines


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Really Nice!

Really Nice!

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts

Posted 20 June 2011 - 12:55 AM

You buy a bottle and do everything you can to take care of it. You give it a proper environment, nurture it, don't do anything to rattle it, and after 15 years it turns out to be corked. It's like raising a child and doing all the right things only to have a cop knock on your door for something your 15-year old did. (Sorry dad!)

Recent corked [and expensive] wines:
Quilceda Creek Merlot
Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Anne Gros Vosne Romanée Les Barreaux
Altesino Brunello

and tonight... Cos d'Estournel

Arg!

#2 Peter Creasey

Peter Creasey

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,101 posts

Posted 20 June 2011 - 02:00 AM

The percentage of corked wines is VERY small. Yes, it is annoying but it only happens about 3 - 5% of the time...and the frequency is diminishing.

The alternatives to cork closures are unproven, at best!
_________________
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Pete/Houston
SOAC . . .
. . "for the discreet and refined enjoyment of uncommon wine . .
. . . . and victuals and the companionship accruing thereto" . . . .

#3 splinky

splinky

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,944 posts

Posted 20 June 2011 - 10:25 AM

You buy a bottle and do everything you can to take care of it. You give it a proper environment, nurture it, don't do anything to rattle it, and after 15 years it turns out to be corked. It's like raising a child and doing all the right things only to have a cop knock on your door for something your 15-year old did. (Sorry dad!)

Recent corked [and expensive] wines:
Quilceda Creek Merlot
Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Anne Gros Vosne Romanée Les Barreaux
Altesino Brunello

and tonight... Cos d'Estournel

Arg!

is it possible that you're setting a bad example and don't realize it? kids will pick up on the most subtle things.

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#4 Really Nice!

Really Nice!

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts

Posted 20 June 2011 - 02:49 PM

is it possible that you're setting a bad example and don't realize it? kids will pick up on the most subtle things.

Beats me. There's been a sudden rash of this behavior this spring after going what seems to be years since the last problem appeared. These wines were all in their early to mid-teens and those are usually the difficult years.

#5 g.johnson

g.johnson

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 18,881 posts

Posted 20 June 2011 - 04:05 PM

Am I not correct* in thinking that a wine becomes corked almost immediately due to an infection of the cork but cannot become so over time?

* I am a complete ignoramus on all things oenophillic.
The Obnoxious Glyn Johnson

#6 splinky

splinky

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,944 posts

Posted 20 June 2011 - 04:34 PM

Am I not correct* in thinking that a wine becomes corked almost immediately due to an infection of the cork but cannot become so over time?

* I am a complete ignoramus on all things oenophillic.

nature, not nurture?

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#7 Really Nice!

Really Nice!

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts

Posted 20 June 2011 - 05:25 PM

Am I not correct* in thinking that a wine becomes corked almost immediately due to an infection of the cork but cannot become so over time?

* I am a complete ignoramus on all things oenophillic.



Cork comes from the bark of oak trees. Mold grows in the bark. Chlorine bleach is used to kill the mold during the processing of the cork. If the mold isn't entirely killed, the result is a chemical reaction between the mold and chlorine bleach and is known as 2,4,6 tricholoranisole (TCA), which smells like a moldy basement, damp newspapers, etc. It overpowers any bouquet in the wine. You can pick-up this TCA cork taint in as little as 1—4 parts per trillion.

TCA has also been found in the fungicides used in areas near where the cork is harvested. And it's also been found in the pallets used in wineries and in other equipment so even if a wine bottle doesn't contain natural cork, it can be contaminated with TCA.

For the wine to be contaminated with a cork in the bottle it needs to reach the mold in the cork. This takes time depending on where the mold is in the cork. If it's located closer to the ullage side (bottom side of the cork), it will be sooner than if it's located near the top of the bottle, assuming we're talking about just one mold spore in the cork.

I've read on another board that dipping plastic wrap made with polyethylene can remove the TCA. "They" recommended that one particular line of Saran Wrap is the only brand made with this, but since I use Costco plastic wrap it didn't work.

---

The issue for me is paying the expense of storing the wine for 15 years. I had the anticipation of a great sipping experience destroyed and it was literally poured down the drain. And each of these wines cost in the neighborhood of $100 and that makes it all the more painful.

#8 splinky

splinky

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,944 posts

Posted 20 June 2011 - 05:29 PM

that really does suck, i've only had the problem with fairly inexpensive wine. once you get into the level of fancy italian shoe money, it's a pretty devastating loss. how does the saran wrap thing work, exactly?

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#9 Really Nice!

Really Nice!

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts

Posted 20 June 2011 - 09:16 PM

how does the saran wrap thing work, exactly?

There's something about the polyethylene that has the opposite chemical makeup of TCA and since opposites attract the Saran Wrap pulls the TCA out of the wine, if I'm recalling it correctly. Just pull out about 12" worth of wrap and put it in the glass or decanter, and after about 10 minutes the wine is clean. The people who had the particular plastic wrap said it worked. I saw this on erobertparker.com about two years ago and since they went to pay-per-view last April I haven't been there.

#10 Lauren

Lauren

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,943 posts

Posted 21 June 2011 - 05:46 PM


how does the saran wrap thing work, exactly?

There's something about the polyethylene that has the opposite chemical makeup of TCA and since opposites attract the Saran Wrap pulls the TCA out of the wine, if I'm recalling it correctly. Just pull out about 12" worth of wrap and put it in the glass or decanter, and after about 10 minutes the wine is clean. The people who had the particular plastic wrap said it worked. I saw this on erobertparker.com about two years ago and since they went to pay-per-view last April I haven't been there.


I'm totally willing to give this a try but I need specifics (because I'm slow you know!). So you pour your corked bottle of wine into a decanter, stuff 12" or so of special saran wrap in on top of it, after 10 minutes remove the saran and voila! No more TCA?
Transmogrified by smoke and salt

You deserve a triumphant mouthful of meat........Lily to Marshall as he searches for the best burger in NY on HIMYM

#11 Really Nice!

Really Nice!

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts

Posted 21 June 2011 - 07:36 PM



how does the saran wrap thing work, exactly?

There's something about the polyethylene that has the opposite chemical makeup of TCA and since opposites attract the Saran Wrap pulls the TCA out of the wine, if I'm recalling it correctly. Just pull out about 12" worth of wrap and put it in the glass or decanter, and after about 10 minutes the wine is clean. The people who had the particular plastic wrap said it worked. I saw this on erobertparker.com about two years ago and since they went to pay-per-view last April I haven't been there.


I'm totally willing to give this a try but I need specifics (because I'm slow you know!). So you pour your corked bottle of wine into a decanter, stuff 12" or so of special saran wrap in on top of it, after 10 minutes remove the saran and voila! No more TCA?

That's how I remember reading it.
Here's one bboard's take on it.
Wikipedia
and
The LA Times also had an article.

There's a product called Dream-Taste that's supposed to remove TCA, but I can't find a place on the net to purchase it, plus its single-use filters cost $10 each.

#12 Wilfrid

Wilfrid

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 69,197 posts

Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:11 PM

Great explanation of the relationship between cork mould and time. I actually learned something.

#13 Lauren

Lauren

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,943 posts

Posted 22 June 2011 - 05:45 PM




how does the saran wrap thing work, exactly?

There's something about the polyethylene that has the opposite chemical makeup of TCA and since opposites attract the Saran Wrap pulls the TCA out of the wine, if I'm recalling it correctly. Just pull out about 12" worth of wrap and put it in the glass or decanter, and after about 10 minutes the wine is clean. The people who had the particular plastic wrap said it worked. I saw this on erobertparker.com about two years ago and since they went to pay-per-view last April I haven't been there.


I'm totally willing to give this a try but I need specifics (because I'm slow you know!). So you pour your corked bottle of wine into a decanter, stuff 12" or so of special saran wrap in on top of it, after 10 minutes remove the saran and voila! No more TCA?

That's how I remember reading it.
Here's one bboard's take on it.
Wikipedia
and
The LA Times also had an article.

There's a product called Dream-Taste that's supposed to remove TCA, but I can't find a place on the net to purchase it, plus its single-use filters cost $10 each.


Thanks! Paul really wants to try this so I'll let you know how it works.
Transmogrified by smoke and salt

You deserve a triumphant mouthful of meat........Lily to Marshall as he searches for the best burger in NY on HIMYM

#14 Really Nice!

Really Nice!

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 680 posts

Posted 22 June 2011 - 05:50 PM

Thanks! Paul really wants to try this so I'll let you know how it works.

Me too, so I just went out and bought Saran Wrap Premium. And because I bought it, I shouldn't have another corked bottle to test it for years! :)

#15 SFJoe

SFJoe

    In Memoriam

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,716 posts

Posted 25 June 2011 - 02:17 AM

I hear you, RN. I feel your pain, for it is my own.

The cork industry has mostly moved to oxygen bleaches over chlorine in the last decade, and made other changes that have somewhat reduced the frequency of the problem in young wines, but the bad patch of the previous decade or more is still with us. Middle-aged wines are at more risk than old wines or young wines, but the risk remains, everywhere.

The Saran Wrap thing is more a question of like and like than opposites attracting. It's sort of like an oil and vinegar salad dressing. The Saran Wrap is the oil and the wine is the vinegar. Greasy things, like TCA, prefer the greasy Saran environment, and you can separate them later by pulling out the wrap. The catch is that you probably pull out tasty things at the same time. My experience is that you never get enough of the TCA out to render the wine drinkable, since a seriously corked wine can have TCA at 100 or 1000x the threshold of sensitivity, so even 99% or 99.9% removal proves to be inadequate.

Brother Johnson, for a self-proclaimed ignoramus, you are nonetheless correct. The TCA is present when the cork goes in, and the wine is immediately fucked for all time. You may lovingly cellar it for decades, but it was dead the day you bought it.