|Traverse City, MI 2009|
Black Star Farms Winery
In order to save you, friends, from drinking a tainted bottle of wine, I am going to share the information I learned from my research.
First, it might be helpful that you know that any "tainted" wine contains TCA. TCA (I will spare you the long scientific name), is a chemical substance. Corks that are meant to keep wine fresh can be contaminated with this chemical.
Wondering how this happens? Ah, I thought you would never ask!
It is pretty complicated but let's just say that phenols in cork tree bark react with fungus or mold when introduced to chlorine (this happens for several reasons and would require a post all on its own. So just trust me). This fungus or mold produces TCA. You can usually tell if your wine is "corked" by the aroma. Almost anyone can detect it, once you know what you are looking for. Wines with TCA can range from smelling like nothing at all to a wet cardboard box or even your grandma's spare bedroom that hasn't been used in 25 years. When you smell it, you will know it.
Fortunately this doesn't happen too often if you rarely purchase a bottle of wine, but regular wine drinkers have found that 1%-3% of bottles are corked. That is pretty high. TCA won't hurt you, but it ruins the wine, and will generally taste pretty gross. Learning to sniff out a corked wine will only benefit you. So next time, take a whiff before you take a sip. You are one step closer to being a wine expert friends.
Anyone can do it :) Even my sweet husband-- (who would most likely be alarmed if anyone accused him of being a wine expert)! He is going to have to deal with me shoving glasses of wine in his face and demanding "Is this wine corked?! I could swear it's corked..." from now on. Bless his heart.
If you haven't yet, don't forget to enter the giveaway for this sweet spring necklace:
With only 20 entries so far and up to 5 entries per person,
you still have a good chance of winning it!