When wine is corked what does it taste like?

2Mark Angelillo

The first time I tasted a corked wine I'm pretty sure I just thought the wine wasn't very good. Or worse yet, that I just couldn't appreciate wine.

Think back to that last corked bottle you had. What did that taste like?




    Cork Taint, or Corked wine, is caused by micro- fungi that are meant to eat cork in cork forest (they help keep the forest clean by removing dead trees).  These funguses can cause microscopic holes allowing for air to enter the bottle.  The microorganism can come in contact with the corks prior to the bottling process, during, or after wards.   

    To see if the wine is corked go by Smell first, Taste Second, and lastly Common Sense. 

    As other ‘Winepress-ers’ stated, if the wine or cork smells moldy, or anything resembling mildew, then it is corked. 

    This is hard to tell for wines that are served cold, as the temperature reduces the aroma producing agents.   If that is the case go by Taste:  if the wine feels like it should be something you can use as astringent do not drink it.  Cork tainted wine does not have a fruit taste and it finishes rough on the palate.  If the wine has been corked for a long time, you may detect smells of chlorine, and even polish/paint removers.

    A common believe is that if you try to open a bottle of wine and the cork disintegrated/falls apart, then the wine is corked. While that is very possible, check the wine, it could be just that you were too hard in the opening process.  Wine can go bad with the cork still intact.

    Most important, used your intuition.  Not liking a wine because of is taste or smells does not mean the wine is corked.  It just means it does not suit your palate.   Now if the wine smells and taste like something that normally you would run away from in other situations, then do not drink it.

    There is a big push in the industry to use Screw caps vs Cork caps to avoid Cork Taint, would love to hear people’s preference on that matter.   


    answered by

    Snooth User: Lolita Rojo

    Aug 16, 2011 at 11:52am

    • 602268ScottLauraH I personally love screwcaps, mostly for the convenience factor.

    • 124481courgette I love them for the sure knowledge that the wine won't be corked!

    • 2Mark Angelillo Great answer - thanks!


    I was lucky enough not to have to taste it.  A very wise wine buddy told me it was corked and he knew it just by smelling the wine.   It was bad, the Cork smelled very moldy, and the wine smelled like Windex.   He told me, if it smells like damp basement, wet newspaper, or cleaning supply, do not drink it. 

    answered by

    Snooth User: Kirsy

    Aug 16, 2011 at 10:12am

  • A few years ago my husband and I returned from a trip to the San Diego area which included a trip to the Temecula Valley wine country. We brought home a Super T from Ponte Family Winery and were so excited to share it with friends that Fall. However, when we opened and poured the first glass, we knew something was wrong. Instead of the beautiful nose we remembered, it smelled like mildew! We took a sip to be sure, but it was the sad truth. The wine was corked. We contacted the winery the following week and they sent us a new bottle at no charge.

    answered by

    Snooth User: ScottLauraH

    Aug 16, 2011 at 10:52am

  • As embarrassing as this is, I have to say I was tasting a wine not too long ago and had the tasting notes "very earthy and mineral...i like it!"  just before someone else said "omg, this is so corked!"  

    Sooo, I guess I'm not the best judge of whether a wine is corked or not...

    answered by

    Snooth User: eli1984

    Aug 16, 2011 at 10:26am

    • 880543Kirsy I am pretty sure prior to the day I learn what Corked meant, I had drank plenty of corked wine and not even know it, worse yet, probably enjoyed it! lol

  • I've always thought it smelled like a wet bathing suit (after spending a day at the beach) in a plastic bag. 

    answered by

    Snooth User: Jesse Chemtob

    Aug 16, 2011 at 12:11pm

    • 880543Kirsy haha, been there,

Answer this Question

Best Wine Deals

See More Deals

Snooth Media Network