Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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corked, pejorative tasting term for a wine spoiled by a cork stopper contaminated with cork taint. A wine spoiled by cork taint may also be described as corky and the condition is known as corkiness. This is one of the most serious wine faults as in most cases it irrevocably imbues the wine with such a powerfully off-putting smell that it cannot be drunk with any enjoyment. The unpleasantly, almost mould-like, chemical smell of tca is occasionally present in smaller doses that may initially be noticed only by noses particularly sensitive to it or particularly familiar with the wine, but the odour usually intensifies with aeration and it is difficult for tasters to enjoy a wine once their attention has been drawn to its existence. Even a low level of taint often results in a slight dulling effect on the bouquet and palate, and levels well below the threshold of most drinkers have been shown to suppress fruit characters significantly.