Wine Word of the Week: Corked

By Kori ~ February 21st, 2012.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is corked.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Corked is the pejorative tasting term for a wine spoiled by a cork stopper contaminated with cork taint. 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. ….

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Corked is the term used to describe a wine that has been spoiled by cork taint. Cork taint is most often recognized by the smell of wet cardboard when you sniff the wine. A wine that is corked is essentially ruined. Some experts contend that as many as five percent of all wine bottles opened are flawed by a tainted cork. This fact has led many in the industry to pursue alternative closures such as screwcaps and glass stoppers.

Filed under: Wine Word of the Week

Reader's Comments

  1. Linda Trotta | February 21st, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Great topic Kori. It is important to also note that “corkiness” can come from sources other than the cork. Wine production facilities can become infected with the compound responsible for that musty character, which makes its way into the wine before it’s even bottled. In the last decade there have been a couple of high profile CA producers who had to revamp their wineries due to this.

  2. Eric Miller | February 21st, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    One of several different culprits in the development of TCA is chlorine/bromine cleaners, which is why bleach should never be used in cleaning at a winery.

  3. Kori | February 27th, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Linda and Eric,
    Great points. Thanks for sharing. Cheers!