Wine Talk

Snooth User: napagirl68

I must be cursed....

Posted by napagirl68, Jan 12.

Yep.  Just opened a $$ pinot and it is corked.  Additionally, I was at a tasting room in Sonoma less than two weeks ago, and they opened a great wine... corked.  That is now two...  I forget how these come for me, but I live in fear of opening another.   Truthfully,  I overcame my fear and opened another bottle of a different pinot.  While opening it, I sustained a deep laceration to my thumb from the foil.  Ok, fingers bleed a lot (not alot), and it was a messy scene.  I got a little lightheaded, but managed to tightly bandage the wound up.  The good news:  the second bottle was not corked.  Ahhh.

I have sent an email to the winery re: the corked bottle...  would love to just bring it back up, but it is all the way Outthere, if you KWIM.

Replies

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Reply by outthere, Jan 12.

I do KWYM. When talking TCA you're like patient zero when it comes to an epidemic.

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Reply by napagirl68, Jan 12.

Yep, I'm the H1N1 of TCA...   wish there was a vaccination for cork taint.

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Reply by EMark, Jan 12.

Sorry to hear NG.

I mean, Julia.  This can be construed as pretty gross, but, since Mrs. EMark (who, by the way, is wearing a split because of a backyard incident, last week) thinks it's hilarious, then I guess I don't have to feel guilty about laughing.

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Reply by napagirl68, Jan 12.

LOL!! Laugh away, emark!  What a blast from the past. Don't get me started on a Dan Aykroyd speel!  Yep, it was quite the blood bath, from a foil at that!

BTW, I have had my share of kitchen cuts and burns....  immediate care for slicing mushrooms, ER for red pepper, and numerous burns over the years.   LOL!  

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Reply by JenniferT, Jan 12.

Lol, NG - you and I just may be culinary kindred spirits! I can relate to your mishaps. It's nice to have company. :)

 

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Reply by JonDerry, Jan 14.

Sorry to hear NG!

A fun tip for future reference...most capsules (tin foil) do not need to be cut, you can just grab them tightly and spin them off.

There's also that cellophane trick with cork tainted bottles I've heard does wonders, but you have to wait a while, or until the next day.

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Reply by JenniferT, Jan 14.

What's the cellophane trick? I wonder has anyone tried it? I'm curious.....

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Reply by JonDerry, Jan 14.

I've never done it, but here's what a veteran just told me...sounds pretty awesome, eh?

- cut off a piece of plastic wrap 18-24 inches long. Loosely, gently, wad it up into very loose ball. Place the 'ball' into a pitcher. Pour the wine over the 'ball', swirl for 15 seconds and leave it there for 15 minutes. Slowly pour/funnel the wine back into the (clean) bottle. Re-seal with 'good' cork, or enjoy right away (if it works, doesn't always).
 
In other words, just hope for the best (my experience is it works more than it doesn't work, which is WAY better than never), and even when it does work, it doesn't seem to be 100% free, but damn close. No guarantees, same as everything else in life. Except death and taxes, I suppose. 
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Reply by JenniferT, Jan 14.

Wow, that's amazing - thanks!

I wonder how it works in terms of neutralizing TCA.....

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Reply by JonDerry, Jan 14.

Jenn, here's an article I found on the topic. Interesting stuff...but I can wait to try it out ; )

http://lifehacker.com/5131827/fix-corked-wine-with-a-bowl-and-plastic-wrap

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Reply by napagirl68, Jan 14.

Well...

I have heard of this "trick".  I think we even addressed it long ago. The polyethylene supposedly attracts the TCA out of the wine and can remove some of the characteristic musty/mildew nose that TCA can cause. My problem with this is that with all wines that I have tasted that were "corked", the flavor of the wine itself is off, often tasting like one-dimensional "Kool-aid".  So perhaps you can get rid of the mustiness, but that wine will never be what it is supposed to be.  And when I pay $$$ for a pinot, one of which I expect both delicacy and complexity, I am not going to be sticking a roll of cellophane in it with the hope that I will get some ghost of that wine!   I suppose if it were a very old bottle that one has been saving, it makes sense to try anything to resuscitate that wine. 

On another note, I read some articles online where reputable scientists are saying that TCA is not a huge problem in American wine making any longer.  I agree, when talking about larger producers, typically wineries that do some type of distribution.  Pretty much every bottle of corked wine I have experienced was from very small, boutique type of wineries that do not have large production facilities, and/or share production facilities with other small wineries.  We got into a discussion about source of TCA on this forum, and it was mentioned that the cork isn't the only problem.  I argued that I had never had a bottle of wine with a non-cork closure that was corked.  Well, maybe I have found an answer.  In doing some research, it seems that even very small amounts of the fungus responsible for the byproduct of TCA can, indeed, make way into the wine via production processes, etc, BUT in very, very tiny amounts.  When a cork is then placed into that bottle, the fungus can then multiply, thus increasing TCA production.  So, theoretically, there may very well be many screwcap bottles out there that started with a trace of fungus, but without that cork to spawn further production, the level remains too low for detection.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jan 15.

Fair enough NG,

But do try yanking those capsules off yourself with your bare hands/arms. You'll be surprised how many you can remove this way.

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Reply by napagirl68, Jan 15.

I will do that, JD. 

I normally do not cut the foil, but drill right down through it to be done with the whole event.  I have never had an issue before, hence the title of this thread.  As a cork-hater, I don't like dealing with any part of the damned process.  With regard to cork closures, I find I am becoming much more bitter with age :-)

 

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Reply by JenniferT, Jan 15.

Can't you also simply just return a wine with a tainted cork? I only had that happen to me with one wine, but I had no problem taking it back to the store to exchange for another one - no questions asked. Now I get the impression that might be an exceptional case....

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Reply by napagirl68, Jan 15.

JenniferT,

Absolutely.  Most reputable wineries will take back the bottle for exchange.  Wine shops will do it as well.  I don't buy wine in grocery stores as a rule, but their rules are different, I believe.  I think, at least here in CA, they cannot return alcohol.

I buy much of my wine from small producers up in the Sonoma area, which is about 2.5 hrs away from me, and Santa Cruz, which is about 1.25hrs away.  Returning in person, in a timely fashion, is not really an option.  I have had this happen, under these circumstances, a handful of times.  In those cases, the wineries usually shipped me a replacement immediately, without requiring return of the bottle, which I was ready and willing to do.  There was one winery of which I had 2-3 bad (two TCA, one Brett).  They did replace the wine, but acted a bit "surprised" that I had a problem as no one else had returned wine. That made me feel a bit uncomfortable.  In reality, most people just drink it and think that is how it is supposed to taste, or don't bother to return.  

ETA- I tend to find a wine I like, and buy several bottles, sometimes cases, of the same wine.  In that respect, I absolutely know what that wine should taste like.  If I get a bottle that is "off", it stands out like a sore thumb.

Wine shops are usually VERY easy to deal with, IME.

Along with the inconvenience of dealing with returns and the length of time from purchase to drinking (may be several years), my biggest heartburn with the whole TCA situation is that in many cases, a beautiful, amazing wine (many times from very small production lots) is destroyed.  That is a sad thing, and I feel badly for the people, especially at these smaller wineries, that put all that work into crafting a work of art, just to have it ruined by the presence of a cork.  I had a very frank discussion with one family winery who did say that the cost of going to screwcap was prohibitive, and that they had to just accept a certain percentage of tainted wine.  It was a "duh" moment for me... I had never really thought about what the cost of changing one's production over to screwcap involved for a small family winery.  I still have no idea what that cost is, but I am happy to see one of my fav small wineries, Birichino, using screwcaps.

 


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